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Topic: Well vs. Equal Temperament

After reading about some correct "historical temperament" for the music of 18-19 centuries mentioned in another topic I was very curious and was able to google this: Well v.s. Equal Temperament. From the first reading I did not completely understand the exact technical details but overall it look extremely important to me. I see that we have both Equal and Well Tempered presets to choose in Pianoteq. It's rather late at where I live right now so I'm not testing it all yet but going to do later. Any comments are very much welcome, especially from M. Guillaume.

Andrei Kuznetsov

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Wheat Williams wrote:
AKM wrote:

This caught my attention a lot. I'm very curious what exactly do you mean by "historical temperament". Meanwhile I'm going to start a new thread about this topic, you are more than welcome to join.

Forgive me if this is remedial information, but it is only in the last 100 years or so that pianos, and other instruments, have been tuned according to the scheme we call 12-tone equal temperament, in which each note on the piano is exactly 100 cents distance from the note below it or above it. 12-tone equal temperament is a compromise in intonation whereby it's possible to play any song in any key, but certain intervals are considerably out-of-tune compared to the pure, just intonation that you can achieve with chords played by a string quartet or a an a cappella group of  singers.

For instance, this may never have occurred to you, but any interval of a major third played on a piano tuned to 12-tone equal temperament is significantly out-of-tune compared to a pure major third that can be sung by two singers or played by two violinists. Thus, all major chords played on a modern piano sound a bit sour in temperament to those of us with good ears who understand and can hear the difference.

Before this time in history, musicians throughout history used many different tuning schemes where the 1/2 steps were of different sized intervals, in order to approximate pure, just intonation. However all of these various tuning schemes (called temperaments) only sounded best in certain keys. If you played chords in remote keys, they would sound very badly out-of-tune.

None of the classic keyboard composers in history before about the year 1915 used a piano tuned to 12-tone equal temperament. They all used one of many different historical temperaments.

Pianoteq Standard and Pianoteq Pro have a menu of many different historical temperaments from which you can select. Choosing one of these instantly re-tunes the entire keyboard to the historical temperament.

Pianoteq Stage does not have this feature. Pianoteq Stage can only be used in 12-tone equal temperament.

Furthermore, before about 1915, irrespective of temperament, pianists did not tune their instruments to the modern base pitch of A=440. People in the time of Handel, Bach and Vivaldi tuned to about A=415, which is a half-step lower than A=440. Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven used A=430. I'm a tenor vocalist, and I can tell you that it's hard to sing the high notes in Mozart's beloved tenor opera arias in A=440, but it's easier to sing them in Mozart's A=430. The same goes for Handel's arias in A=415.

To access the historical temperaments in Pianoteq Standard or Pianoteq Pro, go to the Tuning panel and pull down the Temperament menu and try the different choices. You can acces even more choices by toggling the Microtuning Mode button to the right, which changes the "Diapason" field to the "Scale" field and enables a pull-down menu with a very large list of historical temperaments.

Read the owners manual section entitled 4.2 Temperament (starting on page 30 in the English language manual).

Thank you very much. I suggest we move to this topic. So what exact temperaments and base pitch could be recommended for certain composers? And also just in case here is a link to a Scala website which I did not checked much yet, possible it have many answers http://www.huygens-fokker.org/scala/

Andrei Kuznetsov

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Look for information on "historically-informed performance practice" regarding keyboardists and composers in various musical style periods. This is a big topic and it will require research.

There are endless treatises on these various temperament systems, written hundreds of years ago. Most of these treatises include a lot of physics and mathematics that explain how the systems were derived.

But the good news with Pianoteq is that you don't have to understand any of the mathematics. You have a large list of presets from which to choose and with which to experiment.

Historically, these temperaments apply to keyboard instruments such as the pipe organ, harpsichord and fortepiano, but also to the harp, and the fretted instruments such as the lute, theorbo, Baroque guitar, and even the viola da gamba and the other viols.

In the Renaissance and early Baroque, the Valotti temperament was popular.

Bach used the "Well-Tempered" temperament system for his famous two folios that we know as the "Well-Tempered Clavier".

The Werkmeister III temperament was popular in the late Baroque and early Classical periods.

In various places and parts of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods people worked with many different varieties of "mean-tone" temperament. There are so many different schemes for this that, personally, I would not know where to start.

