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About mrcopper

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  1. Somewhat challenging arrangement of the famous Londonderry Air (O Danny Boy) for violin and 'cello. I'm giving away individually licensed pdf copies to interested performers, temporarily, though that doesn't mean you can photocopy or reproduce in any other way. Appendix gives some intonation background for playing in tune. tuned digital demo at and perusal score at William Copper
  2. Nearly everyone who takes the time to look at my recent scores wants an explanation for the markings ... so here is a draft that names them and begins to discuss the how and why.
  3. Not to overdose anyone or anything, but here is #3, excerpt: "The Fawn"
  4. And, since I got going with flute & strings again, another quartet for flute and strings, arrangement of O Danny Boy: Preface to explain intonation markings in progress ... pdf score linked at the recording above. William Copper
  5. New recording of music for quartet of flute and strings, "Sailing!" As in earlier posts, the individual parts are given specific intonation instructions, though in this simple piece it probably isn't even necessary. William Copper
  6. Complete recording now posted, about 10 minutes, 6 songs from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. It's possible that different fiddle playing styles might be used as a kind of improvisatory addition to the framework.
  7. I've read some very helpful comments from people here about string tuning and technique. Here's a folk song trio, tunes from the Baltic area (Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia). I'm marking the score and parts with intonation markings. Haven't yet written the preface to explain it all, but hopefully the markings are pretty self explanatory for mostly ordinary tonal music. Score at Recording It's 'tuned electronic' and intended to be a demo of the work, not a replacement for live performances! William
  8. You might consider doing the pitch adjustment on a computer and letting the handheld be a simpler device. For instance, the Zoom H4N has imo a very nice sound with its built in mics, and a number of options like 4-track recording, dubbing, punch in, etc. But no pitch correction. You can connect it by USB to a computer, then you have many options for tools for pitch correction. Why do you need 'tuning on the fly', anyway? Just out of curiosity...
  9. I'm sure there are still some problems. But string players are notorious for hating midi renditions, at least in part because the tuning is always so dreadful. So if i'm down to 'mini' problems in your ears, I feel some success!
  10. Good point, fiol. I will do that too. Those thirds are 'lowered' with regard to equal temperament; they also are lowered in harmonic theory: there is a stack of fifths, including the violin open strings. Then each of these fifths has a major third above, potentially anyway: that major third is 'lowered' by a comma (22 cents) from the same note in the stack of fifths. Like the E harmonic in a viola open C string is lower (by a comma) than the E string of the violin. As to bar 29, I changed the orchestra a tiny bit: there was an E in there that forced the B above it to be tuned high, then that made the violin F# sound low: getting rid of the E, I could make the B tuned lower, and then the F# of the soloist sounds better. (not yet posted on Soundcloud ... I'll get to it today) Thanks for your ears!
  11. It's not hard to hear the stretch on a piano, but you do need to damp out the unison string ... pick a medium low note, say a C3 (viola open C), put your finger on two of the three strings (you have to reach inside the case ... some uprights make this difficult). Play the note and listen for the two-octave harmonic. Then play the note C5 or C6, you should hear a beat if the octaves have been stretched. (The upper note may need its unison strings damped by a finger too, unless it's well in tune).
  12. Thanks much for the helpful comments. Yes, I should have been clear, it's not scordatura, just intonation. (and btw, the Jazz piano that follows is courtesy of Soundcloud, from some other musician: nothing I can do about it!) It's good to begin marshaling my reasons in the face of general skepticism! As to why, briefly, two paths led me this way: first, in trying to work out tuning as I was writing, years ago, I began to realize that not everything that can be written can be tuned, even by the most sincere and experienced performer. Some music is simply forced to be equal temperament, it has internal inconsistencies and cannot be tuned. So, as a composer, I decided to try to write to avoid such situations. Second, in my earlier experience with performances of my music, I found that even good musicians do NOT generally adjust their intonation: they play where their fingers fall. In Beethoven or Mozart, they can hear where and how to tune, but in Copper, not so much. It led, in the past, to performers playing my music so it sounded wrong to me. It could be argued that I wrote it wrong, if they played it wrong. So I moved more and more to being specific about intonation, and it led to a new way of writing music, and eventually to the decision to notate every single pitch. Mostly, the tuning is exactly what a good player who is familiar with the work would choose. And I do it for all music (except piano, organ, xylophone, etc) not just this Romance. When I get a comment, as above with regard to an F# in bar 29, I re-check. Mistakes happen, one notates wrong sometimes, just as one plays a wrong note or an out of tune one sometimes. At bar 29, now that I look at it, I remember changing my mind and being unsure about the tuning: I may rethink that spot, the violin is on a 9th above an inverted 7th chord in the old key, but it's leading to a new key, so maybe the flat tuning is correct. All this is another reason for the composer to work ahead of time on intonation, rather than expecting an orchestra to stop in the middle of rehearsal to discuss it!
  13. I'm sympathetic. I know I have an excellent sense of rhythm, can do all kinds of tricks: but on the other hand, I've been known to stray far from the beat in performance, because i follow my own rhythm, not the conductor's. Could you be similar? In ensemble you need to give up your own sense of the appropriate beat and allow in someone else's beat ...
  14. I don't have much feedback from string players, but I've begun notating all scores with intonation markings. The recent "Romance" for violin and orchestra as an example. Dare I keep on with the practice, or are my string player friends going to rebel? Romance: tuned recording Score
  15. I've thought about this topic before. I believe it might be related to equal temperament. Piano tuning stretching definitely sounds right, but string tuning stretching, I don't think so.