High Ab unstable

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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by Posaunus » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:05 pm

I'm really getting dizzy here! :idk:
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by brassmedic » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:12 pm

LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:52 am
Yes I know what professional musicians talk about when we talk about playing in tune, thanks (and many non professional musicians also talk about it too!).
Wasn't trying to offend you. I honestly didn't feel like I was communicating my point to you, so I was trying to explain it.
Again, we agree. When Harrison and I say you can't play Mozart in just intonation, we are not talking about adjusting notes to play in tune. "Just intonation" is a tuning system (actually a family of tuning systems, really), and it's not what you describe, it's something entirely different.
O.K., but that has nothing to do with what I was talking about.
What you describe and indeed what we all use when we play in a tempered tuning, I like to call playing pure chords over an equal tempered bass, but I don't think it has any official name, it's just usually called playing in tune. It's not called just intonation, that's for sure.
Well, no. If you're using tempered tuning, "playing in tune" would mean playing the exact tempered pitch of that note. And I know people who do that. They have a tuner on their stand or clipped to their bell, and they just line up the arrow. Simply calling it "playing in tune" is too vague.
We all agree about simple intervals that come up early in the harmonic series of the root. in an equal tempered environment major thirds of chords should be lowered 14 cents (13.7 in fact), fifths should be raised 2 cents, no debate. Things get a bit problematic with intervals that have more than one possible definitions for their pure tuning. Minor thirds should be generally raised, although the exact amount can vary according to the context and the chord's voicing, because those will define what it's most noticeably interacting with. (Overtones of the root? Of the fifth? Of the seventh?)
Just intonation is the tuning of intervals as the smallest whole number ratios. So when you lower the third or raise the fifth, that's what you're doing, whether you want to admit it or not. LOTS of people call it that.
Sevenths get even murkier for the same reasons and for those I outlined before. Should it be tuned according the the harmonic series of the root, or as a a good third above the fifth (those two versions can be virtually a quarter tone apart by the way, depending on what definition of a good minor third you use)? Does it make sense in a tonal context to have the dominant loose some of its harmonic tension? Should we play a note that is adjusted so far out of its usual position that it is no longer recognized as the same note?

I don't know if I know anyone who really plays their minor sevenths 31 cents flat in orchestral music. Maybe some think they do, and maybe at some moments they actually do, but on systematically on every minor seventh? I don't think so.
I don't agree with everything on that chart either. For example, diminished 7th chords are symmetrical. You can't invert a dim 7th chord; you just end up with a different dim 7th chord. So the "root" is really irrelevant, and it makes no sense to me to alter tones of the chord in relation to the "root".

I do agree with you that players aren't generally adjusting the pitch an exact number of cents (except perhaps Harrison's tuba player colleague). You just try to "make the beats go away".

Anyway, hope I didn't offend you. I appreciate your knowledge of this stuff, and I always enjoy your posts.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by LeTromboniste » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:13 pm

brassmedic wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:12 pm
Wasn't trying to offend you. I honestly didn't feel like I was communicating my point to you, so I was trying to explain it.
No offense taken, we're just all talking about the same thing and yet not making our points clear xD Doesn't help that what we're talking about doesn't really have a name.
Just intonation is the tuning of intervals as the smallest whole number ratios. So when you lower the third or raise the fifth, that's what you're doing, whether you want to admit it or not.
It is what we're doing of course, but because it's the same process on the surface doesn't mean it's the same thing. Just intonation goes further than just tuning isolated intervals like we do (and which is entirely dependent on having some exterior scale to tune to), it builds an entire tuning system and scale out of the ratios in the harmonic series, which we don't do. We tune A flat to be a pure third above F, then we tune it high to be a pure fifth above D. That's not what just intonation does. It would tune A so that it's always consonant with the rest of the notes according to the harmonic series you chose. It doesn't allow modulation, and puts pretty significant limits on what chords you can use. It yields very nice results in some styles of music that are not based on or do not include a lot of harmonic progressions within pieces and instead explores other dimensions of music (North Indian classical music, for example). But it simply is completely incompatible with tonal music.
LOTS of people call it that.
Which doesn't make them right. Lots of people also think temperaments are only for keyboards and that as non-fretted instruments we can just play "in just intonation" and everything will be okay. They are wrong there too.

