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lyndon

Tap Tone Tuning of the Old Masters

  

34 members have voted

  1. 1. do you, on old violins, notice any tuning as outlined in this thread

    • yes on several violins
      3
    • only one or two seemed to have some tuning
      3
    • i didnt hear any tuning at all
      3
    • id rather tune out anything lyndon says.
      25


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with the strings dampened against your chest ...my Nemessanyi ...resonates at a solid C natural and the body resonates for about 5 seconds when you tap it...

Wow. That thing must set off seismographs when you actually put a bow to the strings!

It's a resonating machine. In fact, I heard tell that someone played it in Japan right before the.... ahem... erm... too soon?

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Lyndon;

Just for the record, I haven't voted, nor will I.

I have only played two old master instruments (those belonging to Dr. Sloane), and, quite honestly, tapping did not occur to me. Playing and looking were all I had in mind. And, were I to have another go at them, I would take about a hundred photos, carefully showing the arching and details, the spend some time playing again. So that takes care of the first three options.

I will not take the fourth option, either, because, far from wanting to ignore you or tune you out, I would simply rather you "play nice"--knock off all the insults, sarcasm, and ugly talk (that, and don't claim expertise you don't have), and I think you could find yourself fairly comfortable here...this is a fairly receptive group.

Anyway--none of this is intended as an insult, but simply an explanation why I will not participate in the poll. I really hope your new year is a good one.

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I have my own views about tuning schemes of instruments which don't agree with the OP. I'd like to second Chet's very decent and well stated post (above).

Having 'studied' violin acoustics for the past apx 12 years I know how little I know. I have an inkling of what I don't know.

Oded

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When I post useful comments, I usually get a response.

When I ask informed questions, I usually get informed replies.

When I rant, post nonsense or satire, or ask questions without doing any homework, people normally don't reply.

This is a good system.

Of course, I personally would prefer to be gently corrected when I am wrong, but that would go against the apparent system.

However, certain types of personalities induce people to reply when a reply (confrontational, preachy, or dismissive) is probably not warranted.

I can't think of anyone on this forum (except perhaps myself) that does not contribute valuable information at times.

Happy New Year.biggrin.gif

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I can't think of anyone on this forum (except perhaps myself) that does not contribute valuable information at times.

I wouldn't say that, your posts are always perfectly appropriate, and very often subtly humorous.

I've never heard a hint of the self-aggrandizing crap come from you, that has become a trademark for some other posters...

I always read and enjoy what you write, Addie.

Very much the stuff that makes M-net worthwhile.

ct

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I would get a swelled head if it weren't for the fact that I don't know anything about violins... or fiddles either. 7.gif

Addie = 1.gif

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I wouldn't say that, your posts are always perfectly appropriate, and very often subtly humorous.

I've never heard a hint of the self-aggrandizing crap come from you, that has become a trademark for some other posters...

I always read and enjoy what you write, Addie.

Very much the stuff that makes M-net worthwhile.

ct

It's amazing how important punctuation is, Craig. I glanced at your post quickly and had to re-read to make sure I was reading it correctly. If you remove the comma after "that" , your sentence takes on a whole different tone. I wonder if some other members have inadvertently presented something in a far different light than what was intended, based upon mis -punctuation, or lack thereof? Who ever said those marks aren't necessary?

Addie, these are some interesting points you bring up. If a member has an open mind to learning, and gives consideration to the views and ideas that others have to offer, there is much that can be learned. There's nothing wrong with asking questions, as long as there is some intelligent thinking done before presenting the question. I used to tell a friend of mine that if he had applied a little extra thought before asking a question, he probably would have arrived at the answer himself.

However, with a closed, unreceptive mind, you may as well be drifting aimlessly in the middle of the ocean without a paddle or sail.

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obviously bill, you and others here have a closed, unreceptive mind when it comes to tapping on wood, youd think, wouldn't you, that if your so against tapping on wood, youd refrain from making inane comments in a thread about tapping on wood, obviously if youd had an open minded attitude to learning, you would have tested this tapping theory, and reported back

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I never said I was against tapping on wood. I've tapped on many pieces out of curiosity. I just don't believe Strad or his contemporaries tap tuned their instruments to the intervals of a musical scale that likely didn't exist in their time era. I further believe there isn't any benefit in trying to follow such a method, as there isn't any historical or modern evidence indicating otherwise, aside from your personal theory.

