Sign in to follow this  
Bill Yacey

Baroque taptones referenced to 440Hz

Recommended Posts

I understand that in classic music there is not much use of the open strings. But there is in fiddle playing. I like the extra vibrations in addition to the loudness of the fundamental we get playing the open strings, e.g. the open A, when it is close to the B1-.

Exactly may not be so important. But the data I do have from Oberlin tend to indicate that there are not much variation around 445Hz, maybe +/-5 dB or so. Could look it up once and made an anonymous table.

I also tend to get fiddles with the B1- around 430Hz-ish, sometimes lower.

I don't believe there is any importance in pursuing exactness in this application. If a violin was a series of sharply tuned bandpass filters, I could see the merit in tuning to specific target frequencies, but I doubt the tonal result would be anything we would perceive as a pleasing instrument. The instrument has to be able to respond to pretty much all frequencies within it's spectrum, so I don't believe specific tuning to musical scale intervals is of any importance. How the violin responds to the varying portions of the entire spectrum defines the timbre of the instrument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

like i said before why dont you test some old instruments and see how theyre tuned before coming up with a whole bunch of reasons why they cant be tuned, if they are tuned all your arguements are out the window, so as i havent even talked about where to tap on the violin, how about waiting patiently till i have time to outline the tuning in a new thread, then test it yourself, then comments

maybe its more important that the tap tones be tuned to each other than to a specific pitch, im just reporting that a lot of them are tuned, you bill, are just commenting that all these builders were stupid for using a tuning system in the first place

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can tap on a garbage can lid and find all kinds of different tones, but that doesn't mean it was made with that intent. The same can apply to a violin, or anything for that matter. One has to be cautious about making presumptions, and looking for patterns in what could possibly be random things. I await your new thread to see what I can expect to hear when tapping on an instrument. I assume you'll map it all out?

I don't believe I commented that these makers were stupid; I'm just not convinced that they used any kind of specific tuning system based upon degrees of the musical scale, as you had vociferously defended previously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe there is any importance in pursuing exactness in this application. If a violin was a series of sharply tuned bandpass filters, I could see the merit in tuning to specific target frequencies, but I doubt the tonal result would be anything we would perceive as a pleasing instrument. The instrument has to be able to respond to pretty much all frequencies within it's spectrum, so I don't believe specific tuning to musical scale intervals is of any importance. How the violin responds to the varying portions of the entire spectrum defines the timbre of the instrument.

I agree with your last sentence. The rest is your opinion. Would be great if you could back it up with data or some experience with fidddles. Do you like fiddles with their B1- e.g. higher or lower than open A? I can of course live with other opinions than my own. Right now this theme puzzles me, I do think I have some data to back it up. Master built modern violins do tend to have stable frequency values for the signature modes. More stable than data I have seen from old Italian violins.

There are some traints in these spectra of fine modern and old Italains have seen that seem to be 'similar'. 'Clusters' in the frequency response. One example is the region just below 2kHz where all of them tend to have a maximum. I am not saying that thy are tap tuned to reach that, but I think this is a trait beyond being accidendal.

I also find it convenient to have the Hardanger fiddles tuned (their strings) in relation to at least one of the signature modes. It affect both the bone conducted sound, the felt vibrations and the heard sound. I like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe there is any importance in pursuing exactness in this application. If a violin was a series of sharply tuned bandpass filters, I could see the merit in tuning to specific target frequencies, but I doubt the tonal result would be anything we would perceive as a pleasing instrument. The instrument has to be able to respond to pretty much all frequencies within it's spectrum, so I don't believe specific tuning to musical scale intervals is of any importance. How the violin responds to the varying portions of the entire spectrum defines the timbre of the instrument.

Bill, you sound to me like an audio man and you nail it quite nicely. Also, if I may, because the plates are THICK shells most of the intuitions applicable to sheet metal do not work. More so, once it's assembled and heavily stressed by the strings which become an integral part of the top, of which a certain area becomes an integral part of the back, what's left ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when you tune a tap tone to a given note at a440 pitch, your not just tuning one note, your also tuning all the harmonics of that note in the wood which give or take a cent or two will be perfectly in tune also

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some traints in these spectra of fine modern and old Italains have seen that seem to be 'similar'. 'Clusters' in the frequency response. One example is the region just below 2kHz where all of them tend to have a maximum. I am not saying that thy are tap tuned to reach that, but I think this is a trait beyond being accidendal.

