[LAU] Piano composition - Lost Isle (& LV2 plugins)

fred f.rech at yahoo.fr
Fri Jun 24 03:19:22 UTC 2016

Le 23/06/2016 22:31, S D a écrit :
> :-) An acoustic piano is far from an ideal sound generator. In fact, 
> it is a complex collection of imperfections striving for an 
> unattainable ideal.
> If we wanted a pure sound, we would use a source that produced only 
> pure waveforms like a sine-wave generator, and perhaps added the 
> various pure, in-tune harmonic frequencies at various (and diminished) 
> volumes to the fundamental tone.
> A piano has 88 keys and string collections (most notes have 3 strings 
> per note, bass strings only one wire string with a copper-wire coil 
> wrapped around it, per note). The strings for any particular note 
> (tone frequency) are often slightly detuned, so that only the middle 
> string is more or less perfectly in tune, while the two strings to 
> either side are detuned slightly in order to make the note's sound 
> richer and fuller, with beat frequencies and other out-of-tune 
> artifacts introduced.
> In addition, most pianos are "stretch tuned," which means that the 
> bass notes are intentionally and progressively tuned flatter and 
> flatter by a small incremental amount, while the treble (high) notes 
> are tuned incrementally sharper and sharper. This is because the bass 
> notes have such a low tone that it is their harmonic frequencies that 
> are heard more clearly by the human ear, and those harmonic 
> frequencies are often sharp (a higher frequency than they should be if 
> perfectly in tune). So the bass notes are tuned so that the harmonic 
> frequencies are heard more in tune while the fundamental frequency is 
> slightly flat (lower frequency than it should be if it were perfectly 
> in tune).
> Meanwhile, the treble strings, because they are stretched so tightly 
> in order to produce such a high pitch (frequency, tone), immediately 
> decay flat (become lower in frequency and out of tune immediately 
> after they are struck by the piano hammer activated by the key pressed 
> by the performer. So the treble notes are tuned a little sharp, so 
> that the decay (the sound as it becomes softer immediately after it is 
> produced) sounds more in tune.
> Add to those out-of-tune compromises the fact that the scale we now 
> nearly universally use, the equal-tempered 12-tone scale that allows 
> for playing in any key, is a compromise between the pure tunings of 
> any specific key, so that nearly every note in the scale of any key is 
> at least a little out of tune. The intervals of perfect fifths and 
> perfect fourths, derived from strict mathematical relationships, are 
> all altered, so that the fourths are stretched (tuned sharper than 
> they should be) and the fifths are flattened (tuned closer to each of 
> the two tones than they should be), which means that nearly all music 
> that we hear, and nearly all instruments that play together in an 
> ensembles, are ALL out of tune to one degree or another.
> In addition to all of that, people usually intentionally introduce 
> other imperfections into their sounds or music, such as the distortion 
> frequently used with electric guitar.
> Music is a vast collection of imperfections. Regarding modeled pianos, 
> if the model is too pure and perfect, people complain that it doesn't 
> sound realistic or authentic. If it models the actual acoustic 
> instrument's imperfections too well, they complain that it sounds too 
> "muddy," distorted, not clear or pure enough, etc.
> All of this means that it is literally impossible to please a 
> perfectionist, because there is almost nothing perfect about music or 
> the production of sound, and also because a perfectionist, if he tries 
> very hard, can always find something, even the smallest thing, that he 
> considers imperfect or not ideal. :-) Life must be very hard for the 
> perfectionist!
> However, all that said, our very precisely out-of-tune 12-tone equal 
> temperament scale, in use for pianos and most orchestral or band 
> instruments, actually allows for an incredible amount of extremely 
> complex and beautiful frequency and harmonic relationships that are 
> impossible when using a completely mathematically pure single-key 
> scale. Without this "imperfect" tuning, modern music since the time of 
> Bach, including the beautiful Classical, Romantic, Impressionist and 
> modern music of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, 
> Debussy, Ravel and hundreds of other composers would not be possible.
> OK-- I apologize for such a long-winded response! :-)
Please don't apologize!
Really nice to read & learn from your knowledge :)
Maybe you have something to say about the fashion to tune A to 442 Hz?



More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list