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Tuners, Tube Tuners

In music, there are two common meanings for tuning: more...

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Tuning practice
The act of tuning an instrument or voice.
Tuning systems
The various systems of pitches used to tune an instrument.

Tuning practice

Tuning is the process of producing or preparing to produce a certain pitch in relation to another, usually matched at the unison but often at some other interval relationship. Out of tune refers to a pitch that is too high or too low, corresponding to sharp or flat, respectively.

Different methods of sound production require different methods of adjustment:

  • Tuning to a pitch with one's voice is called matching pitch and is the most basic skill learned in ear training.
  • Turning the pegs on a guitar (on the machine head) or violin to increase or decrease the tension on the strings so as to make them higher or lower in pitch.
  • Modifying the length or width of the tube of a wind instrument, brass instrument, pipe, bell, or similar instrument to adjust the pitch.

Some instruments do not have a regular harmonic series, and are known as inharmonic. This makes their tuning complicated, and usually compromised. The tuning of bells, for instance, is extremely involved.

Tuning may be done aurally by sounding two pitches and adjusting one of them to match or relate to the other. A tuning fork or electronic tuning device may be used as a reference pitch, though in ensemble rehearsals often a piano is used (as its pitch cannot be adjusted for each rehearsal). Symphony orchestras tend to tune to an A provided by the principal oboist.

Interference beats are used to objectively measure the accuracy of tuning. As the two pitches approach a harmonic relationship, the frequency of beating decreases. When tuning a unison or octave it is desired to reduce the beating frequency until it cannot be detected. For other intervals, this is dependent on the tuning system being used.

Harmonics may be used to check the tuning of strings which are not tuned to the unison. For example, lightly touching the highest string of a cello at halfway down its length (at a node) while bowing produces the same pitch as doing the same one third of the way down its second highest string.

Basic tuning (open strings)

For open strings in physics, see string (physics).

In music, the term open string refers to string of a string instrument when it is played at full length on the instrument —ie. played without shortening its length (ie. fretting on a guitar) on the fingerboard.

The strings of a guitar are normally tuned to fourths (excepting the G and B strings in standard tuning), as are the strings of the bass guitar and double bass. Violin, viola, and cello strings are tuned to fifths. However, nonstandard tunings (callse scordatura may be used, which require alternative methods.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Prices current as of last update, 12/17/06 2:49am.