In the 20th century, composers like Harry Partch and Wendy Carlos devised their own musical instruments (acoustic or digital) and their own tuning and temperamant schemes, some of which had many more than 12 notes in an octave. (I seem to recall that Harry Partch composed for instruments he designed that had 43 notes in an octave, or something crazy like that.) But working with those would require somebody to invest considerable time in learning very unconventional playing techniques.

Well, it is a large topic. Do not get too distracted from playing your piano!

Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
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Apple MacBook Pro (mid-2012), 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 3210M "Ivy Bridge", 16GB RAM
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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Ok, I see. To say the truth I'd prefer some easy ways I mean ideally if someone who is deep into it all  just tell me to use this for Chopin, that for Beethoven, and that for Rachmaninoff - it'll be the best. I spent several hours already with Scala software, not successfully. I found "Thomas Young well temperament no.2 (1799)" .scl file on a Scala website but not able to tune it down to something about A=430.

Ok, so what is the most authentic for Chopin?

ADDED: do I understand it right, you need a Scale .scl file AND the basic .kbd file to change the base pitch?

Last edited by AKM (10-02-2016 08:26)
Andrei Kuznetsov

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

As I understand it equal temperament is a special case of well-tempered tuning. WT covers a range of different tunings of which EQT is a special case. Same goes for meantone. EQT is meantone with a specific comma value (I forget what exactly, maybe 1/11 or so).

There is no such thing as "best tuning" for Chopin. EQT was starting to become the norm by his time. Personal preference plays a big role. What's the best colour palette for a sunset?

Last edited by SteveLy (10-02-2016 11:17)
3/2 = 5

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

It was very interesting to try it. It gives that interesting detune feel to the music in a slightly different manner than just unison detune. Not sure I'll stick to it, the traditions are changing including the listeners expectations. Overall the factory Pianoteq presets sound a bit too well tuned to my taste so it is another way to spoil it.

Andrei Kuznetsov

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

This is "the debate" we could say. My take on the issue is that using different temperaments or pitches expands your musical palette. Some things might work better on a lower or higher pitch if you compose and the well temperament introduce colors and tonality in your playing.
I am instead a little bit sceptical about historically informed performances because at best they're just an educated guess of what a composition should have sounded like. They're just different from what we're used to. I must say I enjoy sometimes trying older temperaments on the kivir collection (it really takes nothing with scala files when compared to hours of tedious tuning) for Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. It gives music a different flavor but I wouldn't settle with this tuning method for the time being and I prefer a lot equal temperament because I can easily switch from classical to jazz without the risk of sounding awful. In the end is just another tool at your disposal.

Edit: My main resource for piano tuning up to now which may be of interest to you.

Last edited by Chopin87 (10-02-2016 13:57)
"And live to be the show and gaze o' the time."  (William Shakespeare)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

I used to tune my old grand piano to a non-equal temperament back in the day (with an app), and it was worth it to me. The wonderful invention of equal temperament destroyed the differences heard playing in different keys, as there are no differences between note distances (e.g. C to E has the exact same frequency distance as C# to F, and also as D to G etc.) no matter what key you play a piece in. If you use an non-equal temperament there are differences (the distance from C to E is not the same as C# to F etc.).

If Chopin (or whoever) decided that the key of Ab fitted the feeling or expression of his composition better then say the slightly different sound/feel of the composition in say A, or if a certain mood of his produced a piece in Bb as opposed to any other key, then if you use EQ then you lose all of this totally. It takes a while (a few months) to appreciate the differences but you can hear/feel it after some time playing, even for a intermediate player like myself. Non-equal temperaments were the only reason I needed to get the Standard version of Pianoteq.

Trying to find out what the exact temperament used in Chopin's day is tricky but I use the Thomas Young II one as it seems to be the most popular one back then.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

--On the other hand, equal temperament made possible the use of the entire 12-tone scale, instead of focusing on the limited number of tones normally associated with the scales of just one or several keys, and introduced some complex new mathematical relationships that made possible the highly-chromatic music of the romantic era (including Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Debussy, Ravel) and most of modern jazz. Even if notated/scored (for convenience's sake) in just one or a few successive keys, much modern music can actually be regarded as jumping from one key to another during the piece, often from one base chord to the next within a measure or from bar to bar, or every few measures.

Equal temperament has its own unique set of intricate and beautiful-sounding harmonic relationships in intervals and chords. smile

Last edited by Stephen_Doonan (10-02-2016 21:55)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Is it real that Chopin (and others) consciously take into account the temperament of his times while composing or he did it as if it was equal?

