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Subject: Re: orchestration and tuning (diapason)
From: "Takis Pavl." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Takis Pavl.
Date:Tue, 20 Jun 2017 21:39:29 +0000
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http://www.schillerinstitute.org/music/rev_tuning_hist.html

there is a lot of literature and research on this Les, the above link, while not complete, gives a simple description of the problem and why the 440 tuning isn't right. Happy reading! 
There is also another long discussion about temperament and how equal temperament is wrong but that's even more complicated so tuning is easier to start with.    
Historically informed performance practice has "corrected" the tuning in Early Music. This is gradually also happening in works by classical and romantic composers. Note that Bartoli's recent Norma is at lower pitch than we're used to, the historically informed A-430. I suspect in a few years it will be a good selling point to record all Verdi works again. 
Cappuccilli once demonstrated brilliantly on video why even these small tuning changes affect a voice and why a lower tuning is required. But who cares, the group is more interested in counting high Cs, high Eflats, triple Axel jumps and anything else that's high and bright. 
 
Takis
  


      From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 18:06
 Subject: orchestration and tuning (diapason)
   
I have some questions that can only be answered by our Opera L experts (and I know we 
have many).  With all this talk about high Cs, and how many operas have them and how 
many don't, it dawned on me this morning something that I believe has been brought up 
before.  Is a high C TODAY identical in pitch to what a high C was, say, during the age of 
Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini???  I don't think it is.  If the tuning or the diapason was lower 
in those days, would not a top B TODAY have been a top C during the age of bel canto?????
    We all know that there are neglected pianos that have gone without tuning for years.
Of course they sound terrible, but they also can be as much as a whole step flat. So with 
the orchestra ------ and I'm always reading about how orchestras are now tuning much 
higher (especially in Vienna).
    The climatic top C in "O Patria Mia" is a case in point. Verdi has written the C, but might 
that C TODAY only be a top B?????  I'm able to read music, and I play the piano, but do not 
perfect pitch ------ only approximate.  
    Would a top C TODAY have been a top D in the age of bel canto????  I'm sure some of 
you know what I mean, and I'm not sure I'm being clear enough, but if anyone can enlighten 
me on this, I'd be grateful.  It's been puzzling me for a while.  Renata Tebaldi often 
expressed these concerns, and given the problems she had with high Cs throughout most of 
her career, she probably felt justified, which she may have been.  
    Is the raising of the diapason a possible explanation for this trepidation about exposed 
top Cs?????

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