Horn Temperature and tuning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SmoothOperator, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    I think the temperature of the air has something to do with it. Colder air molecules have a slower speed, so it takes longer for them to bump into their neighbors and transmit the wave.
     
  2. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Okay smooth operator. Your messing with me with all that speed of sound stuff, aren't you?

    How about:
    The speed of sound in air at 0 C is 331.5 m/s, and it increases by 0.6 m/s for each increase of
    1 C. This means a 331.5 Hz tone has a wavelength of 1 meter in 0 C air. At 1 C, a 332.1 Hz tone
    has a 1-meter wavelength. Most people would not notice this difference, but at 10 C, a 337.5 Hz
    tone has a 1-meter wavelength, and this is roughly a third of a semitone away from 331.5 Hz --
    easily noticeable.

    To be honest, my first thought was to follow the expanding metal logic. But the temp of the air affecting the frequency of wave also makes sense. Ah, two variables. Which is more important? I know that I can tell when my shower goes from cold to warm water (water heater is on opposite side of the house so I wait for the pitch change) because the "pitch" of the water coming out changes when the warm water arrives in the pipe. I'll have to pay attention and see if it is an increase or decrease in pitch when I get a shower tonight. The things we do for science. :)
     
  3. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    So right, your internal body temperature is 94+/- and the room temperature is 69+- you are looking at an expected difference of 35 degrees, between the extremes.
     
  4. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    Steve,

    It has more to do with the temperature of the air inside the tube than it does the metal itself. The colder air is more dense (molecules are closer together) than warm air.

    With respect to your logic, metallophones (such as crotales, vibraphones and orchestra bells) do contract and go sharp in the cold. Thus, cold weather marching band is a unique intonation experience as the horns go flat, the KB percussion goes sharp and the electronics (synthesizers, if used - which are digital) stay absolutely on true pitch.

    Not that this is necessarily about marching band but playing outside in the northeast in the fall, this is what we band director/trumpet player types have to deal with. A concert hall would be no different except for the range of the delta in temperatures.

    Thanks.

    Tom
     
  5. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Yeah, after I thought about it, it made sense. Just had never thought about it. I won't tell you what I do for a living or I really would be embarrassed. Sometimes the neurons just don't fire.
     
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Steve,

    There isn't an educator in the world who, if being honest with themselves, could say they know it all - we come here to learn, and giggle a little at others expense. ;-)
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Rather than letting the horn warm up, why don't we just chill down the room? I love the recorded sound of Clifford Brown. It is my understanding that he preferred to play in a room with a temperature between 50 - 60 degrees F. This preference, he felt, led to a crisp clean sound. From listening to his studio recordings, I would agree. Not sure why, but the tune "Joy Spring" is now dancing through my mind.

    So tell the club manager to keep the room at 50 degrees, and raise the price of tea and coffee to match his price for mixed drinks. Substance abuse prevalence will decline, the club owner can keep his profits up and you will sound crisp. Also, make a few bucks more by renting out sweaters to patrons at the door.

    Thank you Clifford. You were so ahead of your time in so many ways.
     
  8. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

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    Steve,
    I've been teaching for 30 + years and judging for about 15. These sorts of issues are always on the plate and I am always gratified when folks listen and "get it".
    Best always,
    Tom
     
  9. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

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    and since metal dissipates heats so easily, you'll empty your water key more when the metal is cold than when stuff is "up to temperature" as the humidity from your breath condenses out.
     
  10. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Some horns warm up faster than others. The Severinsen warms to pitch really fast and usually just blowing some air through it will get it there. The Chinese horn, the Eastman, takes at least 4 times as long.:dontknow:

    Turtle
     

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