Harpsichord Tuning

(…) Tuning with a tuning meter is different (…) in several ways: primarily, there is no “chained” tuning, i.e., every tone is tuned individually and independently, i.e., the pitch of any string (within the first octave) does not depend on the tuning of any other string, and the resulting tuning accuracy is only given by the accuracy of the tuning of all individual strings — and by the accuracy of the tuning meter. Tuning can be done in the common (and convenient) range a .. a’ for all tuning schemes — or in any other range given by the tuning scheme / table…


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Interval Tuning for Harpsichords

This posting probably is mostly designed to write past tuning pains off my chest … I stated that I frequently tune(d) our harpsichord — to say the truth: I’m not sure I like the tuning process as such, but I liked the challenge of tuning, at a time when we used recipes based on interval tuning: we did not have electronic tuning aids for a number of years. The basic challenges in interval tuning fall into several categories…


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What Tunings Did Bach Use?

People probably regard Bach as being the baroque composer, though in aspects like his preference for traditional polyphonic forms such as fugues and canons (he was a master at writing, even improvising the most complex of fugues) he must have been regarded a rather traditional composer at his time. On the other hand, he did expand into new, previously (almost) unexplored keys on the keyboard and thus may have helped advancing music towards the pre-classical era…


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Progress in Tuning?

My original intent was to write a blog entry about how we tune our harpsichord (i.e., both what type of tuning we aim for, as well as how we achieve that technically). However, then I realized that I can’t discuss the technicalities of tuning without first defining what I mean with the various terms. People who know how to tune a harpsichord should stop reading here…


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