What is intonation?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rowuk, May 10, 2011.

  1. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    7,801
    2,360
    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I think Ed's comment is adequately illustrated by the musical 'difference' between say a set of bagpipes and a piano accordian, where the bagpipes are based on a nine note non-chromatic scale, and the accordian imposes Ed's western 12 notes chromatic ideal.

    Why these two instruments? - Well the bagpipes are one of the few western instruments I know that have retained their ethnic root and not had 12 note chromatic 'dogma' applied and the accordian, is an all-in-one easily transportable, 'easily' played, instrument which has successfully subjugated that ethnic concept with the western ideal.

    (Hmmm, I don't quite believe I wrote that? I'm not feeling well, it must be beer o'clock.) :oops:
     
  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    16,420
    7,547
    Dec 22, 2008
    Virginia
    roflroflroflrofl
     
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    16,420
    7,547
    Dec 22, 2008
    Virginia
    Sounds reasonable. I love bagpipes!:thumbsup:
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,617
    7,966
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    I'll help you all along here.

    When two players are playing different notes at the same time, the frequencies add and subtract creating resultant tones, some of which are very audible. I propose that the "in tune" player learns to use these resultant tones, sometimes called "beats" to serve as a guide. When learning the natural trumpet, we discover how "off" a standard tuner can be - and still sound "right". What experience have you had with resultant tones?
     
  5. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    5,242
    1,791
    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Robin... this one is a real head scratcher... when I tune a guitar I do listen for the beats caused by .. hell I have no idea what causes them.. something to do with the waveforms hit there high point at the same time. Still.. think about it.. we are on a 12 tone system ... unless you're Scottish .. I even wonder if intonaton even comes into play with a 24 note system ... it's mind boggling. I do believe we listen for the point where we don't have those waves rolling in a chord ... but someone has to hold the line ... or you can be chasing each other around.. a virtual frequency dogfight...
     
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    5,242
    1,791
    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Just For the Record ...
    the Sax players were guys ... (insert your favorite Seinfeld quote here)
    I saved the tongue hockey for the roller rink trips with the flute players..
     
  7. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

    746
    148
    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I think, in western music, we tune as we go. The better trained set of musicians in the group, the quicker you get where you want to go. I don't know one pro in the orchestra I'm who uses a tuner. The concertmaster steps up, plays concert A, and off we go, getting close. After a minute or so, we all make our adjustments and there we are, a pleasant, western omelet, not too spicy, not too hot, no competing flavors... something that would be tasted and tossed on the floor in the Congo, or in Jamaica or Mongolia... but I'll bet they love it Vienna!

    ed
     
  8. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    2,459
    29
    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    No, I don't believe a tuner will help. If anything, it will hurt.

    When the band tunes to the A, it gets everyone in the ballpark ready to play. You still have to play the game.

    I play in a very advanced community band. There are professional musicians in there and amateurs. A big mix. When I'm playing I have to listen to everything going on around me. If the flute plays a solo and then I pick up the line, I have to tune to the flute. Now what if it happens again and the trombone has the line passed to me but he is sharp to the flute. I have to tune to the trombone. When things like this happen I have a chance to tune. Not with the main slide but, as I play.

    Now what about when the whole band is playing? Flutes are flat and brass is sharp. What do I do? Basically I'm screwed. The common practise is to listen down. The tuba can't be wrong. If the trombone is sharp and the flute is flat, the trombone wins. The flute should tune to the lower instrument. (they never do).

    Robin,
    Is that what you were looking for?
     
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    16,420
    7,547
    Dec 22, 2008
    Virginia
    THAT is the Gods honest truth about the flutes!!! I know a flutist that is "always" on pitch (but rarely is) and just plays sharp as a surgeon's scalpel. And they have an ego to boot (don't know why). I mention tuning delicately so as to not hurt any feelings, to no avail. AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!
     
  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    7,801
    2,360
    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I posted this a little while ago - I wonder if it adds to the discussion?
     

Share This Page