Ear Training for Piano Tuners – Tuning A4 – Lesson 2

Ear Training for Piano Tuners - Tuning A4 - Lesson 2

Why Tuning A4 and the Fork Together may not be Accurate

You may have noticed in the last exercise that it was difficult to get a good A4 just by listening to A4 and the fork directly.

One reason for this could be that when you are really close, it is impossible to know whether A4 is sharp or flat.

Another important fact that many people don't realize, is that when A4 and the fork sound good together, A4 may not actually be at 440Hz.

Another way to say this, is that when A4 = 440 Hz exactly, A4 and the fork together may not sound as good as they could.

The reason for this is that A4 and the fork are not matched. Scientifically speaking, they do not have the same inharmonicity, meaning the higher partials do not line up.

Click the A4-Fork button shown. A4 is 0 cents off from the fork. But the third partials of A4 and the fork do not line up. Click the A4-Fork Filtered at E6 button and listen to the wild beating at the third partial, E6.

You should try to hear the fast beating E6 when clicking the A4-Fork button. It's in there!

I have also put the button for A4 = 439.24 Hz and the fork. This interval may sound better to you because there is less beating at both partials, but A4 does not equal 440 Hz. In fact it is 3 cents flat and scores 16% on the RPT exam.

Listen to the filtered beats at A4 and E6. They are both slow and that's what may make this unison sound better to some people than A4-Fork button where A4 = 440 Hz.


Next lesson - Using the F2 Check Note to Get Better Accuracy

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