NEW LESSON! How/When/Why to Tune Pure 19ths

I made this video a while ago but never posted it on my site. I’ve sent people to it many times and thought it’s about time I posted it here.

It demonstrates my Beat Speed Window method which allows the tuner to be very specific in how they tune their intervals.

Pure 19ths Lesson

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9 Responses to “NEW LESSON! How/When/Why to Tune Pure 19ths”

  1. Christer Dirfeldt says:

    Did you get my comment on this video? It seems to have disappeared.

  2. Cobrun Sells says:

    I tuned my first piano today using Pure 19ths. It was a Baldwin Hamilton Console (45″ upright) similar to my own Baldwin Hamilton. In the heavily padded/carpeted room that it was in it made the piano sound “grander.” Mark, do you use the Pure 19ths only in the treble? Or do you apply Pure 19ths in place of Pure 12ths and Pure 22nds in the bass? Also, what note in the treble do you start tuning Pure 19ths? Do you use Pure 19ths on large scale octaves exclusively or do you use them on medium and small scale octaves? One more thing; can large pianos (long string lengths) have large scale octaves? If so, how? Wouldn’t the longer strings make for smaller octaves? I’ve heard that some pianos have a higher tension scales which leads me to believe that the higher tension is due to large diameter strings which also leads to more inharmonicity (larger scale octaves). Does that sound correct?

  3. Cobrun Sells says:

    Mark,
    I have a little bit of an obstacle I’m dealing with. So, I’m not sure if you remember, I own an SAT IV ETD. I’m not sure how familiar you are with the SAT IV, but one of it’s useful aspects is that I can directly tune higher octaves. First, I take an already tuned notes (let’s say D4) and I set the SAT to listen to A6 (6th partial). The rotary LED light display on the SAT will rotate the lights as it dictates A6 is “out-of-tune.” I adjust the SAT so that the LED lights stop rotating and are stationary (in-tune with partial A6). At this point the SAT and D4 (A6 partial) are in tune with each other. So, let’s say I tune A6 on the piano (Pure 19th to D4). Since the SAT is already in tune with D4’s 6th partial, A6, I’ll tune A6 one the piano to the SAT’s A6. Thus, when I am finished A6 on the piano is in tune with D4 as it’s pure 19th. BUT, when I adjust the SAT to A6, A3’s 8th partial (A3 having already been tuned within the temperament just as D4 has already been tuned within the temperament), the SAT indicates that A6 on the piano (tuned as a pure 19th to D4) is FLAT. This leads me to believe that Pure 19ths are actually less of a “stretch” than Pure 22nds. Can this be so, Mark? I’ll tune more pianos and gather more empirical evidence as well as aural evidence if need be. I have only done this “Pure 19th vs. Pure 22nd” experiment on my own piano. I just want to be certain than Pure 19ths ARE larger stretches than Pure 22nds and am willing to use my ear and a machine to confirm that. Let me know what your thoughts are.

    • Cobrun

      Ok, let me see if I understand you.

      You are tuning A6 from D4.

      You use your ETD to listen to the 3rd partial of D4 and set it so the lights are fixed. In other words, you are measuring the 3rd partial of D4.

      Then you play A6 while your ETD is set to listen at A6, and tune A6 so its frequency matches the 3rd partial of D4. Now D4A6 is a pure 19th.

      Now here’s where I lost you.

      You play A3 and the ETD reads flat.

      Is A3 flat? Is the 8th partial of A3 flat?

      You imply that the ETD is “listening” at A6. That means, to make a pure 22nd, you’d have to raise A3, effectively reducing the stretch.

      Hence, pure 19ths produce more stretch.

      Did I understand you?

      • Cobrun Sells says:

        A3 and D4 were tuned within the temperament. When I play them together they sound like a perfect 4th (with approx. 1 beat per second listening at A5 like it should be). Anyway, The ETD is listening to the 6th partial of D4, not the 3rd. The 6th partial is A6. The ETD reads A6 (from A3) as very sharp, leading me to believe pure 22nds tend to leave higher octave notes tuned slightly sharper than pure 19ths.
        Here is what I tested with the ETD on my piano:
        D4’s partial A6=7.1 cents sharp deviation (from what is stored as A6 in the ETD)

        A3’s partial A6=15.3 cents sharp deviation (from what is stored as A6 in the ETD)

        A3’s partial A6 is sharper than D4’s partial A6.

  4. Cobrun Sells says:

    I know this doesn’t have much to do with Pure 19th, but when tuning low bass octaves I’ve noticed you tune the low octaves listening for clean fundamentals of the low note. After doing some reading, calculating, and thinking I’ve noticed that your method of low bass octave tuning (1:Sub-octave or 1:S octave) produces very different results than the 8:4 octave. What I mean by 1:S octave is that the lower octave (let’s say A0:A1) is tuned by listening to the undertone of A1 created by playing A0 and A1 simultaneously. I find it cool that you have showed me several options of stretch in the low octaves of the piano such as 1:S octaves (low notes slightly sharp compared to 8:4) and 8:4 octaves (low notes slightly flat compared to 1:S). Now I just have to see which one I like per piano.

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