Because you've never built a violin and probably never intend to, It would be a waste of effort to suggest you produce and demonstrate a Cremonese class instrument based on your theories and irreproachable expertise that you have been passing on the forum.

One thing is for certain, I won't shun, ridicule, insult or belittle those that do take an interest in this theory. I would encourage anyone who thinks this may be the path to recreating the timbre of the Cremonese instruments, to tap, tap tap; perhaps it'll lead to something tangible. After all, my opinions aren't beyond challenge, and I have been in error more than once in my life.

Keep in mind however, fervent belief in something doesn't confirm a theory, no matter how many you recruit into your belief.

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you may not be aware of this but stradivaris musical scale had 12 notes just like the modern one, and this isnt a theory, just an observed fact like stradivari used varnish on his violins, or theyre made out of spruce and maple, if youd actually tapped on some old instruments(if you have any) you would see this tuning is a fact not a theory.

as to my never finishing a violin, my guess is youve never built clavichords or run a small violin shop either, bill, i have regraduated instruments using this tuning system and will report shortly on how to tune the tap tones with an assembled white violin, or a dissasembled varnished violin

you wouldnt call anders buens A0 b1 etc resonances a theory, theyre a fact too,

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I will exclude myself from the voting (FWIW).

Being for the most part a newbie here and from the post I read certainly lacking in knowledge to some (ok most) of you all but love it all as much as everyone.

I am with Chet 1000% In fact, I say it with no ill will intended but the post you make has kept me from participating at the level I would like -and that is to get more involved, so I mainly lurk. I to also wish you the best for 2012 and hope there is less stress and turmoil in your posting at MN.

p.s. for what it is worth I have and do follow Roger Siminoff is his tap tuning theory.

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as to my never finishing a violin, my guess is youve never built clavichords or run a small violin shop either, bill, i have regraduated instruments using this tuning system and will report shortly on how to tune the tap tones with an assembled white violin, or a dissasembled varnished violin

My guess is that Lyndon is correct about this, isn't he Bill?

My next guess is, that you've never even built clavichords...

Come on Bill, fess up.

Thus, logic and reason save the day, as Bill is properly chastised and put in his place...

(what on Earth were you thinking, Bill?, insinuating that actually making a violin would matter, for someone posting with authority on all violin-making subjects, on a violin-making forum?)

Admit it, you weren't thinking, were you?

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you didnt tap on any violins, did you ct. i dont see how not making violins "disqualifies" you from noticing and talking about the tuning of antique violins, as anyone can observe it, any more than how making violins doesnt qualify you to be an expert on repair/restoration. a lot of the top violin shops are run by people that may have made a couple violins in their youth but are not active makers, does that disqualify them from participating in this forum?

if anything, just being a maker and not working on antiques would kind of disqualify you to be knowledgeable on the tap tuning of antiques.

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I never said I was against tapping on wood.

I should say that I'm not either. I think useful information can be had from some forms of bonking on fiddles and parts. What I think will be really hard to support is a conclusion that the old makers did it that way. We just don't know.

I also think that the notion of four quadrants being tuned to G D A E (string tuning, based on 440) will be really hard to support. Perhaps what Lyndon is describing is the "impression" of these notes, rather than actual notes of the type which can be confirmed with measurements. There are many ways our brains synthesize impressions of pitch, and they don't always rely on the "heard" note being there at all.

I haven't voted either, because none of the choices is quite the right fit for me. ;)

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I should say that I'm not either. I think useful information can be had from some forms of bonking on fiddles and parts. What I think will be really hard to support is a conclusion that the old makers did it that way. We just don't know.

Here in England bonking has a second meaning. Bonking on a fiddle would be quite uncomfortable and would certainly damage it.

