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Ben Thackeray

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    Playing for folk dance. Ceilidhs, Morris and Clog. Some instrument maintenance and tuning.
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  1. Paul - I like your review of your Lachenal tuning work thanks. I am curious as to why you didn't centre the temperament on G rather than A, being more central within your ( and my) preferred keys. Having had my curiosity stirred I have ordered a copy of the Ross Duffin book. Best wishes.
  2. Thanks again to all. It has been an education for me. In recording the reed frequency deviation from A=440 I adapted another spreadsheet normally used for equal temperament accordion work where G# and Ab, and D# and Eb, are the same. This initial table of recorded deviations ( attached ) shows well the differences that mean tone produces. It is not however clear to me what the fundamental tuning frequency would have been. Matthew's Wheatstone as found.pdf
  3. Many thanks Little John. I don't have any experience of anything other than equal temperament so I think some reading up is indicated. That would probably account for the relative closeness of the pairs of reeds which did puzzle me. The outliers were just that, not misidentified. I do not have the instrument now so I can't check as suggested. I have just tidied up the worst inconsistencies to make it acceptable to play.
  4. I have just been tuning a friend's Wheatstone 48key English which he says was made in about 1870. It has brass reeds which do not look as if they have been tuned since new. The instrument was in a bad state when he got it and had plainly not been played for a very long time. I do not know the likely pitch it was originally tuned to but might guess A=442 or 444. At A=444 the deviation from A=440 would be about 16cents at that frequency. (If I got my calcs right). What amazed me was the enormous range of deviation from assumed correct pitch. Many of the reeds were between 30 and 40 cents sharp. See attached chart which is with reference to A=440. These were measured with the reeds in the instrument. The deviations were spread randomly between low and high reeds. The difference between in the instrument and on the tuning table was very small. 0-3 cents. My question is - is this huge disparity normal for old instruments. In trying to account for it I wondered whether the brass in the reeds was subject to age hardening which would I assume raise the pitch. I would be grateful for comments. 1870 Wheatstone.pdf
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