What is intonation?

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

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Makes perfect sense to me, I was the one who recommended using lyrics to assist with the phrasing and you added the diminsion of using the actual singing of the lyrics to assist with harmonization. Once we harmonize we establish perfect communication. Again, makes perfect sense to me.
  2. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    in our quintet the tuba/bass tuned to a tuner and we tuned to him, we then listened to him to keep our pitches. in several big bands that I played in the leader tuned each section [no tuner, just his ear], he spent the longest time getting the sax section to be in tune with each other. in the big bands I always listened to the lead trumpet and tried to match pitches with him/her.
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    When ever I think of playing in tune(intonation),I think of what teachers tell the parents of young kids, the ability to play well with others.
  4. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Intonation is occasionally absent from my practice sessions. WHY it chooses not to show up is a mystery. I call it the Temporary Intonation Black Hole (TIB).

  5. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    Tuning to the lower notes is definitely another western thing. There isn't any reason you can't tune to a high note. In fact it sounds pretty good.
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I think the idea comes from the seating. It's easier to hear parts behind you. There is also merritt to tuning to the root of the chord.
  7. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    Likewise there is merit to tuning to a high note, since the high notes are more audible in the first place.
  8. stevesf

    stevesf Piano User

    Jun 23, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Here are my thoughts on intonation. Sorry if I repeat some things already stated as I did not read every post on this thread yet.
    I think playing in tune is relative to the notes preceding and leading to the next note as well as the other notes of the chord during its sounding. (if you can follow what I mean.)
    For instance if you are playing a leading tone of a chord or scale you may want to add portamento. That is a little sharp leading to next note.
    Those with absolute perfect pitch or are a slave to a tuner will only be in for frustration if you insist that you are in tune and everyone else is not.
    Even if the ensemble agrees that A 440 is the correct starting point , rarely does it stay there through out the entire piece. It is all relative as I said.
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I'm not the expert. I don't think there is a set rule. I also think you need some kind of rule so everybody is on the same page. One person tuning low and the other tuning to the high won't work. I was always taught to listen down. If you can get the entire band to tune up and the higher notes aren't on a third or passing, I'm sure that will work too.

    The most important thing is that everybody is listening. It's fairly easy to get a section to play in tune, it's a little harder to get tuning correct across the band. Tuning down is just one way, I'm sure there are others.
  10. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I think that is how the raga's develop. There are certain part of the scale that they play ascending, and certain parts of the scale they play descending. I expect it is for just that reason, harmonizing with lower pitches or higher pitches. I think if it like the melodic minor scale.

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