Intonation articles at New World Brass
Posted: 28 October 2013 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]
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New World Brass is publishing a set of modest essays I wrote for them about intonation:

http://newworldbrass.com/blogs

Enjoy!  smile

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Posted: 28 October 2013 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Very neat subject, something I know almost nothing about! Thanks!

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Posted: 28 October 2013 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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You’re welcome.

After you read one, you may know even less!

grin

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Posted: 28 October 2013 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Cool.  You have more installments coming?

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Posted: 28 October 2013 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Already written. The webmaster there wants to stagger the releases.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 28 October 2013 11:50 AM

Already written. The webmaster there wants to stagger the releases.

Vibrations. Harmonization. Intonations.
You think everyone favors things to be a touch muddy T-bone?  Does the human ear like perfect pitch?
Is anything really in perfect pitch anyways?  Especially by the time it reaches the ear?

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Posted: 29 October 2013 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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VYAZMA - 29 October 2013 09:14 AM
TromboneAndrew - 28 October 2013 11:50 AM

Already written. The webmaster there wants to stagger the releases.

Vibrations. Harmonization. Intonations.
You think everyone favors things to be a touch muddy T-bone?  Does the human ear like perfect pitch?
Is anything really in perfect pitch anyways?  Especially by the time it reaches the ear?

What do you think perfect pitch is?

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Posted: 30 October 2013 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 29 October 2013 08:58 PM
VYAZMA - 29 October 2013 09:14 AM
TromboneAndrew - 28 October 2013 11:50 AM

Already written. The webmaster there wants to stagger the releases.

Vibrations. Harmonization. Intonations.
You think everyone favors things to be a touch muddy T-bone?  Does the human ear like perfect pitch?
Is anything really in perfect pitch anyways?  Especially by the time it reaches the ear?

What do you think perfect pitch is?

I don’t know.  I’m asking you. 
My guitar tuner is set to 440 hz.  I’m guessing that’s supposed to be perfect pitch.
But what’s that relative to?  It’s relative to the next harmonious note up or down the scale. Not to anything our ears hear right?

I like things slightly out of tune.

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Posted: 30 October 2013 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I guess as far as Vy goes, the perfect is the enemy of the good.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 30 October 2013 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Interesting article, Andrew. I look forward to the future installments. I enjoy reading well written articles that teach me something.

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Posted: 30 October 2013 10:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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VYAZMA - 30 October 2013 04:03 PM
TromboneAndrew - 29 October 2013 08:58 PM

What do you think perfect pitch is?

I don’t know.  I’m asking you. 
My guitar tuner is set to 440 hz.  I’m guessing that’s supposed to be perfect pitch.
But what’s that relative to?  It’s relative to the next harmonious note up or down the scale. Not to anything our ears hear right?

I like things slightly out of tune.

Kind of.

Perfect pitch, as the term is typically used, means a person has an exceptionally good pitch resolution, so that if they hear (for example) 440 Hz, they can say what the pitch was to within an unusually accurate margin, usually measured by keyboard notes. A person with “perfect pitch” hearing 440Hz would say it is an “A”. This does not necessarily mean that they can distinguish without any other clues 440Hz from 440.1Hz. The difference between notes on a piano in terms of Hertz is, um (let’s see . . . calculating . . . )

. . . about 6% of a difference in Hertz. So, a person with perfect pitch can determine a pitch at least that accurately, as in 440Hz +- 6% or 440 Hz +- 26Hz. I’m not sure just how much more accurate some people with exceptional pitch accuracy are than this.

This is relative to a person’s intuitive pitch memory, so that a person can say what they think a pitch is upon hearing it once, without any other input.

However, when we add harmony, our brains have more tools to use. If we were to compare two pitches sounding simultaneously in harmony, for example 440Hz and 440.1Hz, we would clearly hear the difference between the two from the interference patterns in the sound waves. This isn’t perfect pitch; it’s totally different in terms of brain functions. It’s a kind of auditory pattern recognition. These two frequencies will produce, at a minimum (depending on the waveforms) an interference pattern of 0.1Hz. We are exceptionally good at picking out very subtle interference patterns in sound; I suspect it’s part of our language abilities. This kind of processing allows for much, much more fine identification of differences between pitches than the accuracy with which any person with “perfect pitch” would be able to identify any one pitch. 0.1Hz is slow: one cycle per 10 seconds, but definitely noticeable.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that everyone perceives pitch slightly differently in each ear, with individual variation. One ear will hear a pitch ever-so-slightly sharper than the other (and the other will, of course, hear a pitch being ever-so-slightly flatter). Our brains “correct” this without us thinking about it, but the effect can sometimes be heard by simply finding a constant pitch and plugging one ear then the other and seeing if your perception of the pitch changes. Not to mention differences in sensitivity to frequencies in different auditory ranges, some natural, some caused by uneven hearing damage between the ears.

Does that answer your question?

[ Edited: 30 October 2013 10:50 PM by TromboneAndrew ]
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Posted: 31 October 2013 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Yes it does.  Great stuff.  I never thought of the 2 ears being slightly detuned so to speak.
Very interesting T-Bone.

I occasionally like atonal music like some people. Jazz.  Avant garde etc…
Many people don’t.  What do you think the connection is there?
That must be what’s going on between the ears and the brain right?

Of course often times in that music the tempo and rhythms are off too. So who knows.

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Posted: 31 October 2013 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I think that when we look at how different people like different styles of music, a lot of that is cultural: what kinds of music someone was exposed to as a kid, what kinds of social events they connect to music, things like that. When it comes to music which a person does not have much exposure to, if the music “pushes the boundaries” of what sounds like normal melody, harmony, or rhythm, the music will be harder for uninitiated listeners to make anything sensible of.

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Posted: 31 October 2013 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 31 October 2013 11:06 AM

I think that when we look at how different people like different styles of music, a lot of that is cultural: what kinds of music someone was exposed to as a kid, what kinds of social events they connect to music, things like that. When it comes to music which a person does not have much exposure to, if the music “pushes the boundaries” of what sounds like normal melody, harmony, or rhythm, the music will be harder for uninitiated listeners to make anything sensible of.

Yeah. “What kind of social events they connect to music”.
I love this topic. Music or sound is fascinating.

I try to stretch the connection by positing that if the brain does have some hard wired inclination to
be conservative or liberal(or even a more basic delineation that is the progenitor of even those concepts), then certain types of music may “push the boundaries” as you said.

I’m just spitballin’ here.  But my own anecdotal observations seem to suggest a connection. I don’t know.
This is starting to stray from Intonation Science. Sorry.

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Posted: 31 October 2013 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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VYAZMA - 31 October 2013 12:03 PM

I try to stretch the connection by positing that if the brain does have some hard wired inclination to
be conservative or liberal(or even a more basic delineation that is the progenitor of even those concepts), then certain types of music may “push the boundaries” as you said.

Maybe. I don’t know. That’s a question for someone who knows a whole lot more about neuroscience than I do.

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Posted: 31 October 2013 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 31 October 2013 12:13 PM
VYAZMA - 31 October 2013 12:03 PM

I try to stretch the connection by positing that if the brain does have some hard wired inclination to
be conservative or liberal(or even a more basic delineation that is the progenitor of even those concepts), then certain types of music may “push the boundaries” as you said.

Maybe. I don’t know. That’s a question for someone who knows a whole lot more about neuroscience than I do.

Yea yeah.  Off track.  My bad.
Let me know when your next article pops up.

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