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Old 05-28-2019, 03:28 PM   #1
brewingjt100
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Default Tuning to 452hz

Hi,
Our Pipe Major wants to start tuning to 452. Is this a relative pitch or actual? I come from the land of tuning a guitar at A440. Im still trying to wrap my head around it.
TIA
John
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:42 PM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Tuning to 452hz

The tuner would read the note “Bb” on low A and high A if set to a reference pitch of 452 Hz. The actual pitch of low A if you wanted the tuner to say “A” would be 452 x 2^(1/12) =~ 452 x 1.05946 =~ 478.877 Hz.

Highland pipes usually don’t follow any other standard tuning conventions. Though you can buy Bb chanters where low A tunes to a flatter than normal pitch of 466 Hz.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:48 PM   #3
brewingjt100
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Default Re: Tuning to 452hz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
The tuner would read the note “Bb” on low A and high A if set to a reference pitch of 452 Hz. The actual pitch of low A if you wanted the tuner to say “A” would be 452 x 2^(1/12) =~ 452 x 1.05946 =~ 478.877 Hz.

Highland pipes usually don’t follow any other standard tuning conventions. Though you can buy Bb chanters where low A tunes to a flatter than normal pitch of 466 Hz.
Ahh!! Thank you Patrick! That makes MUCH more sense! I’ve been scratching my head.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:12 PM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Tuning to 452hz

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewingjt100 View Post

Ahh!! Thank you Patrick! That makes MUCH more sense! I’ve been scratching my head.
If using a eg Korg CA tuner....set it on 452hz ...get your ha and la set ..each showing green lights; as Patrick noted ...the screen will display key of Bb at its right side...for any note played

Now bump the tuner up 26hz to 478 ( not quite as fully accurate as Patrick’s calc) ....and you’ll still see the same green lights...but the screen will now display the name of each actual note being played...at pitch of 478hz.

The 26 cent differential goes for a tuned Bb chanter too...A=440 green lights will = A466 green lights. Those two # often used interchangeably on BDF.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:41 AM   #5
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Tuning to 452hz

It's simply a matter of what note you're using as your "Low A", "A" or "Bb".

The pipes are a transposing instrument and you could use "A" (the written note) or "Bb" (the sounding note) as the basis for setting your electronic tuner.

It doesn't matter as long as you're aware.

Here are the equivalents rounded to the nearest whole number:

A based = Bb based
440 = 466
442 = 469
445 = 472
448 = 474
450 = 477
453 = 480
455 = 483

So you can read your electronic tuner either way: if you're playing a "Bb" or "466" chanter whether you have the tuner set to 440 or 466 the needle would be straight up; both are Concert Pitch.

Likewise if you're playing a modern band chanter that pitches at 480 (when using 466 as the baseline) it will read at 453 if you're using 440 as the baseline.

It's really just the choice of calling the notes their actual "sounding pitches" or calling them by their usual piping names, which are all transposed.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:36 PM   #6
brewingjt100
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Default Re: Tuning to 452hz

Great responses by all. It all makes much more sense, now.
Cheers!
John
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:37 PM   #7
magsevenband
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Default Re: Tuning to 452hz

What chanters and reeds are you using?
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:06 AM   #8
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Tuning to 452hz

For those who don't know what the terms "transposing instrument" and "sounding pitches" etc mean, the notes the Highland pipes play are called different names by pipers:

Piper's names for the notes=actual sound of the notes

"Low G" = A flat
"Low A" = B flat
"B" = C
"C" (what we should call "C sharp") = D
"D" = E flat
"E" = F
"F" (what we should call "F sharp") = G
"High G" = A flat
"High A" = B flat

Knowing the actual notes the chanter produces is handy when you're doing a gig with legit musicians and you might be discussing the notes you're playing.

I might introduce the pipes to a legit player simply by saying "the pipes sound in three flats but are written in two sharps" or "the pipes play in E flat Major but are written in D Major".

They don't sound in B flat Major (two flats) and they aren't written in A Major (three sharps) despite many pipers saying that.
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:22 AM   #9
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: Tuning to 452hz

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
For those who don't know what the terms "transposing instrument" and "sounding pitches" etc mean, the notes the Highland pipes play are called different names by pipers:

Piper's names for the notes=actual sound of the notes

"Low G" = A flat
"Low A" = B flat
"B" = C
"C" (what we should call "C sharp") = D
"D" = E flat
"E" = F
"F" (what we should call "F sharp") = G
"High G" = A flat
"High A" = B flat

Knowing the actual notes the chanter produces is handy when you're doing a gig with legit musicians and you might be discussing the notes you're playing.

I might introduce the pipes to a legit player simply by saying "the pipes sound in three flats but are written in two sharps" or "the pipes play in E flat Major but are written in D Major".

They don't sound in B flat Major (two flats) and they aren't written in A Major (three sharps) despite many pipers saying that.
I will often tell people the pipes sound in Eb and are written in D, but we really play in Bb mixolydian and are written in A mixolydian.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tuning to 452hz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Fogelman View Post
I will often tell people the pipes sound in Eb and are written in D, but we really play in Bb mixolydian and are written in A mixolydian.
(Translating for those who haven't studied music theory) Considering the drones are labeled A, but sound B flat, the scale of the pipes is a B flat scale with a flat 7th - Written G sounds as A Flat rather than G# sounding as A.
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