Re: tuning tendancies of the harmonic series

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Posted by phil sloffer on December 14, 1998 at 10:49:21:

In Reply to: tuning tendancies of the harmonic series posted by Ian Easton on December 08, 1998 at 03:43:20:

This is really not a simple question to answer, let alone try to solve on
any given horn. Theory is one thing. Reality is usually very different.
Most of the partials on the best horn are not in tune. They seem in tune
because you are able to adjust to what you hear around you enough that your
ear says it is ok. If you find that you cannot adjust to what you hear
around you then you might say this note is flat (or sharp) on your horn.
However if you play in a section where all the horns are the same ie. all
the out of tune notes are the same you may not be aware of the problem.
On the other hand, play in a section consisting of BBb,CC,Eb, and F tubas
and you can have all kinds of intonation problems, even when all players
are playing horns with good intonation.

The 5th partial is 5 times the frequency of the 1st partial. On a CC tuba
the 1st partial beats around 32.7 Hz. That times 5 = 163.5 Hz. The same E
on the piano has a frequency of around 164.8 Hz. Be aware of the fact that
all 3rds on pianos are out of tune on purpose. Clear as mud right?

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