Without an exterior reference (i.e. having either the bass line or the roots of all chords follow a set scale), the pitch drifts like crazy. For example, with the chord progression G-D-Am-C-G, if everybody just plays in tune without anyone having the role of holding the scale, you will end up 22 cents higher when you get back to G than when you started (that's because of the common tones between each chord). 22 cents. Over 2 bars.
I do agree with you that players aren't generally adjusting the pitch an exact number of cents (except perhaps Harrison's tuba player colleague). You just try to "make the beats go away".
But it's the same, really. We're not thinking about cents as we play, but "making the beat go away" means playing an interval of a certain size, which can be expressed in cents. My point earlier was not that people don't lower their 7ths exactly 31 cents, it was that they don't lower them anywhere near 31 cents.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by brassmedic » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:03 pm

LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:13 pm

Without an exterior reference (i.e. having either the bass line or the roots of all chords follow a set scale), the pitch drifts like crazy. For example, with the chord progression G-D-Am-C-G, if everybody just plays in tune without anyone having the role of holding the scale, you will end up 22 cents higher when you get back to G than when you started (that's because of the common tones between each chord). 22 cents. Over 2 bars.
In practice we adjust each individual chord to the root. The root of the chord is not adjusted, so there is no drift. Obviously you're going to have to compromise on some things, but it actually works extremely well, and is a major reason why a really great trombone section sounds so good. You can call it whatever you like, but that's what I'm talking about. So for you personally, if you're playing a dom 7 chord in a modern orchestra where everyone is playing tempered pitch, and you have the 7th, do you play it dead on tempered pitch?
Last edited by brassmedic on Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by Posaunus » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:07 pm

brassmedic wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:03 pm
In practice we adjust each individual chord to the root. The root of the chord is not adjusted, so there is no drift. Obviously you're going to have to compromise on some things, but it actually works extremely well, and is a major reason why a really great trombone section sounds so good.


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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by LeTromboniste » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:00 pm

brassmedic wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:03 pm
LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:13 pm

Without an exterior reference (i.e. having either the bass line or the roots of all chords follow a set scale), the pitch drifts like crazy. For example, with the chord progression G-D-Am-C-G, if everybody just plays in tune without anyone having the role of holding the scale, you will end up 22 cents higher when you get back to G than when you started (that's because of the common tones between each chord). 22 cents. Over 2 bars.
In practice we adjust each individual chord to the root. The root of the chord is not adjusted, so there is no drift. Obviously you're going to have to compromise on some things, but it actually works extremely well, and is a major reason why a really great trombone section sounds so good. You can call it whatever you like, but that's what I'm talking about. So for you personally, if you're playing a dom 7 chord in a modern orchestra where everyone is playing tempered pitch, and you have the 7th, do you play it dead on tempered pitch?
We're still not understanding each other I think. Yes, we adjust pitch, in the way you describe. Some people call that just intonation and think it doesn't involve equal temperament at all, which is false, since the roots of chords are equal tempered. Glad we agree that the roots are not in just intonation.

No of course I don't play 7ths tempered (or any notes except the root). It should be lowered (and I hope my colleagues also lower their third and not "everyone is playing tempered pitch"). But I don't think I've ever lowered it as much as 31 cents, nor do I remember ever hearing a chord tuned that way in an orchestra. I don't know by how much I lower it in cents, but I'd say somewhat less than I lower a major third.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by harrisonreed » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:19 pm

Play the correctly sized intervals (or incorrectly sized intervals if you have no ear) over 12TET roots that stay in 12 TET (ie, the pitch doesn't get away from roots based on 100c intervals from A440 in the infinite lattice of 5ths that is JI) is still playing in 12TET. You can't argue your way out of that or meet halfway.