@Chopin87
"I am instead a little bit sceptical about historically informed performances because at best they're just an educated guess of what a composition should have sounded like." - same here.

Andrei Kuznetsov

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

AKM wrote:

Is it real that Chopin (and others) consciously take into account the temperament of his times while composing or he did it as if it was equal?


My own guess is that ever since Bach's time and his and others' promotion of tunings allowing for playing in any key, most music including Chopin's sounded good even before the adoption and widespread use of the modern equal-temperament.

There are others more historically and technically informed than I am, however, and hopefully they will respond to this discussion as well.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

I have my upright piano tuned to Equal Beating Victorian temperament and I use it in Pianoteq as well. I play pop jazz and country. The advantages of a well temperament (not equal) are:

the thirds resonate very nicely in the sweet keys and this gives the entire piano a pleasing sonority

the overall tuning of the piano imposes an audible hierarchy on the keys, which means that
a) different keys really do sound different
b) the chords in any progression have slightly different sonorities, which strengthens the sense of movement from one chord to another

the result is an interesting and useful variety of sonorities which is not available in equal temperament

the differences are both subtle and profound

Last edited by doug (10-02-2016 21:30)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

"Is it real that Chopin (and others) consciously take into account the temperament of his times while composing or he did it as if it was equal?"

There was no need to consciously even for them to know about it. The tonal differences between the keys in non-equal temperaments existed in the instruments they were playing/composing on. They would feel the differences automatically themselves from a deep understanding of their instrument.

The point is that equal temperament has taken something away from the variations/nuances/expressions (whatever the correct phrase is) possible on a piano.

Putting aside about the overall pitch change, the sound produced from playing e.g. a chord C+E+G in non-equal temperament was slightly different than the sound produced from D+F#+A . In equal temperaments the sound is exactly the same. Now if you expand this to long pedalled passages of music with complicated chords and harmonics at play then the differences become important. Hence a piece played in C used to sound different than a piece played in D (again, not taking into account the overall pitch change), but equal temperament removed these differences. It really is a bit tragic (but I guess life will have to go on).

There's another side too - who knows how much more beautiful some of Debussy's or Ravel's music might have been if equal temperament never existed?

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

AKM wrote:

Is it real that Chopin (and others) consciously take into account the temperament of his times while composing or he did it as if it was equal?

This is a subject which is very controversial as there isn't a lot of hard evidence to go by and any given instrument could have been tuned quite differently even within the same country. There are accounts of composers saying they chose this particular key because of its color, however, this might also have been influenced simply by the fact that F# major is a bit higher than F major and so would have a brighter timbre simply due to its pitch. But to say that temperament didn't have ANY influence on composers is likely false as well.

Another thing which is important to keep in mind (and which is often left out of these arguments) is that most instruments back in the 19th century, and especially the 18th century would have been much quicker to go out of tune. My guess is most people, even wealthy composers would have been much more satisfied with out of tune instruments than we are today. I think this is important to keep in mind because it likely points to temperaments NOT being as influential as some would have you believe. I've read accounts saying that Anton Rubinstein's piano was terribly out of tune -- he never tuned it and didn't seem to notice or care!

I've played a number of "well tempered" pianos (usually one of the Victorian varieties). I personally don't care for them in most cases. If you modulate often they just sound out of tune. Now for some music they can sound quite nice, like if you never modulate or only modulate to simple keys.

In the end I am a huge fan of equal temperament. Like ALL piano tuning systems it is a compromise -- but it is the most divine musical compromise ever conceived!

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

AKM wrote:

Is it real that Chopin (and others) consciously take into account the temperament of his times while composing or he did it as if it was equal?

They composed music for the temperament which was popular at that time. Bach celebrated Andreas Werkmeister's temperament by writing the Well Tempered Klavier, Chopin wrote a series of Preludes and Etudes which probably reflect the evolution of tuning towards a more refined temperament and Debussy wrote his series of Preludes for something which could be marked as the initial era of the equal. You can move easily Bach to modern tunings but not viceversa. And I guess this pretty much tells which is the most flexible compromise. It's give and take.

