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Stretched vs. ensemble tuning?


Cap

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I'm growing quite fond of my Kurzweil SP-76 for those jobs where I don't have to be a bass player. It's under 30 pounds and the power supply doesn't add another 10, so I can walk on to a job almost as efficiently as a sax player--piano in a gig bag slung over one shoulder, Roland cube amp in one hand, piano stand in the other.

 

On the whole, I'm really satisfied with the selection of sounds--no choirs, Take-6 voices, harpsichords, space effects, and other useless novelty stuff but the kinds of sounds that enable you to get down to business. But I'm puzzled about this "stretched" vs. "ensemble" tuning, because I can't hear any difference. I just use whichever of the 2 comes up when I tap the button once instead of twice. Aside from affording users an opportunity to display their knowledge of acoustic theory, is there any practical application for these 2 tunings? I sort of wish Kurzweil had given me a vibes sound instead.

 

Cap :confused:

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Pianos used to have stretched tuning which means the high end is tuned a bit sharp. (Others here can give a better, exact definition.) Listen to the tuning at the top end of the keyboard. When you play with a band, expecially with instrumentalists that play high notes stick with ensemble tuning. Otherwise, it could make someone sound just a bit out of tune.
This post edited for speling.
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Originally posted by Rabid:

Pianos used to have stretched tuning which means the high end is tuned a bit sharp. (Others here can give a better, exact definition.)

 

As I understand it, in stretch tuning the piano is tuned so that (as Rabid says) it gets a bit progressively sharp as you play away from middle C towards the high end of the keyboard. Also, as I understand it, the lower you go from middle C, it gets a bit flat as well. You know - kinda like you grabbed each end and pulled on them to stretch it a bit.

 

As it has been explained to me, the effect of doing this is to give the piano a fuller sound when it is played as a solo instrument. The obvious drawback is that if you're playing it in an ensemble, it's not going to be uniformly in tune.

 

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on this subject - this is just my understanding of how it works and why it's done. I eagerly welcome responsible opposing viewpoints.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

 

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Originally posted by Dave Bryce:

As it has been explained to me, the effect of doing this is to give the piano a fuller sound when it is played as a solo instrument.

 

I had a piano tech explain this to me recently enough that it's still fresh in my head. The naturally occuring upper harmonics of the lowest notes are actually a bit sharp compared to the fundamentals of the highest notes. It's most noticeable in a big concert grand that has lots of sustain and resonance. Stretch tuning basically makes the piano in better tune with itself, but not with other instruments. So for group playing, you're better off with ensemble tuning.

 

Peace all,

Steve

><>

Steve

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