This was one of the things in the Strad3D animations that I quizzed Evan Davis about at Oberlin this year. I had noted that the Titian had a response peak very slightly above 2 kHz, and that the corresponding mode shape had several major antinodes moving in phase, which would account for the output.

I have recently been looking at higher-frequency mode shapes, and am becoming convinced that this area around 2 kHz is the effect of a longitudinal wave along the grain, of odd order. In other words, there are high points in phase in the upper bout, island, and lower bout, with lowpoints inbetween. Since there are 3 antinodes in one phase and only 2 opposing, there should be a strong acoustic output. I think that the curvature at the extreme ends of the long arch might also enhance radiation from the antinodes there. I would also speculate that the bass bar, soundpost, and other irregularities would prevent this from showing up as a single ulstrastrong resonance, but break it up into a few clustered resonances of moderate strength.

IMHO this is not a tuned thing, but a by-product of the design, and good construction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was one of the things in the Strad3D animations that I quizzed Evan Davis about at Oberlin this year. I had noted that the Titian had a response peak very slightly above 2 kHz, and that the corresponding mode shape had several major antinodes moving in phase, which would account for the output.

IMHO this is not a tuned thing, but a by-product of the design, and good construction.

I agree, the ear is very sensitive 2 to 2.5 Khz, and this allows a good solo instrument to cut through and carry well in a large room. I also agree this is likely a happy byproduct of the physical contruction dimensions of the instrument rather than an conscious attempt at specific tuning.

The point I was trying to make with the garbage can lid was patterns can be found in anything if you look hard enough. I think physical properties dictate this more than anything, if you consider the violin is constructed on very stringent dimensions with very narrow window of acceptable variance. It stands to reason that many instruments would produce comparable tap tones based on the physical dimensions.

The previous example I mentioned, a series of sharply tuned filters would yield a comb filter effect, not very useful for our purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when you tune a tap tone to a given note at a440 pitch, your not just tuning one note, your also tuning all the harmonics of that note in the wood which give or take a cent or two will be perfectly in tune also

NO. THEY WILL NOT BE. Not even close.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

obviously you havent studied statistics and probability, bill, the scientific chances of four selected areas randomly happening to be tuned g, d, a, e are something like 1 in 100,000 not likely at all, as i clearly stated before, untuned, the chances of any tap tone falling on an exact note of the 12 note scale of the builder are much less likely than falling out of tune somewhere between notes, ill give you a simple explanation since you seem a little slow with this lets divide notes arbitrarily into 5 hz spectrums; 415,420,425,430,435,440,445,450,455 etc in this simplified sequence based on random chance(untuned plates) your 7/2 times more likely to fall in between a note than on a note, and thats defining a note as 440 +or-2.5hz not right on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NO. THEY WILL NOT BE. Not even close.

thats funny carl, in the recent tapping on tonewood discussion, i thouroughly tested a board of spruce tapping at different places, and recording fundamental notes and harmonics AND THEY ALL SEEMED TO BE IN TUNE WITH EACH OTHER, since youre not exactly know as a creditable contributor to this forum i suggest you back it up with some evidence, as we have little reason to accept your word here over anyone elses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have any idea of what I've studied.

You still continue to sidestep my questions, but that's fine. I'll wait for your revelation in your up and coming tap tuning thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thats funny carl, in the recent tapping on tonewood discussion, i thouroughly tested a board of spruce tapping at different places, and recording fundamental notes and harmonics AND THEY ALL SEEMED TO BE IN TUNE WITH EACH OTHER, since youre not exactly know as a creditable contributor to this forum i suggest you back it up with some evidence, as we have little reason to accept your word here over anyone elses.

Definetely not as creditable as you, Lyndon. But sure, why not, I will supply the forum with the results of a tapping test. Any place particularly you would like me to hold the board and/or tap ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you tell me how to test it carl, youre the one claiming to know all about this from your statement, why do you need another test, since obviously (not?) youve tested this all before

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you tell me how to test it carl, youre the one claiming to know all about this from your statement, why do you need another test, since obviously (not?) youve tested this all before

I just want to avoid confusion, Lyndon. You seem confused all the time and keep on insulting people here.

And yes, I do know all about this. Let's see what YOU know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you tell me how to test it carl, youre the one claiming to know all about this from your statement, why do you need another test, since obviously (not?) youve tested this all before

Now let me fire up ANSYS and get a theoretical ballpark figure. Back in one hour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

better yet lets cut two relative ignoramuses on this topic out of the discussion, you and me, carl and let anders buen comment on the topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now let me fire up ANSYS and get a theoretical ballpark figure. Back in one hour.

so your not tapping on wood and listening to the results, i thought so, the piece i tested resonated the fundamental, the octave and two octave up, as well as what seemed to be a fourth or fifth higher, in tune very obviously so......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carl, I'd like to hear what you come up with.