"And live to be the show and gaze o' the time."  (William Shakespeare)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

doug wrote:

I have my upright piano tuned to Equal Beating Victorian temperament and I use it in Pianoteq as well. I play pop jazz and country. The advantages of a well temperament (not equal) are:

the thirds resonate very nicely in the sweet keys and this gives the entire piano a pleasing sonority

the overall tuning of the piano imposes an audible hierarchy on the keys, which means that
a) different keys really do sound different
b) the chords in any progression have slightly different sonorities, which strengthens the sense of movement from one chord to another

the result is an interesting and useful variety of sonorities which is not available in equal temperament

the differences are both subtle and profound

Very good choice. Wish all the piano tuners were able to do that. smile

"And live to be the show and gaze o' the time."  (William Shakespeare)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

I'm a professional pianist and formerly a fortepianist ('had to sell my Koenicke when relocating to Asia from the U.S.A.), and so have a fair amount of practical experience working with historic temperaments.
I won't delve upon the relative merits of equal versus "well", but would just like to contribute (for those that have an interest in this sort of thing) what scala tunings I'm using in my Pianoteq setup for the various historic instruments that I'm most given to using with various 18th & 19th century repertoire:

1733 Blanchet: either Couperin or Rameau-French, A=392
1697 Grimaldi & 1779 Neupert: Lindley-Ortgies II, A=415
1790 Walter: Vallotti, A=432 (this was a favorite up at Ithaca)
1790 Schantz: Young (1800), A=432
1796 Broadwood: Stanhope (1801), A=424
1812 Schofstoss: either Graupner (1819) or Stanhope-Farey (1807), A=430
1826 Graf: Graupner (1819), A=435
1835 Pleyel: Broadwood3 (1832), A=446
1849 Erard: Broadwood3 (1832), A=443
1852 Streicher: Equal beating Victorian, A=434
1899 Bechstein: Equal beating Victorian, A=440

'happy playing, all!

Wahre Kunst bleibt unvergänglich.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

DaveyJones wrote:

... I won't delve upon the relative merits of equal versus "well", but would just like to contribute (for those that have an interest in this sort of thing) what scala tunings I'm using in my Pianoteq setup for the various historic instruments that I'm most given to using with various 18th & 19th century repertoire:

Thank you very much for taking the time to post this information for everyone, Davey. I'm going to enjoy trying some of these. smile

Last edited by Stephen_Doonan (12-02-2016 01:48)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

NathanShirley wrote:

There are accounts of composers saying they chose this particular key because of its color, however, this might also have been influenced simply by the fact that F# major is a bit higher than F major and so would have a brighter timbre simply due to its pitch. But to say that temperament didn't have ANY influence on composers is likely false as well.

It is quite obvious for me that composers (some exceptions maybe?) really meant their music to be played exactly in the key they composed it because of the certain "color" of it (despite the performance difficulties if transposed). I'll be really surprised if Bach say that he don't care about the tonality of some of his melancholic pieces. Also there are such situations possible that while some people guess that some "feel" was the reason for something there are actually could be just some rules (and logic). So could it be completely true about the equal tuning also, I mean the subjective color of certain tonalities in equal tuning? Or their choice was more dependant from their temperaments than if it was equal?

Last edited by AKM (12-02-2016 07:39)
Andrei Kuznetsov

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Actually Bach transposed his music quite frequently simply to suit a particular group of instruments he was working with. It's very reasonable to assume that what he really liked about the later "well tempered" tuning systems were their flexibility in allowing music to be easily transposed (minimizing those howling wolf tones). One leading theory on why he composed The Well Tempered Klavier was to simply demonstrate how a good tuning allows you to play in all 12 keys, major and minor. There is a lot of wild speculation, but from what I've read, no hard evidence to suggest he composed any of these works to exploit the various "colors" of a particular temperament. I'm not saying it couldn't have influenced him, because it certainly could have... but no way to know.

Keys were often selected simply due to instrument properties and limitations. Open strings on the bowed instruments influenced key choice (and still do) immensely. Wind instruments were much more limited early on, and the choice of key was crucial when writing for them. No doubt that in some cases temperament likely had SOME influence on the choice of key a composer wrote for, simply because of the "color" of a particular key in a particular temperament. However, I would guess practical concerns usually trumped this subtle effect.

