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Broken Third and Double-Stops Third


nickia
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Broken third is supposedly tuned to Pythagorean and double-stops third is tuned to Just intonation. Am I correct? If I'm correct, why would anyone practice double-stops third as broken-third since the finger position is slightly different?

I'm really confused about the tuning of double-stops.

I have another question: Why can't violinist follow the equal-temperament tuning of the piano where the piano sounds pretty in-tune. Is it because of some special characteristic of violin that makes it more out-of-tune with equal-temperament?

Thanks.

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I don't know any music theory and names of notes (or keys) are most confusing.

Here is what I understand:

One should have trouble to put 12 notes within C and octave C+ (according to some simple

ratios of frequencies). If you put 12 notes between D and octive D+, acording to the same ratios

as you just did, what makes you think some of them will coincide? Piano has to be tuned in a

compromised way. Violin does not have that problem.

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It all depends on what your goals are. Do you want the double stop/interval to "ring", or do you want the broken third (assuming it's part of a moving melody) to "lead" your ear from one note to the next with strong, clearly communicated intent? That's the usual division for me - harmonic vs. melodic function.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
nickia

If I'm correct, why would anyone practice double-stops third as broken-third since the finger position is slightly different?

It's like practicing spiccato/sautille slowl You can use it for the basics...but when you get right down to it...it will need to be practiced as you're going to perform it.

quote:


I have another question: Why can't violinist follow the equal-temperament tuning of the piano where the piano sounds pretty in-tune. Is it because of some special characteristic of violin that makes it more out-of-tune with equal-temperament?


Equal-Temperament is out of tune. IMHO it's especially exposed on the violin because you can maintain the overtones at the same volume...for as long as you draw the bow. A lot of our sense of pitch comes from the overtones. That's why when strings go bad, or when one is playing on a really poor violin...intonation can be a lot more tricky...because you don' t hear the overtones as much...

edit: and similarly, that's why you sometimes hear people saying how a certain violin helps them to play in tune...the violin is rich in overtone content.

With other instruments such as the piano/guitar...the sound (and the overtones with it) decays after the initial attack...

Also, it could be possible that the doubled/tripled strings per single note on the piano could allow the tuning to be that tiny bit "fuzzy"...as the strings could be just that minute fraction off from one other...kind of like the teeny fuzzy unison-tuning in an orchestral string section...except to a lesser degree. I'm just thinking hypothetically on this specific point.

Anyways, when the ear is turned "on"...the piano and the guitar can sound pretty out-of-tune...so at times it's best to try and ignore it for casual listening...otherwise one could go crazy...

Remember, sound is relative. Anything can sound good by itself...it's when you have a side-by-side comparison that deficiencies become apparent. So equal-temperament sounds good...until you hear spot-on Pythagorean/Just intonation (or slightly tweaked for coloring purposes)

...of the same musical passage.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi I find it difficult to practice double-stops using the "broken method": Play the bottom note, play the top note, then play both notes.

This broken method is really hard because my ear is used to the pythagorean tuning.

For example, a double-stop third using D on A string and F sharp on E string. I tend to play the F-sharp "in tune" when playing single stop but it's too sharp when played as third.

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Nickia,

Fine violinists will often match the equal-termperment tuning of the piano when playing with a piano for the sake of intonation, but for a violinist to deny him/herself the power of expressive intonation? That would be a strange mistake to make. No two notes are the same. Never forget that printed music is limiting in that respect... two notes printed next to each other look the same, but they're not.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Lymond

Nickia,

Fine violinists will often match the equal-termperment tuning of the piano when playing with a piano for the sake of intonation, but for a violinist to deny him/herself the power of expressive intonation? That would be a strange mistake to make. No two notes are the same. Never forget that printed music is limiting in that respect... two notes printed next to each other look the same, but they're not.

I think my ears have to develop the ability to distinguish the half-step intonation for single-stop and double stops. The halfstep is supposed to be narrower in single-stop and wider in double-stops.

Cheers!

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