But that requiem Ab in 1st though! Wow!
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by imsevimse » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:14 am

Interesting conversation. The good thing is we don't need to calculate all those frequencies. If we have good sense of style and interpretation plus fundamental knowledge about how our instrument works we can play music with a good result without any calculations at all, as long as we also have good ears. Without good ears on trombone nothing helps. Intonation needs to be corrected according to the sum of all imperfections of the musical situation. The theories then need to go out the window. Listen and learn the style of the music and then trust your ears. I think to tune the major and minor thirds and the minor 7th according to what's been said earlier to use in any music. It usually takes a few rehearsal to sort those out. In some music it's pretty obvious but in romantic orchestral music with a lot of rests and occasional chords that needs to be tuned it may require some analysis. A perfect major third is beautiful in a final chord, besides this I do not think much, I just trust my ears and hope the other musicians do the same.

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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by timothy42b » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:10 am

LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:22 am
harrisonreed wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:29 am
Yes, tempering chords within 12TET will sound nice and in tune (again, musicians should just hear those intervals and do it subconsciously) but that isn't really JI. In JI, there is an infinite cycle of fifths where your C=0 will be a different C when you make the journey back to it. That's why you aren't really using JI when you play anything that changes keys, but you probably are using a form of JI in early music.
Yes, except the early music part. Or depending how early you mean. They were already very concerned with this in the 15th and early 16th century when music had reached a point where just using Pythagorean tuning and adjusting chords (the way we do now with equal temperament) was no longer satisfactory.
I recently read an article on tuning harpsichords. It said long ago (I don't remember the exact period) it was common to tune them Pythagorean, as the player was usually the composer and simply avoided the bad thirds. Of course this lead to a lot of retuning but players were accustomed to that.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by brassmedic » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:49 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:19 pm
Play the correctly sized intervals (or incorrectly sized intervals if you have no ear) over 12TET roots that stay in 12 TET (ie, the pitch doesn't get away from roots based on 100c intervals from A440 in the infinite lattice of 5ths that is JI) is still playing in 12TET. You can't argue your way out of that or meet halfway.
You are very confused. I never argued that we don't play in tempered tuning. In fact I have told you over and over that I'm talking about tuning individual chords, not changing the overall system we are using. YOU are the one who invented that strawman argument. I never said that. I'm thinking you just like to argue.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by harrisonreed » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:56 pm

You win! Never know when I'll want a leadpipe or a repair from you, so I concede defeat! Please forgive me trying to tell you what Just Intonation is, and for being argumentative. Again, I'm sorry!
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by brassmedic » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:08 pm

LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:00 pm

We're still not understanding each other I think. Yes, we adjust pitch, in the way you describe. Some people call that just intonation and think it doesn't involve equal temperament at all, which is false, since the roots of chords are equal tempered.
I understand you; I'm not sure why you're having so much trouble understanding me. I have literally never met anyone, ever in my life, who thinks tuning chords means we have abandoned equal temperament for the roots of the chords.
Glad we agree that the roots are not in just intonation.
I don't know why you would ever have thought otherwise. I certainly never said anything to the contrary.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by brassmedic » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:21 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:56 pm
You win! Never know when I'll want a leadpipe or a repair from you, so I concede defeat! Please forgive me trying to tell you what Just Intonation is, and for being argumentative. Again, I'm sorry!
Oh, no forgive ME for not allowing you to invent an argument that i never made and repeatedly browbeat me about it. I apologize for trying to have an interesting discussion. I forgot that trombone chat is about talking down to others. Please, continue to talk down to me. I promise I will never refer to the practice of tuning chords in intervals with whole number ratios as "just intonation". Just tell me what YOU would like me to call it and I Will call it that from now on. Would that make you happy?
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by Basbasun » Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:06 am

The seventh partial maybe 31 cents flatt compared to welltempered tuning. But that differ much betwen horns.
That have nothing to do with the 7th in the dominant chord though.

In a domint chord in a major key, the 7th is 4 (four) cents low. Listen to the chords guys!

Ab in first is very good if the Bb is well of the bumper.

(In C major the G is 2 cents sharp to the piano, the F is 2 cents low to the piano. I the dominant FGBD the F and G is still in C major, and sound beautilful)
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by ArbanRubank » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:45 am

If I tune my Yamaha to play a nice Ab in 1st, I lose low C in flat 7th, unless I heroically lip it down and I already do have to lip it down a little bit! But since I already have a nice Ab in 3rd, I choose to tune the horn in such a way as to be able to have all the rest of the notes easily available so I can potentially make full use of them. If I didn't need a good low C...

