Give Me An A

Discussion in 'General Music & Guitar Learning' started by Silicon Valley Tom, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. Silicon Valley Tom

    Silicon Valley Tom It makes me happpy to play The Blues!

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    Interesting! I love to read, and history is one of my favorite subjects.

    The links below are what I would call: "Give Me An A"

    What is the "real frequency" of A? Make that A4 for the sake of clarity. Is it 417, 435, 440 or what? When I started out my quest in music we used the term cycles. 440 cycles per second was said to be the "correct" or "acceptable" frequency for the musical note we call or refer to as A.

    When I was six, I began piano instruction, and the first think my teacher, Miss Meyers taught me was "Where is middle C? Then it was off to Bach!

    One week after I graduated from Engineering College, the United States decided to embrace the term "hz or Hertz", to replace cycles. After all, we had to keep up with the rest of the world. By the way, I still have my original tuning fork for tuning my guitar. That puppy is 68 years old, and does not required batteries!

    Here is an article about the Solfeggio Scale:

    Healing Frequencies of the Ancient Solfeggio Scale

    https://www.gaia.com/article/healing-frequencies-of-the-ancient-solfeggio-scale


    This article includes a number of different frequencies and the result upon humans. Maybe.

    But there is that 417 Hz that composers used around the time of Bach.

    Then we have:

    The “432 Hz vs. 440 Hz” conspiracy theory

    https://jakubmarian.com/the-432-hz-vs-440-hz-conspiracy-theory/


    You can do a good deal of research on this subject and its history. It is interesting, and perhaps our 440 hz is a reason this world is so "interesting". (y)

    Tom






     
    #1 Silicon Valley Tom, Aug 15, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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  2. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    everything I ever read had to do with difficulty of manufacturing strings in the past, and increasing tension. Orchestras and even church organs could all be tuned differently, the 440hz was more or less a compromise to standardize everything
     
  3. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor A Legend in my own Living Room
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    Studio One's tuner plug-in lists the following references for tuning:
    415 Hz Baroque
    430 Hz Classic
    438 Hz Romantic
    440 Hz ISO
    443 Hz Modern Orchestra
     
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  4. Silicon Valley Tom

    Silicon Valley Tom It makes me happpy to play The Blues!

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    Why can't we use whatever frequency we wish? Everyone should have his/her standard, dependent upon how he/she feels at that particular moment. . How interesting that would be.

    In the "good old days", before UC Berkeley got into the act in 1973, we could use "they" or "their", rather than "he/she". I would not be surprised if I am behind the times. I recently read that there are now 53 different terms to define ones gender. I do not think that my mother would approve! :)

    Tom
     
  5. ChrisGSP

    ChrisGSP Blues Journeyman

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    My first guitar teacher had a tuning fork that had a sort of ball-end on the shaft, about 3/16" diameter, and he could hang the tuning fork from his ear somehow. He'd just plonk it in his ear, hanging down, and flick it with his thumb, leaving both hands free to tune the guitar. I've been looking for a tuning fork like that one for close on 60 years; still lookin'.

    Of course, it was A 440, and many years before any electronic tuners.
     
  6. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno Student Of The Blues

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    Papa beat me to it but there is a current debate going on in music theory cirlcles about changing A to 443 Hz.

    An anecdote.... One of my music theory teachers told me about his orchestra (he was also a conductor) going to Germany to play at a festival. They had an old organ in the church that was tuned with A to 417 Hz (or one of the old tunings). Most of the violinists were complaining that their very expensive instruments (most of them cost more than $50,000) would not sound good at that tuning because they were made for A=440 and were refusing to tune to that frequency. He said he threw his hands up and said they better get busy retuning the organ pipes then because they go in in 30 minutes.

