Tuning Equal Temperament using the Skeleton

I created this video to show the technique of using the skeleton to create accurate notes on F3, C#4, and F4, after A4 and A3 have been accurately set using the fork and a beatless A3A4 octave.

Here is where I use the skeleton in my procedure:

1) Tune A4 to the fork.
2) Tune A3 by creating a beatless A3A4.
3) Approximate F3 by setting F3A3 to about 7 beats per second, which is as fast as you can tap your finger. (This is not critical, F3 may be retuned later.)
4) Tune F4 by creating a beatless F3F4 octave.

Now the lower skeleton, F3A3C#4F4, is used to create an accurate C#4, by producing major thirds, F3A3/A3C#4/C#4F4, that change in speed evenly. They could speed up, or slow down, or stay the same. Only one of those three relationships is possible depending on where you set F3.

After C#4 is set, we tune (or confirm) an accurate F4 by tuning the upper skeleton, A3C#4F4A4, so that the major thirds A3C#4/C#4F4/F4A4 all increase in speed smoothly. If that is not possible, recheck your octaves.

If F4 needed to be changed, retune F3 by recreating the beatless F3F4 octave again.

That’s it.

Here’s the video. Be sure to watch to the end where I show why this method is so accurate, using good old fashioned pen and paper.

2 Responses to “Tuning Equal Temperament using the Skeleton”

  1. Igor.polzikov says:

    Thank you so much,Mark,for the Skeleton of ET tuning technique.That is what I was looking for for years.

    Igor from Nikolaev,Ukraine.

    • You are so welcome Igor.

      I am developing a precise method of tuning the piano by ear that uses the same principles as the Skeleton, except this method tunes all the other notes in the temperament octave with better precision than the skeleton. I’ve been using it for years for all tunings including concert tunings. I hope to have a complete system described soon.


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