[yoshimi] Re: Change keyboard mapping middle note via MIDI for just intonation
- From: Ichthyostega <prg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: yoshimi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:22:15 +0200
On 25.04.2018 15:28, lechp wrote:
-Choirs can sometimes adjust their harmony to achieve consonance. But how do
they do it? And what's the logic behind it? If 3 singers sing a C-E-G chord,
which starts off a bit foul and they want to bend it to achieve perfect
harmony, who controls the tuning? Does the E go flatter? Or maybe the C goes
sharper? Maybe the previous notes leading up to that chord suggest that it's
currently in F-maj, so that would also affect the desired tuning?
Sorry for being so frank, but you are approaching the topic from a totally
systemic and logic view angle. Unfortunately this is not the way music works.
Singers or musicians are not machines, which process and manipulate sound.
To start with the tuning itself, a singer's voice does not have an absolutely
well defined (in a mathematical sense) frequency. There is an interconnection
between the texture or character of a voice and its perceived pitch. It also
very much depends on the room. Some singers' voices tend to sound somewhat
flat and others singers' voice tends to sound somewhat sharp, when used
in a reverberant room (or in a dry room, or in a boomy room and so on).
The point of reference here is what the singer hears herself/himself. This
is set off to what can be heard at some distance, in a given type of room.
It is part of the process of becoming a trained singer just to learn in which
way to set off with respect to what you yourself perceive. This is mostly
a process of sharpening and training one's own hearing capabilities. The
singer (or instrument player likewise, for all non-keyboard instruments9
learns to listen to the room response while singing or playing. And this
is not an intellectual, analytical kind of hearing, rather it is a perception
of proportions. After some training, you get the perception how your sound
"sits" within the given environment. Based on that perception, you change
some kind of "tension" or attitude preceding the forming of each note.
Another thing to consider is the fact that the musician or singer not just
presses some virtual button to produce the sound. It is really non-trivial to
get /any acceptable/ note to sound (even while, as a musician, you just get
accustomed to that non-triviality and constant threat to fall off limits).
The essence is, that you "get" each note; your voice, or your instrument
playing kind of "falls" into each note. Once you're in, you can not
change it, without the whole texture breaking down. At least, any attempt
to /bend or correct/ a note would immediately put it entirely off limits,
and that would be very noticeable to the listener. For that reason, a
professional player or singer learns some special tricks, how to fix a note
that happened to go wrong, without that bugfix becoming outright obvious.
Bottom line is: getting a note is very comparable to the aiming when throwing
a ball, or when shooting an arrow: you build some attitude beforehand, and then
you commence the movement and that is what you get, no way to fix it afterwards.
Another important thing regarding chorus or any kind of ensemble: it is one of
the most fundamental experiences, that your own sounding and voicing is
fundamentally transformed within the ensemble. This is an absolutely
mind-blowing experience, which you just can not imagine: Your instrument (or
your voice) just acts and behaves different when joined into the ensemble.
To a huge extent, the notes just happen to you and often they happen contrary
to what you, as an individual, just meant to do. When an ensemble (orchestra
or chorus) produces a chord, it does not "make" individual notes and then
"combines" them into the chord. Rather, the chord is formed *as a single entity*
in one shot. And it is just one minor part of forming a chord, that it is formed
such as to avoid any unsuitable beating. Thus the "tuning" in physical sense is
for the musician in practice just one aspect of getting a chord, and getting it
with the right character (volume, colour, expression). When you watch a choir or
orchestra in rehearsal, you'd notice that most of the time this process does not
work all right. That is the very reason they have to practice (and in a
professional setting it is assumed that the individual musician has already
practised and mastered all the technical aspects of the piece beforehand). To
get all that right, and consistently so, is what makes a great ensemble.
The whole topic of tuning systems and temperatures really only occurs and is
relevant in the context of keyboard instruments. Any ensemble of musicians
which have to form their notes, literally never play "Well-Tempered".
Rather they produce chords with a musically sound beating. (pun intended)
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