You can download 2 violin duets for scale practice for free at my website https://www.baylor.edu/music/index.php?id=925996 .These are after Spohr's duos in his Violin School. The only one in his tutor are in G, but I have transposed them up to A flat and A natural, and slightly altered the 2nd violin part (the teacher's) so there is a drone tone. They could make it a fun incentive for a student to practice on scales. Enjoy!
Hi Bruce, quick question. If you use a drone or duets for scale practice, doesn't that reinforce just intonation rather than the usual Pythagorean scale intonation? I've always wondered about that.
Bruce -- fantastic! Thank you for adding these to your website.
pythagorean intonation is not "usual" for scales, at least in the classical world
Irene I was following the advice given in the video linked below. Is that incorrect? I guess I thought Sassmanshaus was kind of a authority on stuff like that.
Let me start off by saying that I have a lot of respect for Saussmanshaus as a pedagogue. I had at one point the pleasure of working with one of the leading figures in the field of tuning systems, Ross Duffin, and one of the most important realizations I came away with was that our conception of intonation as string players doesn't necessarily match up with what we're actually doing. That said, I would characterize what Saussmanshaus is promoting as essentially Casal's expressive intonation, with extreme leading tones. Just for fun, I ran his scale fragment through Audacity, and his D-F# (296hz - 377hz) is even wider than a Pythagorean ditone. Expressive intervals like this are largely a matter of fashion - it was very popular at Juilliard for a long time thanks in part to Bobby Mann - but it's my feeling that the field in general is moving away from this toward a more Just system.
Bravi to Bruce and Irene!
"his D-F# (296hz - 377hz) is even wider than a Pythagorean ditone"
I didn't know about Duffin but I'll definitely read that! Thanks! My own take on Sassmannshaus is that his system is canonical .. sort of as "as far as one would go".
There are also 2nd violin accompaniments for the Kreutzer etudes. You can find them on imslp.
"If you use a drone or duets for scale practice, doesn't that reinforce just intonation rather than the usual Pythagorean scale intonation..."
Thanks for reminding us of Spohr's studies: effective
There are a large number of duets in Spohr's Violinschule which are pedagogical in nature. Scales, chromatic scales, arpeggios, double stops, violin concertos, etc. http://ks.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/9/94/IMSLP330999-PMLP30640-violinschuleengl00spoh_1878.pdf (this is the English translation by Henry Holmes)
So because of this thread and Dorian Fu I am halfway through Ross Duffins book. It is fascinating and eye-opening. I didn't know anything about alternate tuning systems. Knew about just intonation vs. ET but only in the very narrow context of tuning in the violin and had not considered further implications. Fascinating.
What is the title of Duffin's intonation book? Is it "How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care)"?
Hahah.. ok! But I am far from an expert so if I get something wrong be gentle!
By the way, there are ways to get correct intonation on a fretted instrument:
I have seen that video before. I am amazed by it!
I mean: the interval Fb-Ab needs to be reduced from an ET 400 cents to a just 386 cents. You can do that by lowering the Ab or raising the Fb. So, the statement that an Ab is higher than a G# or ET Ab is not generally true.
So the Ab in Just intonation tuning would also be lowered. You would not just lower one or the other. They both get lowered.
"A piano would probably sound more harmonic if it had split Black keys..."
@jessy, Ehm, you state that Bb-D is a minor third and Bb-Eb is a major third. I respectfully disagree. :-)
Oops. You are right. Sorry. But the point is that both would be lowered. Not just one or the other. I'm going to edit that too. I can only bear to look so foolish hahah.
I agree with you Scott. I am merely discussing it because I find it facinating and it was brought up. It isn't needed for the violin. Either you are in tune or you are not.
Scott, I agree. But I do think there are some good general rules, such as narrowing of major thirds in double stops, etc. What these rules are called is less important. A bit like knowing the difference between Boyle's Law and Charlie's Law. Important laws, but the names do not make them so.
Scott - "It's curious to me that the same people pop out to dissect tuning systems at the slightest provocation. "
Irene, thanks for mentioning Ross Duffin's book "How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony." I read it a few months ago and it was much more accessible and well-written than the few other books I have attempted on the subject. Scott, tunings and temperaments might not interest everyone, but some of us are fascinated with them because they are the technical understanding of why different musical periods have different harmonies and melodic intervals. I became very interested in the subject as my tastes drifted further back in time, to the point where I mostly listen to 17th century and earlier music, though I will creep forward as far as Mozart from time to time.
Will, while reading that book I couldn't help but wonder if ET isn't the root cause of the current pop music that all sounds the same. If pretty much all keys sound the same (comparitively) wouldn't that explain the limitations and lack of originality in current music?
Jessy, I recall a line from very early in Mr. Duffin's book where he says he was careful to title the book "...ruined HARMONY" rather than "...ruined MUSIC." I agree with him that equal temperament should be thought of as just one more temperament in the large menu available to us, and we should not resent its dominance in contemporary music since it was a solution to the problem of keyboards and fretted instruments that cannot easily make small frequency adjustments to allow for playing in different keys. After all, it's not just "current pop music" that uses equal temperament, but also virtually all orchestral music at least since the early 20th century (as even Duffin concedes) --though not nearly as prevailing (can't use the word "dominant" here!) in the romantic music as asserted by Stuart Isacoff in his book "Temperament," which mocks as superstitious those who resisted adoption of equal temperament.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.