Of course the nice thing about Pianoteq is you can easily play around with all of this and decide what you like yourself. One really interesting potential that would be impossible on a real instrument would be to adjust the center of the temperament based on how you modulate while playing. If you did this carefully you could use one of the more pure tuning systems (which might ordinarily sound terrible in a key distant from C) while modulating to continually shift the most "in tune" key to whatever key you are currently playing in. Perhaps you could assign a set of midi organ pedals to adjust the center of your temperament with your feet, while playing the music with your hands. Nothing that I'm going to try anytime soon... but it could be interesting if for nothing more than academic reasons.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

DaveyJones wrote:

I'm a professional pianist and formerly a fortepianist ('had to sell my Koenicke when relocating to Asia from the U.S.A.), and so have a fair amount of practical experience working with historic temperaments.
I won't delve upon the relative merits of equal versus "well", but would just like to contribute (for those that have an interest in this sort of thing) what scala tunings I'm using in my Pianoteq setup for the various historic instruments that I'm most given to using with various 18th & 19th century repertoire:

1733 Blanchet: either Couperin or Rameau-French, A=392
1697 Grimaldi & 1779 Neupert: Lindley-Ortgies II, A=415
1790 Walter: Vallotti, A=432 (this was a favorite up at Ithaca)
1790 Schantz: Young (1800), A=432
1796 Broadwood: Stanhope (1801), A=424
1812 Schofstoss: either Graupner (1819) or Stanhope-Farey (1807), A=430
1826 Graf: Graupner (1819), A=435
1835 Pleyel: Broadwood3 (1832), A=446
1849 Erard: Broadwood3 (1832), A=443
1852 Streicher: Equal beating Victorian, A=434
1899 Bechstein: Equal beating Victorian, A=440

'happy playing, all!

Thanks a lot for your list.

"And live to be the show and gaze o' the time."  (William Shakespeare)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

NathanShirley wrote:

One really interesting potential that would be impossible on a real instrument would be to adjust the center of the temperament based on how you modulate while playing. If you did this carefully you could use one of the more pure tuning systems (which might ordinarily sound terrible in a key distant from C) while modulating to continually shift the most "in tune" key to whatever key you are currently playing in. Perhaps you could assign a set of midi organ pedals to adjust the center of your temperament with your feet, while playing the music with your hands. Nothing that I'm going to try anytime soon... but it could be interesting if for nothing more than academic reasons.

This is truly hardcore idea.

Last edited by AKM (12-02-2016 12:54)
Andrei Kuznetsov

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

AKM wrote:

It is quite obvious for me that composers (some exceptions maybe?) really meant their music to be played exactly in the key they composed it because of the certain "color" of it (despite the performance difficulties if transposed).

Certain composers are said to have preferred certain keys merely for familiarity or comfort. I have read for example that Chopin preferred key signatures in which the black keys were plentiful or predominated because he found those easier to play. So there is that possibility as well. smile

Last edited by Stephen_Doonan (12-02-2016 15:06)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

All interesting replies indeed.

I was quite happy a few months back in my pre Pianoteq days to accidentally setup and pass a double-blind test on non-equal temperaments on my then recently acquired first digital piano, a Roland HP203. After playing some Chopin stuff on it for a while I missed and wanted to get back my old temperament setting (Thomas Young II). I searched and found the non-equal temperament setting on the DP which presented me with 8 different options numbered 1 to 8. After trying out them all for a while, I finally finished up with setting 5 as being closest to what I was looking for. Later on in checking the manual I discovered that number 5 was the Kimberger setting which AFAIK is indeed closest to the Thomas Young II that I was looking for.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

DaveyJones wrote:

1835 Pleyel: Broadwood3 (1832), A=446
1849 Erard: Broadwood3 (1832), A=443

So Davey do you think that its more likely that Chopin used the Broadwood3 temperament setting than the Thomas Young II one? Any thoughts? Going to try it out now.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

I tries the Broadwood 3 last night and sounds good. Here's a plot of the differences in the 3 of them I did up - it makes for an interesting graph:

Temperaments Compared

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Not recognizing several of these temperaments in Pianoteq's Scale listing, I went looking.

They are possibly somewhere in here http://www.huygens-fokker.org/docs/scales.zip

But with 4000 to go thru, I may be away for some time... ;-)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

hyper.real wrote:

Not recognizing several of these temperaments in Pianoteq's Scale listing, I went looking.

They are possibly somewhere in here http://www.huygens-fokker.org/docs/scales.zip

But with 4000 to go thru, I may be away for some time... ;-)

There is a contents listing here: http://huygens-fokker.org/docs/scalesdir.txt
Just do simple text search on that file.