There is another consideration. I noticed that Curtis Fuller plays runs of 1/4-step notes (they might even be 1/8th-step notes!) when he is double-tonguing very rapidly. And yet - like bob Mc Chesney playing an extremely rapid 2-octave Bb scale all in first position - those notes sound terrific! Apparently - the brain perceives rhythm before it perceives pitch. In an extremely fast passage, I'm guessing the note is gone before it's true pitch can "sink in". Perhaps an Ab played in first in an extremely rapid passage would not be noticed as being too flat. The real skill and artistry, then would be to know when to use that phenomenon and when not to?
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by timothy42b » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:14 am

TimBrown wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:45 am
Perhaps an Ab played in first in an extremely rapid passage would not be noticed as being too flat. The real skill and artistry, then would be to know when to use that phenomenon and when not to?
Or.......thinking out loud.............maybe an Ab in 1st, in tune by lipping up, has enough timbre difference to be perceived as wrong, whereas an Ab in 1st, centered nicely but flat might sound like all the other notes and not stand out.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by Neo Bri » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:51 am

brassmedic wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:20 pm
LeTromboniste wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:26 pm
brassmedic wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:54 pm
It arpeggiates a Dom. 7 chord, so in just intonation the Ab should be 31 cents flat, right?
"should"? That's open to debate. I mean, if you're playing in just intonation as a tuning system, yes sure.
Well that is what I wrote.
But you can't play Mozart in "just intonation".
Not sure I agree with that. Sure, early music ensembles will use different tuning systems, but most modern symphony orchestras do not alter the tuning system when they perform Mozart.
It can be nice when everything is pure within the chord of course. But there are also good arguments against pure sevenths.

For instance a dominant seventh loses a lot of its harmonic tension when the seventh is perfectly tuned to the root.
Not sure what you mean by "perfectly tuned to the root".
But harmonic tension in the dominant is what drives the momentum of the tonal system. So one could argue that pure 7ths may not be entirely desirable in this context.

Then there's also the issue that a pure seventh is a bad third above the fifth, and will basically sound out of tune with something either way.

Plus it's just so far from its tempered version that it can easily sound melodically off.
Good points.

Back to Vienna, Ab certainly has been played in 1st.



Notice that he holds the slide in EXACTLY the same place as the other partials in that series. Noah found this video. I can't tell, but I think he said that is a Pfretzschner trombone, one of which Noah happens to have at The Brass Ark. I tried playing those notes on it with a tuner, and the Ab is right in tune in 1st position (it's actually a tiny bit sharp!). So that would seem to be a good explanation of why players in Vienna do or did that - that note isn't out of tune on their instruments.
The Tuba Mirum in this video happens around 9:30...
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by Neo Bri » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:54 am

norbie2018 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:10 am
Not really. You tune the Bb in first position slightly out; you still need to use your tuning slide to adjust that pitch. Some push their tuning all the way in and do all their tuning with chops and/or the hand slide. That makes the tuning slide pointless.
My main tuning slides are indeed pointless. I push 'em all the way in. But not the slides on my triggers.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by Neo Bri » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:01 am

brassmedic wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:21 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:56 pm
You win! Never know when I'll want a leadpipe or a repair from you, so I concede defeat! Please forgive me trying to tell you what Just Intonation is, and for being argumentative. Again, I'm sorry!
Oh, no forgive ME for not allowing you to invent an argument that i never made and repeatedly browbeat me about it. I apologize for trying to have an interesting discussion. I forgot that trombone chat is about talking down to others. Please, continue to talk down to me. I promise I will never refer to the practice of tuning chords in intervals with whole number ratios as "just intonation". Just tell me what YOU would like me to call it and I Will call it that from now on. Would that make you happy?
Take this personal disagreement to PM or leave it offline...doesn't need to be personal. This has been a good topic. Keep it cool, please.
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Re: High Ab unstable

Post by greenbean » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:04 am

I just play that Ab in second with the trigger and call it a day!
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