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Topic: Which temperament (scale) for concert band?

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  1. #1

    Which temperament (scale) for concert band?

    Hello everyone,

    I wish to know which temperament or scale should I use for concert band music to sound as real as possible?

    I currently use an equal scale temperament. I could see that pythagorean temperament is usually used for live execution... Which scale should I use?

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    Best,

    Fred.
    There is no spoon.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Which temperament (scale) for concert band?

    Quote Originally Posted by boulifb View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I wish to know which temperament or scale should I use for concert band music to sound as real as possible?

    I currently use an equal scale temperament. I could see that pythagorean temperament is usually used for live execution... Which scale should I use?

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    Best,

    Fred.
    With most bands it is not an issue as musical experience and ability will be the deciding factor anyway. Go for 12-TET.

  3. #3

    Re: Which temperament (scale) for concert band?

    Ok, so I should use the "equal" scale?
    There is no spoon.

  4. #4

    Re: Which temperament (scale) for concert band?

    Wow! What a great question and a big concern for conductors over the years and especially now. The use of the Pythagorean temperament in a live performance would sound harsh in a concert band since the 3rds are way too sharp in pitch so even major chords will sound dissonance (reminds me of bad marching bands...) So bands will start out using equal temperament but when they play major chords the 3rd of the chord always lowers their pitch so the chord will ring out perfectly in tune (to our modern 440 ears.) The biggest problem with Pythagorean temperament in a modern concert setting is that it would have a major influence to the issues that we are facing in these days concerning tuning. Bands are sounding higher and higher reaching 442-446 and conductors especially in college ensembles are spending too much time getting that pitch down and retraining the ears of their groups.
    ~Rod
    Quote Originally Posted by boulifb View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I wish to know which temperament or scale should I use for concert band music to sound as real as possible?

    I currently use an equal scale temperament. I could see that pythagorean temperament is usually used for live execution... Which scale should I use?

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    Best,

    Fred.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: Which temperament (scale) for concert band?

    If in doubt use equal temperament.

    Some very good bands use just intonation in some situations -- mainly to tune sustained major or minor chords so that they are perfectly in tune and have no beating or pulsing effect. If the music is tonal or modal without accidentals they can use just intonation for everything. The two band directors that I have heard rehearsals when they were teaching it used a MIDI keyboard to demonstrate the pitches they wanted and then had to work a lot with individual players and sections. The rich, resonate, quality that they can get with a sustained, justly tuned, major chord is impressive.

    i have never heard of a band using Pythagorean intonation. But I guess it is possible.

    Norman



    Quote Originally Posted by boulifb View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I wish to know which temperament or scale should I use for concert band music to sound as real as possible?

    I currently use an equal scale temperament. I could see that pythagorean temperament is usually used for live execution... Which scale should I use?

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    Best,

    Fred.

  6. #6

    Re: Which temperament (scale) for concert band?

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your answers.

    So, I'm going to use equal scale with pitch at 440Hz. It is the setup of my current project.

    Thanks for your help!

    Best,

    Fred.
    There is no spoon.

  7. #7
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    Re: Which temperament (scale) for concert band?

    My daughters high school marching band tunes to 442Hz as that is what the mallet instruments are tuned to. My daughters flute is actually a 442Hz flute.

    They did extensive note by note retuning for the 2nd part of their show last year to bring the chords in tune. It was quite interesting. They did take 1st in music in all their competitions so it really helped.

    Jim

  8. #8

    Re: Which temperament (scale) for concert band?

    442... mmmm.... what is the make of those mallet instruments?
    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn View Post
    My daughters high school marching band tunes to 442Hz as that is what the mallet instruments are tuned to. My daughters flute is actually a 442Hz flute.They did extensive note by note retuning for the 2nd part of their show last year to bring the chords in tune. It was quite interesting. They did take 1st in music in all their competitions so it really helped.Jim

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