3/2 = 5

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

"broadwood3.scl" and "young2.scl" in that archive are the ones I use.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

:-)

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Aidan wrote:
DaveyJones wrote:

1835 Pleyel: Broadwood3 (1832), A=446
1849 Erard: Broadwood3 (1832), A=443

So Davey do you think that its more likely that Chopin used the Broadwood3 temperament setting than the Thomas Young II one? Any thoughts? Going to try it out now.

My impression is that Broadwood's temperaments were more in vogue by the time Chopin was writing in the 40s, even among the continental instrument makers, whereas Young's were somewhat "old-fashioned" by that point.

Here's an example of the Pleyel, modified with various 'imperfections' as well as softened felts, tuned with Broadwood 3 @ A=446, Vienna Hall reverb wave form, custom mic setup.  The midi file used is a performance by Tristan Teo for the 2011 e-competition. 

==> http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … _Op_57.mp3

i think it's a rather convincing rendering, but that's just one fellow's opinion... wink

cheers!
dj

Wahre Kunst bleibt unvergänglich.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Which Pleyel is that - the KIViR or the Kremsegg one? And since I'm asking is there much difference between the two? I don't have the Kremsegg yet - waiting to see if gets updated to the same standard/engine as the Model B sometime first.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Aidan wrote:

Which Pleyel is that - the KIViR or the Kremsegg one? And since I'm asking is there much difference between the two? I don't have the Kremsegg yet - waiting to see if gets updated to the same standard/engine as the Model B sometime first.

Yes, the two Pleyel's are very different. I prefer the one in the Kremsegg collection, though if I had to play it exclusively I'm sure the earlier model would be a welcome change. You can always try them for yourself. Every time you restart Pianoteq, you have 20 minutes to play any instrument you like (with a few black keys disabled in ones you haven't bought yet).

I would not be too concerned about every piano having the "new engine". It might not even make any difference for older instruments. The sound of the piano has evolved a great deal, with top modern pianos having a lot richer, more complex sound palette than older instruments. Consequently they are very likely harder to model. You should just try the instruments, and if you like one and can afford it, then get it. At the risk of repeating myself, but as an example: I am very fond of the 1899 Bechstein model. I liked it before the model B and I also love at least as much post-ModelB. And I am very impressed by the model B too.

I suspect that the model B with its refinements and the minor upgrade release of Ptq it requires is just a taste of things to come. Today's new engine will soon enough be tomorrow's old engine. Modartt has been consistently generous with their upgrade pricings in the past and I can only assume they will continue to be so in the future.

3/2 = 5

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

All sounds good thanks.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Aidan wrote:

Which Pleyel is that - the KIViR or the Kremsegg one? And since I'm asking is there much difference between the two? I don't have the Kremsegg yet - waiting to see if gets updated to the same standard/engine as the Model B sometime first.


it's the Kremsegg 1835.

as for the differences, well i mean they're different beasts entirely, aren't they?  the model f (1926) in the KIViR collection is a modern concert grand, whereas the 1835 would have to fall under the rubric of 'fortepiano' since it, among all its other pursuant construction details (straight-strung, softened hammers, etc), has the single-escapement action.

Last edited by DaveyJones (21-02-2016 14:03)
Wahre Kunst bleibt unvergänglich.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

NathanShirley wrote:

One really interesting potential that would be impossible on a real instrument would be to adjust the center of the temperament based on how you modulate while playing. If you did this carefully you could use one of the more pure tuning systems (which might ordinarily sound terrible in a key distant from C) while modulating to continually shift the most "in tune" key to whatever key you are currently playing in. Perhaps you could assign a set of midi organ pedals to adjust the center of your temperament with your feet, while playing the music with your hands. Nothing that I'm going to try anytime soon... but it could be interesting if for nothing more than academic reasons.

Logic can incorporate something like this called hermode tuning. http://sethares.engr.wisc.edu/paperspdf/hermode.pdf

It automatically adjusts the tuning for the current chord. Two drawbacks:
1) it only works on Logic instruments, not Pianoteq (I've asked)
2) I don't much like how it sounds -- kind of a rolling on the ocean waves effect

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

DaveyJones wrote:
Aidan wrote:
DaveyJones wrote:

1835 Pleyel: Broadwood3 (1832), A=446
1849 Erard: Broadwood3 (1832), A=443

So Davey do you think that its more likely that Chopin used the Broadwood3 temperament setting than the Thomas Young II one? Any thoughts? Going to try it out now.