    :LOL:

    Eric
     
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  7. david moon

    david moon Attempting the Blues

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  8. Crossroads

    Crossroads Thump the Bottom

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    @Silicon Valley Tom Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Well you asked for it :LOL:
     
    #8 Crossroads, Aug 16, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
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  9. Silicon Valley Tom

    Silicon Valley Tom It makes me happpy to play The Blues!

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    Thank you. I was only asking for one, but I thank you for your generosity! :)

    Tom
     
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  10. sloslunas

    sloslunas NM Blues

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    A Canadian 'eh' ?

    Steve
     
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  11. JohnHurley

    JohnHurley Rock and Roll

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    Ok so im confused ...

    Like wind instruments lets say a flute or a saxophone ... you cannot tune them differently like you can a string instrument right?
     
  12. dvs

    dvs Green Mountain Blues

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    All the normal wind instruments have a way to adjust the length of the soundtube slightly and tune to pitch. On most woodwinds you slide the mouthpiece in or out, on brass instruments there are various sections of tubing that slide in or out.
     
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  13. Paleo

    Paleo Theory, Solos, Licks

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    Wind and brass use vibrating columns of air vs vibrating strings.

    Pretty hard to make any significant change in the length of tubing, unless you play the trombone.

    So, no, you can't take an Eb Clarinet or Sax and "tune it" to some other completely different "key" or tuning.
     
    #13 Paleo, Aug 17, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  14. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno Student Of The Blues

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    Like Doug said, they are length adjustable. When you take a sax or a trumpet or a flute etc. apart to clean it and put it away it would be very difficult to get the exact pitch back when you put it together if the pieces weren't adjustable. You probably can't adjust them far enough to alter the pitch a whole or half-step like a guitar is in drop D tuning or anything like that but you can certainly adjust the lengths of the tubes to account for different concert pitch tunings.

    If you go to an orchestra performance and pay attention to when they tune it is usually an oboe that plays A and everyone else tunes their instruments to the oboe. Unless there is also a piano or organ in the performance then they tune to that since they are essentially fixed pitch instruments.

    Eric
     
  15. david moon

    david moon Attempting the Blues

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    Yes Tom, you are way behind the times. You should be able to identify with whatever pitch reference you want.

    And "they" is gender neutral. Who cares that it is plural and an individual wants to be called "they". Personally, I prefer "Your Eminence".
     
  16. david moon

    david moon Attempting the Blues

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    If you weren't aware of Jordan Peterson before, I hope you are now.
     
  17. david moon

    david moon Attempting the Blues

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    On a brass or woodwind instrument with no valves or keys, such as a bugle, there are only overtones of the fundamental note. Thus the notes in bugle calls. These are the same notes you would find on one open string with harmonics at the 12, 7, 5, 4 etc fret

    So without valves you would need different bugles to play in different keys.

    The valves change the fundamental and thus the overtones available in that position.

    And both brass and woodwinds have provisions for slight adjustment as DVS said.
     
  18. snarf

    snarf musician wannabe

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    A couple of years ago I was really bored at work and stumbled on that whole thing. I was just monitoring some things that day, so had plenty of time to waste...went waaaaay too far down that rabbit hole. At the end of it, all I was convinced of was that somebody, somewhere had way too much time on their hands to be coming up with some of that stuff. Also, that I would not be telling my sister about tuning to 432 vs 440 because she has a tendency to believe every whack-job theory that she comes across. She'd be sneaking into my house to throw all my tuners away. And her believing everything she hears sometimes makes holidays with the fam a LOT of fun. You have her on one side of things, me on the other (because I don't mind arguing with her), and the rest of the fam somewhere in the middle telling us both to shutup already. lol

    I love putting on records (or mp3s or streaming) that were put out prior to about the mid-80s and trying to play along. It seems that was what they were doing back then. "The piano in the studio is flat by a bunch? Cool, let's all de-tune so we match it." It's re-tune to play along with this song, and then re-tune to play along with the next. Seems you hardly have more than a couple of songs together that you're not having to re-tune to play.
     
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