Intonation of a piano?

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Intonation of a piano?

Postby bclever » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:51 pm

In a recent (now locked thread) someone asked what intonation of a piano means.
Intonation refers to the relative tuning temperament of the strings
(as in the Well-Tempered Clavier). The definition that was provided in the now locked
thread really refers to "voicing", not intonation. Unless I'm wrong that is. :)
"I am glad that you wish to study the art of tones from its roots up, and it depends only on you to learn for yourself so much of it as has become known to me." -- J.S. Bach

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Postby pianolady » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:28 pm

I think you are right. The definition of intonation in one of the music dictionaries is: the degree to which the pitch of a note heard is what is correct but not to the degree that the note heard is the wrong note. (that one is sort of weird) Here's an simpler one: A term referring to the proper production of a tone so that it is exactly in tune.

To me, voicing means adjusting the hammers to hit the strings a certain way. Pricking the hammers with needles is to soften or scrape the felt so that the sound hitting the strings is less harsh. I think either Horowitz or Rubinstein was particularly picky as to how their pianos were voiced - Zimerman too, I hear. Probably all of the pros are. I’d like to be but don’t have the patience to work on every hammer.
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Postby PJF » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:39 am

Yes, if someone were singing off-key, you could say the singer had problems with his/her intonation.
I drive my piano technician mad with my constant finagling with the piano's voicing. My ears are too sensitive for their own good. :lol:

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