Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

tune to perfect fifths, play in equal temperament??


Erica
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

I'm learning violin, and am trying to decide whether to buy an A=440 tuning fork or invest in an electronic tuner. My preference would be the tuning fork, as I want to develop my ear to judge intervals more accurately. I have been tuning guitars by ear for over twenty-five years (never having used a pitch pipe or tuner), and can judge perfect fourths/major thirds accurately, but find a certain amount of minor adjustment is necessary to get particular chords to play in tune, so will adjust my tuning depending on what key I'm playing in.

I don't want to spark off another intonation debate, but I've done a search on intonation and tuning, and there is still a question in my mind which remains unanswered . . .

One can tune to perfect fifths by ear when given an A, and I am quite happy to continue doing this, but I gather that the fifths in equal temperament tuning are not perfect (maybe I misunderstood, but this was my impression). How then does one play in equal temperament when one has tuned the violin's open strings to perfect fifths? Would not the open strings then sound slightly out of tune in a scale run?

I am not able to judge this on the basis of my own playing, which is still woefully inaccurate after over a quarter of a century of relying on frets for intonation. Perhaps some more experienced players can comment . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In equal-temperament tuning, perfect fifths are two cents away from being "pure". This difference is so small that even tuning the fifths pure will yield a violin that is quite satisfactorily in tune. Scale runs should be fine because open strings (whether played or through sympathetic vibration) serve as intonation anchors.

I also play the guitar (have done so for 10 years), and for that instrument, I do use a tuner, but that's because tuning the intervals pure will yield a guitar that's out of tune with itself. The violin is a different story--I have never felt the need to tune it with a tuner.

I would recommend getting a metronome or some other device that will produce an A-440 pitch, since a tuning fork will be difficult to hold while you tune the violin. Also, because it's hard to keep a steady pitch while bowing a string (especially for a beginner), the electronic tuner would be difficult to use to tune the violin.

Good luck!

Victor

: Hello all,

: I'm learning violin, and am trying to decide whether to buy an A=440 tuning fork or invest in an electronic tuner. My preference would be the tuning fork, as I want to develop my ear to judge intervals more accurately. I have been tuning guitars by ear for over twenty-five years (never having used a pitch pipe or tuner), and can judge perfect fourths/major thirds accurately, but find a certain amount of minor adjustment is necessary to get particular chords to play in tune, so will adjust my tuning depending on what key I'm playing in.

: I don't want to spark off another intonation debate, but I've done a search on intonation and tuning, and there is still a question in my mind which remains unanswered . . .

: One can tune to perfect fifths by ear when given an A, and I am quite happy to continue doing this, but I gather that the fifths in equal temperament tuning are not perfect (maybe I misunderstood, but this was my impression). How then does one play in equal temperament when one has tuned the violin's open strings to perfect fifths? Would not the open strings then sound slightly out of tune in a scale run?

: I am not able to judge this on the basis of my own playing, which is still woefully inaccurate after over a quarter of a century of relying on frets for intonation. Perhaps some more experienced players can comment . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can get a tuning fork that is mounted on a resonator box. It comes with a rubber hammer for "activating." I think Ifshin Violins has one.

If you go with a tuner having an A-440 tone, listen to several, if possible, before purchasing. Some are easier to hear and seem a more "pure" tone than others. Also, the metronome clicks on some are "crisper" than others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

: Hello all,

: I'm learning violin, and am trying to decide whether to buy an A=440 tuning fork or invest in an electronic tuner. My preference would be the tuning fork, as I want to develop my ear to judge intervals more accurately. I have been tuning guitars by ear for over twenty-five years (never having used a pitch pipe or tuner), and can judge perfect fourths/major thirds accurately, but find a certain amount of minor adjustment is necessary to get particular chords to play in tune, so will adjust my tuning depending on what key I'm playing in.

: I don't want to spark off another intonation debate, but I've done a search on intonation and tuning, and there is still a question in my mind which remains unanswered . . .

: One can tune to perfect fifths by ear when given an A, and I am quite happy to continue doing this, but I gather that the fifths in equal temperament tuning are not perfect (maybe I misunderstood, but this was my impression). How then does one play in equal temperament when one has tuned the violin's open strings to perfect fifths? Would not the open strings then sound slightly out of tune in a scale run?

: I am not able to judge this on the basis of my own playing, which is still woefully inaccurate after over a quarter of a century of relying on frets for intonation. Perhaps some more experienced players can comment . . .

Please remember that the violin is not in equal temperment, the piano is. The note on the piano are not 100% accurate notes because they are tune mathmatically by spacing all the notes a half step, in everyday music terms, apart. On violin if anything, the pitch is a lot more flexible thus tuning can be used as a musical addition in ones playing. For instance, if one is playing a long concerto movement with orchestra, the solo violinist will often times tune his instrument a little on the sharp side to compensate for the string going flat during performance. At your stage of developement, a 440 A on a metronome will be fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...