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Subject: Re: Tuning question
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 18 Feb 2018 19:58:38 +0000
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Hogwash, sort of!

There was a time when standard pitch in most cities was about a
half tone lower than it has been in the last Century forward. But, that
was well over 100 years ago. There have been some minor differences,
A440 or A445, which I'll leave to a musical techie to define. But they
do not account for a half tone difference, and my understanding is
that only Vienna tunes at the higher frequency. That could be wrong.

In any case, as a practical matter, I have owned the same pitch pipe
for just anout sixty years and I've used it to verify pitch of records
and tapes going back to the earliest days of studio recordings. There
are variations, largely based on equipment inconsistencies. But, most
of my collection falls exactly into the frequencies used by that pitch
pipe. I've used it as recently as the Trovatore broadcast a couple of
weeks ago.

There is a thing called the "diapason", which Tebaldi got or was
involved in, but I can't discuss it in an informed way. Someone else
may be able to.

Bob


On Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 14:38 Kiwi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I just read an article about tuning and wanted to know what the musicians
> / singers on the list thought about the ideas put forth.
>
> The contention is that the reason so many folks idealize the singers of
> the past (roughly those from the 50s and before) is because the tuning 70
> years ago was half a note lower and that gave singers greater freedom and
> vocal flexibility.  These same singers, were they on the stage today, might
> draw some of the same negative criticism as many current singers.  (not
> all, of course, because there are always exceptions).
>
> When the tuning went up, some of that flexibility was lost.  The singers
> can now hit the notes but for many (most) the landing can be tight.
>
> The follow-on is that because the higher tuning creates a brighter sound,
> then the size of the orchestra has to be increased to bring balance.  With
> the increase in the size of the orchestra, the singers then have to not
> only sing at the higher tuning but sing over the larger sized orchestra.
>
> In short, the theory is that the problem with today’s singers is not
> necessarily today’s singers, but the environment in which they now work
> with both tuning and orchestral size—the singer’s art has been pressed to
> make a brighter, more appealing sound from the orchestra.
>
> Thoughts?  Is this hogwash or is there something to this theory?
>
>
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