What I have managed to glean, from conversations with old makers, younger makers of some repute,etc is that after wood quality, a close second may be arching. Obviously everything has an effect, but one thing that caught my attention some time back was someone relating how the late Bob Bein (of Bein and Fushi) used to sort through piles of violins for prospective purchase, hold each up long enough to look at the arching, and either set it aside as a reject, or set it aside for purchase. And he consistently could come up with great violins for the shop. I seriously wish I had his eye, and/or at least knew what it was he was looking at.

My archings have inproved, and with them the overall sound. I think I am headed in the right direction. I really wish I had access to more "face-time" with extremely good instruments, to absorb more of the sense of their arching, etc. (If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so your not tapping on wood and listening to the results, i thought so, the peice i tested resonated the fundamental, the octave and two octave up, as well as what seemed to be a fourth or fifth higher, in tune very obviously so......

I'll 1st show you a distribution of frequencies as predicted by computer. Tomorrow I'll go to the office and do a tap test to your heart's desire and show you what came out. I DO THIS FOR A LIVING TO TEST COMPONENTS.

Big computer finished.....15 min to transfer the files.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carl, I'd like to hear what you come up with.

What I have managed to glean, from conversations with old makers, younger makers of some repute,etc is that after wood quality, a close second may be arching. Obviously everything has an effect, but one thing that caught my attention some time back was someone relating how the late Bob Bein (of Bein and Fushi) used to sort through piles of violins for prospective purchase, hold each up long enough to look at the arching, and either set it aside as a reject, or set it aside for purchase. And he consistently could come up with great violins for the shop. I seriously wish I had his eye, and/or at least knew what it was he was looking at.

My archings have inproved, and with them the overall sound. I think I am headed in the right direction. I really wish I had access to more "face-time" with extremely good instruments, to absorb more of the sense of their arching, etc. (If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride...)

No problem Chet.

And yes, arching seems to be ( based on computer modelling ) the determining factor for tone. And the great dealers knew this through long experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so your not tapping on wood and listening to the results, i thought so, the piece i tested resonated the fundamental, the octave and two octave up, as well as what seemed to be a fourth or fifth higher, in tune very obviously so......

The attached file opens in Excell. Do you need another format ?

Awaitting your comments with held breath....

Study 1-Mode List-1.txt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The attached file opens in Excell. Do you need another format ?

Awaitting your comments with held breath....

The middle column is frequency in Hz. Forum does not accept excell files unfortunately.

A couple of pics and videos to follow shortly...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carl, I'd like to hear what you come up with.

What I have managed to glean, from conversations with old makers, younger makers of some repute,etc is that after wood quality, a close second may be arching. Obviously everything has an effect, but one thing that caught my attention some time back was someone relating how the late Bob Bein (of Bein and Fushi) used to sort through piles of violins for prospective purchase, hold each up long enough to look at the arching, and either set it aside as a reject, or set it aside for purchase. And he consistently could come up with great violins for the shop. I seriously wish I had his eye, and/or at least knew what it was he was looking at.

My archings have inproved, and with them the overall sound. I think I am headed in the right direction. I really wish I had access to more "face-time" with extremely good instruments, to absorb more of the sense of their arching, etc. (If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride...)

for once im in complete agreement with you chet, the choice and characteristics of the wood are critical as is the arching, im not sure this tap tuning thing im talking about is quite as important, ive heard good violins that arent tuned, and not so good violins that are tuned, just like mr bein, i look closely at violins i purchase and tend to look for in my case mostly german violins that actually copy italian arching and not just the outline, or in older german violins, that have classic german/stainer arching, im particularly not impressed by hemisperic arch of a circle arching, although as some one pointed out here even del gesu tried that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are no proper FEA models available at the moment incorporating the interiour air, the coupling with the plate vibrations and moreover how the plates radiates sound. FEA is not a good method beyond about 1kHz. Above that region statistical methodes work better, e.g. SEA. VA-One combines these techniques, but even that software has not been used in the modeling of violins.

Even the simple region between the A0 and the B1- is not correctly modeled. It only takes some regraduation experience to know that you can affect this region a lot just by adjusting the graduations. The signature modes, and any other modes are sensitive to the graduations. They are probaly are to the archings as well, but we haven't seen any hard evidence yet on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.