My impression is that Broadwood's temperaments were more in vogue by the time Chopin was writing in the 40s, even among the continental instrument makers, whereas Young's were somewhat "old-fashioned" by that point.

Here's an example of the Pleyel, modified with various 'imperfections' as well as softened felts, tuned with Broadwood 3 @ A=446, Vienna Hall reverb wave form, custom mic setup.  The midi file used is a performance by Tristan Teo for the 2011 e-competition. 

==> http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … _Op_57.mp3

i think it's a rather convincing rendering, but that's just one fellow's opinion... wink

cheers!
dj

This is fantastically realistic.  Great Job!  Could you please upload the FXP for this piano?

Last edited by GRB (24-02-2016 17:41)
Pianoteq Pro 6.x - Linux Mint 18.2 - Mate Desktop

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

GRB wrote:
DaveyJones wrote:
Aidan wrote:

So Davey do you think that its more likely that Chopin used the Broadwood3 temperament setting than the Thomas Young II one? Any thoughts? Going to try it out now.

My impression is that Broadwood's temperaments were more in vogue by the time Chopin was writing in the 40s, even among the continental instrument makers, whereas Young's were somewhat "old-fashioned" by that point.

Here's an example of the Pleyel, modified with various 'imperfections' as well as softened felts, tuned with Broadwood 3 @ A=446, Vienna Hall reverb wave form, custom mic setup.  The midi file used is a performance by Tristan Teo for the 2011 e-competition. 

==> http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … _Op_57.mp3

i think it's a rather convincing rendering, but that's just one fellow's opinion... wink

cheers!
dj

This is fantastically realistic.  Great Job!  Could you please upload the FXP for this piano?

+1, the sound is really beautiful, and the fxp would be very welcome smile

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Philippe Guillaume wrote:
GRB wrote:

This is fantastically realistic.  Great Job!  Could you please upload the FXP for this piano?

+1, the sound is really beautiful, and the fxp would be very welcome smile


thanks for the kind words!  the base instrument in the Kremsegg collection is already quite lovely and all i've done here is some modest tweaking... 'have uploaded the fxp to the board ==> http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.php?id=2550
'question though: does the fxp contain the data from the scala tuning file and the wave form used for reverb or do those need to be uploaded as well/separately?

edit: updated url with different file name.

Last edited by DaveyJones (24-02-2016 22:19)
Wahre Kunst bleibt unvergänglich.

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Thank you DaveyJones, but for some reason the download doesn't seem to work, maybe an issue with the name? We will have a look at it.

EDIT: I see you have uploaded a new file, thank you very much!

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Philippe Guillaume wrote:

Thank you DaveyJones, but for some reason the download doesn't seem to work, maybe an issue with the name? We will have a look at it.

EDIT: I see you have uploaded a new file, thank you very much!


'hope everything is ok now with the file download.  i'm guessing, as you suggested, that the system didn't like the overly-long file name?

here's another just to make sure i've got the hang of uploading!  wink

this is a midi of Sae-Yoon Chon's (South Korea) performance of Liszt's Gondoliera (from Venezia e Napoli) for the 2011 e-piano competition.
it's a rendering of my take on Wagner's Erard at Lucerne (thanks in part from indications by it's tuner—Toni—over on the pianoworld board ==> http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthre … 20fro.html).  it's a modified 1849 S. Erard (octave stretching, 'made things a little more noisy and worn, misc other modifications), tuned to Hummel2 @ A=435, custom mic setup, Musikvereinsaal waveform reverb.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … zt_-_I.mp3

and the fxp is here: http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.php?id=2553

cheers!
dj

Last edited by DaveyJones (26-02-2016 17:55)
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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

DaveyJones wrote:

'question though: does the fxp contain the data from the scala tuning file and the wave form used for reverb or do those need to be uploaded as well/separately?

IR most certainly doesn't get stored in the FXP. Not sure about Scala tuning.

Hard work and guts!

