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'A' note tuning range

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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Wonks » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:21 pm

But the A440 is no more. It once ran from Pershore to Great Malvern but in the '60s became downgraded. Some is now part of the A4104 and most of the rest is now the B4211.
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby zenguitar » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:10 am

So we are agreed, the new standard tuning reference is B4211. All that's required is to come up with some hippy-dippy antiquarian reference to 'justify' the new standard.

And some healthy licensing fees from Wonk's, or should I say our, copyright. ;)

Andy :beamup:
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Logarhythm » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:18 am

zenguitar wrote:So we are agreed, the new standard tuning reference is B4211. All that's required is to come up with some hippy-dippy antiquarian reference to 'justify' the new standard.

If we divide Avogadro's number by 4211 we get precisely 143009756827356922346.23604844455.
I'm pretty sure this means that the Wonks Tuning System, as it shall henceforth be known, has a firm basis in science? :beamup:
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Folderol » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:22 am

Also 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 8, the number of 'notes' in a octave, so I think we're really on to something significant here :bouncy:
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:34 am

I happened on a copy of Helmholtz's On the Sensations of Tone in a second-hand bookshop recently. One of the appendices is a very long table of the measured A pitch of various instruments and tuning forks from around Europe -- mostly pipe organs -- and the variation is amazing. The lowest one I spotted was something like 396Hz and the highest was well above 460Hz.
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby mpsjazz » Fri May 10, 2019 9:52 pm

I notice that Every Breath You Take uses the "Verdi" pitch/tuning. Had to transcribe it for someone. So irritatingly between two keys, I thought, and thank god my keyboard's adjustable tuning helped out... then the penny dropped!

It's the same as that A432 you guys mentioned, if I remember correctly. I don't have an opinion about using/not using A432. Whatever works... Perhaps Sting or Andy Summers did have one.
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri May 10, 2019 10:28 pm

Or, as was usual in the past, they just tuned to each other and the guitars were flat.......
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Folderol » Sat May 11, 2019 11:01 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Or, as was usual in the past, they just tuned to each other and the guitars were flat.......
That's just plain cruel :lol:
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby blinddrew » Sat May 11, 2019 11:58 am

Or the whole thing was slowed down post recording because they preferred the vibe.
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Watchmaker » Sat May 11, 2019 12:15 pm

or the tape machine ran fast.

I don't know about A432, but the idea that pitch has emotional content that affects people shouldn't be a controversial issue with audio engineers. I'm a little shocked that so many smart people are missing a fundamental here.
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby blinddrew » Sat May 11, 2019 1:27 pm

Watchmaker wrote:or the tape machine ran fast.

I don't know about A432, but the idea that pitch has emotional content that affects people shouldn't be a controversial issue with audio engineers. I'm a little shocked that so many smart people are missing a fundamental here.
I don't think that anyone's suggesting that changing the pitch can't change the emotional context, I can't speak for anyone else, but I struggle to see that there's some specific, magical frequency that makes a difference.
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Folderol » Sat May 11, 2019 1:43 pm

I don't find it important, but it's all about making the performer feel comfortable, so I'll just go along with it. However, there is a very tiny group of people for who I can believe it is a real issue, and that's those with perfect pitch.

A long time ago I knew such a guy - who actually hated the fact, as so much music just sounded 'wrong' to him. Several of us tried to trick him occasionally, which usually just elicited a raised eyebrow and a smile. Interestingly his fave instrument was a B3, and he was damn good :)
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Martin Walker » Sat May 11, 2019 2:34 pm

blinddrew wrote:I don't think that anyone's suggesting that changing the pitch can't change the emotional context, I can't speak for anyone else, but I struggle to see that there's some specific, magical frequency that makes a difference.

I agree with this 100% Drew! :clap:


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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Rich Hanson » Sat May 11, 2019 3:00 pm

Folderol wrote:I don't find it important, but it's all about making the performer feel comfortable, so I'll just go along with it. However, there is a very tiny group of people for who I can believe it is a real issue, and that's those with perfect pitch.