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THE TUNING OF THE TAP TONES;

some people might wonder if these tap tones get randomly that way, but i think its very unlikely as random, measurement only graduation, would be more likely to fall between two notes than right on one, and the musical intervals the different tap tone positions make would be much less likely to be pleasantly in tune with each other

one thing is for sure, scientific testing has shown these resonances by tapping on the bridge, as anders buen has outlined, in fact since two of my tap positions are the contact point of the two feet of the bridge, its highly likely some of the resonant peaks anders is showing at the bridge, line up with the bridge feet tap tones i am noticing, and these can be tuned quite simply.

i have every reason to predict that with a similar fft or spectrum analysis of the 4 main tap positions i outlined (centre of bottom left, right and top left and right) scientific analysis should show major peaks in response or output at the notes i am hearing

to tune a new violin, something i havent done(just regraduations and clavichords) it is actually much simpler as you can do the final tuning on the outside with the top glued on. your going to have to do your tuning with the same thing you do your final finish with, either scraper or sandpaper, and your not going to be able to sand over everything when your done, as this would mess up the tuning. the varnish is going to add about a semitone to all the frequencies, so you have to plan to tune a semitone flat of the notes your aiming for.(and you may have to test if your ground coat/varnish raises the pitch more or less than a semitone, and compensate)

as the plates are divided into 6 sections, bottom left and right, middle left and right and top left and right. the first thing is to record what notes the tap tones are close to after the inside graduation. then decide on a 6 note sequence @440 pitch that sounds really good somewhere near the notes you have randomly got from your inside graduation.

to make a tap tone go lower simply sand or scrape the middle section where your tapping, and the tap tone frequency will go lower as you thin the wood, to make the tap tone go higher, scrape or sand just inside where the liners around go the outside edge of the 4 sections, or the inside of the fhole if youre working on the 2 bridge tap tones.

if you change the frequency a lot, not just a little, it may have a xover effect to an adjacent section, and youll have to slightly retune that as well, after you have tuned the top, its seems the old builders liked to tune the back a semitone to a tone higher, the pitch of each section, but for the back you only have 5 tones, the four outside areas and the soundpost contact spot

of course any adjustments to tap tone frequency can be made from the inside as well, the backs simple enough with the ribs holding it, but the top you have to hold the bottom against your chest and cradle the top with your left hand, to simulate being glued in place, and without the soundpost, the tones on the right side of the top are going to be different, but tend to still be in tune

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I should say that I'm not either. I think useful information can be had from some forms of bonking on fiddles and parts. What I think will be really hard to support is a conclusion that the old makers did it that way. We just don't know.

I also think that the notion of four quadrants being tuned to G D A E (string tuning, based on 440) will be really hard to support. Perhaps what Lyndon is describing is the "impression" of these notes, rather than actual notes of the type which can be confirmed with measurements. There are many ways our brains synthesize impressions of pitch, and they don't always rely on the "heard" note being there at all.

I haven't voted either, because none of the choices is quite the right fit for me. ;)

david, g,d,a,e tuning was just one example of how old instruments were tuned that i tested, ive seen many combinations of in tune notes on tuned violins, and untold variations of completely dissonant and out of tune notes on untuned fiddles, i actually have more experience tuning soundboards on clavichords, given dimensions of spruce make scientifically predicted musical notes or resonant frequencies, i sincerely believe an fft analysis of all 11 tuned areas i am talking about on what i considered a really well tuned fiddle, would reveal tuned intervals not random notes

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one thing is for sure, scientific testing has shown these resonances by tapping on the bridge, as anders buen has outlined, in fact since two of my tap positions are the contact point of the two feet of the bridge, its highly likely some of the resonant peaks anders is showing at the bridge, line up with the bridge feet tap tones i am noticing, and these can be tuned quite simply...

..of course any adjustments to tap tone frequency can be made from the inside as well, the backs simple enough with the ribs holding it, but the top you have to hold the bottom against your chest and cradle the top with your left hand, to simulate being glued in place, and without the soundpost, the tones on the right side of the top are going to be different

Lyndon, most of the tones which people measure by boinking on the bridge either don't exist with the top off, or are at radically different frequencies. I don't know what it is that you believe you're hearing, but it's not the same thing as assembled violin modes, or what people get when boinking on the bridge.