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Schumann, Romance Op. 28 nr. 2; 2011 e-piano competition performance of Leonardo Colafelice.
1852 Streicher, A=434 Hummel2 (1840), Musikvereinsaal waveform.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … 8_no_2.mp3

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.php?id=2554

Last edited by DaveyJones (26-02-2016 19:08)
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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Schubert, D. 959, 2nd movement; 2006 e-piano competition performance of Angelo Archiglione.
1826 Graf, A=435 Graupner (1819), Schellingwoude waveform.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … 959_II.mp3

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.php?id=2557

Last edited by DaveyJones (26-02-2016 17:50)
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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Mendelssohn, Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 54; 2011 e-piano competition performance of Aristo Sham (1st prize).
1835 Pleyel, A=446 Hummel2 (1840), Berliner Hall waveform.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … -Op_54.mp3

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.php?id=2561

Last edited by DaveyJones (26-02-2016 17:47)
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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Liszt, Sonetto 123 del Petrarca; 2009 e-piano competition performance of Vyacheslav Gryaznov.
1849 Erard, A=443 Hummel2 (1840), La scala Milan waveform.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … trarca.mp3

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.php?id=2563

Last edited by DaveyJones (26-02-2016 19:08)
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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

now, don't get me wrong—I'm extremely grateful to have the instruments we do!  but what i'd really like to see is something to bridge the gap between the Broadwood and the Schoffstoss... say one of Nanette Streicher's early 6&1/2s? 

are there either planned or in-the-works any additions to the KIViR project?  (hint hint)

in any event, here's some love for the Schoffstoss:

Beethoven, Op. 101, 1st mvmnt; 2009 e-piano competition performance of Christopher Atzinger.
1812 D. Schoffstoss, A=415 Stanhope-Farey (1807), Amsterdam Hall reverb impulse (download separately).

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … zinger.mp3

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.php?id=2591

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

and speaking of Walters...

I realize that the sound of these "funny old pianos" (as my dear old mentor used to say) is not to everyone's taste, but to me at least Mozart (not to mention early Beethoven) just sounds so wrong on anything else...

Mozart, K. 284, 1st mvmnt; 2011 e-piano competition performance of Misora Ozaki (4th prize).
1790 Walter, A=432 Vallotti & Young (1754), Musikvereinsaal reverb waveform.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … K284_I.mp3

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.php?id=2607

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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Some recent discussion concerning Chopin's Op. 48 n. 1 and the Bluethner vs Model B (http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic … 88#p943488) got me to thinking that this might be an interesting point of comparison in asking the question "does the choice of instrument [and, for our purposes here, temperament] matter?"...

Here's a lovely performance of the nocturne in c by 2008 e-piano competition finalist Zheyu Li (China) rendered on both a Bluethner-based 1884 Steinway D-274 fxp (A=440, Equal, Schellingwoude reverb waveform) and my custom fxp for the 1835 I. Pleyel (A=446, Broadwood3 (1832), Schellingwoude reverb waveform), both using the same custom mic setup.  The idea here of course is to isolate the instrument with an associated temperament as the (admittedly broad) variable in appreciation.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … einway.mp3

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/uploads.p … Pleyel.mp3

In a nutshell, while I love the relative power, depth, and fullness of the ironman Steinway, to my ear (not to mention touch, especially when dealing with actual acoustic instruments, but even to some extent with unique velocity curves) the character, warmth, and nuance of the woody Pleyel win-out every time for Chopin's music, but 'would be quite curious to hear others impressions!  as the Duke said: "if it sounds good, it is good!"

cheers,
-d

Last edited by DaveyJones (01-06-2016 14:11)
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Re: Well vs. Equal Temperament

Wheat Williams, I've read your huge post cited above, and can't let this out of my mind. The problem is I'm close to being ignorant when it comes to musical theory.

For instance, this may never have occurred to you, but any interval of a major third played on a piano tuned to 12-tone equal temperament is significantly out-of-tune compared to a pure major third that can be sung by two singers or played by two violinists. Thus, all major chords played on a modern piano sound a bit sour in temperament to those of us with good ears who understand and can hear the difference.

Could you explain it in a layman's terms? I believe 12-tone temperament is sort of purely logical, scientific thing - you just measure frequencies, divide some frequency range into 12 sub-ranges and voila - here are your notes. But what do you mean by "pure, just intonation"? I understand how you can use some "frequency meter" for reference, but what will you use for reference when measuring this "pure, just intonation"? The context implies there is some sort of "absolutely just and true" reference that all musicians had been using till the day 12-tone temperament was accepted. What it was, and why it's more "true" then correct measuring and equally sub-dividing a frequency range?

That's just my curiosity talking smile

Last edited by AlexS (02-06-2016 13:07)