A long time ago I knew such a guy - who actually hated the fact, as so much music just sounded 'wrong' to him. Several of us tried to trick him occasionally, which usually just elicited a raised eyebrow and a smile. Interestingly his fave instrument was a B3, and he was damn good :)

Sometimes for me it's not whether the song is tuned to a specific frequency, I can cope with a variation in playback speed that results in a pitch change of about a quarter tone either way, but sometimes just the wrong key I can find jarring - many moons ago I played in a band with my sister who wanted to sing It Must Be Love but couldn't sing it in the original A minor so we tried to transpose it to E minor, and it just sounded so wrong that I refused to play it (stroppy bass player, I was!)

I guess we're all sensitive to different things in this regard, which is why I think there is absolutely no hard and fast rule and nor should we try and find them.
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat May 11, 2019 5:14 pm

But was that due to the actual pitch or the different way the notes fell on the bass?

@Folderol WRT Perfect pitch (AKA throwing a b@njo in a skip) Do you think it is a learned thing? I can't see how it can be inherent as the pitch notes themselves is a human construct as is A=440Hz. I do see how uncomfortable it would make him feel when listening to something slightly off pitch though.
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Folderol » Sat May 11, 2019 6:24 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:But was that due to the actual pitch or the different way the notes fell on the bass?

@Folderol WRT Perfect pitch (AKA throwing a b@njo in a skip) Do you think it is a learned thing? I can't see how it can be inherent as the pitch notes themselves is a human construct as is A=440Hz. I do see how uncomfortable it would make him feel when listening to something slightly off pitch though.
I don't know. I would guess a bit of both. Being able to detect a specific tone's frequency is probably innate, but knowing what note that represents has to be a learned thing.
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat May 11, 2019 9:39 pm

That's what I thought. I suspect many years of playing/hearing music tuned to A440 would predispose you to hearing anything else as out of tune even if you don't have perfect pitch. I don't BTW but do have pretty good relative pitch and I can sometimes recognise the pitch/key of a given instrument (by it's timbre I suspect). It;s far from reliable though so interesting rather than useful.....
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun May 12, 2019 11:26 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Do you think it is a learned thing? I can't see how it can be inherent as the pitch notes themselves is a human construct as is A=440Hz. I do see how uncomfortable it would make him feel when listening to something slightly off pitch though.

Interesting factoid. Perfect pitch is much more widespread amongst the Chinese and other tonal language speakers than it is in the West and other speakers of non-tonal languages (source: an article in New Scientist several years back). This suggests it is learned, but at a very young age.

My own experience is that for tunes I play a lot (and as I play in English music sessions by ear there's quite a lot of those) if I hum one of those tunes then it's almost always in the right key. But I show no other signs of perfect pitch.

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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Watchmaker » Mon May 13, 2019 4:29 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Do you think it is a learned thing? I can't see how it can be inherent as the pitch notes themselves is a human construct as is A=440Hz. I do see how uncomfortable it would make him feel when listening to something slightly off pitch though.

Interesting factoid. Perfect pitch is much more widespread amongst the Chinese and other tonal language speakers than it is in the West and other speakers of non-tonal languages (source: an article in New Scientist several years back). This suggests it is learned, but at a very young age.

My own experience is that for tunes I play a lot (and as I play in English music sessions by ear there's quite a lot of those) if I hum one of those tunes then it's almost always in the right key. But I show no other signs of perfect pitch.

CC

Perfect pitch is an interesting phenomenon.

If, as I concur, it is a learned "trait" to recognize the arbitrary assignment of A to 440 Hz, then it's very interesting that a culture who's musical tradition not based on that tempering has a higher incidence of people who appear responsive to that bit of physics.

If, on the other hand, there is an instinctual component for humans to recognize pitch according to para cultural referents, then there is an evolutionary component to that which means that specific pitches have "meaning" outside of our conscious awareness - which is the technical definition of magic. :angel:
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Re: 'A' note tuning range

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon May 13, 2019 4:52 pm

To paraphrase Arthur C Clarke "today's magic is tomorrows technology"
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