Here in England bonking has a second meaning. Bonking on a fiddle would be quite uncomfortable and would certainly damage it.

I've substituted "boinking" for "bonking". Is that any better? :D

(I think it may be worse on this side of the pond though.)

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if youd read what i said, david, im doing all my testing with the instrument assembled and soundpost in place, sometimes even with the strings at pitch, i dont see that as different from anders, at all, at least with regard bridge tones, the reason i mentioned having the top off is i used to do regraduations in the 80s, and if you understand how the tones change when assembled, it is possible to compensate

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you didnt tap on any violins, did you ct. i dont see how not making violins "disqualifies" you from noticing and talking about the tuning of antique violins, as anyone can observe it, any more than how making violins doesnt qualify you to be an expert on repair/restoration. a lot of the top violin shops are run by people that may have made a couple violins in their youth but are not active makers, does that disqualify them from participating in this forum?

Like many violin makers, I habitually tap on any and everything.

Anyone CAN post here - as is evident right now. Usually though, they aren't living a fiction. Usually they act and post within the scope of their knowledge and experience...

I do not believe that anyone that hasn't ever bothered to make a violin, can be an authority on violin making techniques, period.

I also believe that there is a good reason why many of the threads you chime in on quickly nosedive. Personally, what I get very tired of, is having to endure the endless garbage, and the crap attitude.

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so you would categorically state that someone who bothered to make 20 violins is in every way superior to someone like me, being a keyboard player who "bothered" to make 20 clavichords from scratch; about 3 times as much work, on top of that bothered to do 8 years apprenticeship in violin repair, how many years have you bothered to study violin repair with a teacher, ct??

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if youd read what i said, david, im doing all my testing with the instrument assembled and soundpost in place, sometimes even with the strings at pitch, i dont see that as different from anders, at all, at least with regard bridge tones, the reason i mentioned having the top off is i used to do regraduations in the 80s, and if you understand how the tones change when assembled, it is possible to compensate

I don't think it was my reading which was inadequate. The only difference you mentioned with the top off was that the tones on the treble side of the top would be different.

"of course any adjustments to tap tone frequency can be made from the inside as well, the backs simple enough with the ribs holding it, but the top you have to hold the bottom against your chest and cradle the top with your left hand, to simulate being glued in place, and without the soundpost, the tones on the right side of the top are going to be different, but tend to still be in tune "

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so you would categorically state that someone who bothered to make 20 violins is in every way superior to someone like me, being a keyboard player who "bothered" to make 20 clavichords from scratch; about 3 times as much work, on top of that bothered to do 8 years apprenticeship in violin repair, how many years have you bothered to study violin repair with a teacher, ct??

God, will it never end?

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so you would categorically state that someone who bothered to make 20 violins is in every way superior to someone like me, being a keyboard player who "bothered" to make 20 clavichords from scratch; about 3 times as much work, on top of that bothered to do 8 years apprenticeship in violin repair, how many years have you bothered to study violin repair with a teacher, ct??

That's interesting. For some reason, I don't believe that my violin knowledge implies any knowledge whatsoever of clavichords.

As far as the value of studying violin repair with a teacher, I think it depends entirely on the teacher. Could be that one is better of without, sometimes. ;)

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david i clearly stated at the beginning of the thread it was best to test an assembled instrument with soundpost in place, then under this topic how to tune the tap tones, i once again recommend working from the outside on the white violin assembled with the soundpost in place, however when i come to the idea of an already finished varnished instrument, i state that it is possible to tune these from the inside, given that you carefully hold the top and realize that not having a soundpost makes a difference, IMO the four outside region tap tones do not totally change when you take the top off and hold it as i said, however as with everyone else i recommend tapping on some violins in the key areas i mention, before espousing this theory or that theory about how it "does not work"

ct, your a real piece of work, you criticize my credentials, so i reveal them, then you call me an egotist for talking about myself, then when i insinuate that youve got less formal training in this business than i do, rather than set the record straight, you conveniently try to avoid the issue. put up or shut up, how many years of apprenticeship have you done ct.

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