column

Tuning etiquette

Home Forums Coffee Break Tuning etiquette

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #106411
    kreig-kitts
    Member

    A recent tuning thread has reminded me of this question I’ve had in my head. I’ll be

    #106412
    Brian Stevenson
    Participant

    Tuning when playing with an orchestra or concert band should be done well ahead of time.

    #106413
    laura-palmieri
    Participant

    I’ve wondered the same thing when I play in concert band too.I don’t think my group really cares but I always feel odd just sitting there while everyone is tuning. Sometimes I do pull the harp back and check the strings just for myself but I always feel kind of funny because you can’t really tune anything at that point.

    #106414

    Most oboists I dealt with came over to the harp to get my A. And, of course, you can’t retune at that time.

    #106415
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Tune well ahead of time and then consult with the oboist to make sure the A that he/she gives is the same as your A. Many years ago I played with a local civic orchestra. I tuned well ahead of time, to A 440. When the rehearsal started the oboist gave an A that was almost a quarter step sharp! I stopped him and told the conductor, who was standing right there, that that A was too high. So the oboist took his A from me and then the rest of the orchestra tuned to him.

    #106416
    Elizabeth L
    Participant

    If you tune well ahead of time, by the time the rehearsal or concert starts, you may already be out of tune.

    #106417
    paul-wren
    Participant

    Always a good idea to ask the oboe what they are tuning too. Some orcherstas that I have played

    #106418
    Tacye
    Participant

    If you are playing a piece with instruments which are more fixed than the harp (organ, piano, more rarely big tuned percussion parts) it is worth working out what they are tuned to before you start.

    #106419
    kreig-kitts
    Member

    Thanks everybody. I’m going to have the harp tuned beforehand (I play with them every week on flute – we’re A 440 no doubt). I was just wondering what to actually do while everybody else is doing the group thing, since by then the harp is in tune or it isn’t and I didn’t want to just sit there looking pretty.

    #106420
    Tacye
    Participant

    Well, I don’t advise you to sit there making ugly faces.

    #106421
    kreig-kitts
    Member

    I hope I don’t overdo it and distract the oboist with my prettiness.

    #106422
    tony-morosco
    Member

    Well, if I were you I would check my A against the oboe and, assuming that it is correct and so no serious problem is about to ruin you, quickly check the rest of the octave of what ever octave you are going to be doing most of your playing in.

    In the event that a string may have gone out of tune for some reason, or that you just missed one, you want to be most concerned with the notes you will be playing most in the piece. So if there are only a note or two in the first octave being played, but most of your playing is in the third octave for the piece then check those just to make sure that nothing has gone awry. You can’t retune the whole harp, but you should be able to make a last minute correction to one or two strings if you catch it during the tuning phase.

    Or just pretend to be checking by playing some intervals or arpeggios. I find arpeggios a good way to catch the odd, out of tune string anyway.

    #106423
    David Ice
    Participant

    #106424
    shelby-m
    Participant

    I heard a quote once that went something like “Never argue with stupid people – first they drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.”
    It seems to me that harpists have to deal with more than their fair share of stupid people!

    #106425

    Well, I’m not shy about asking the oboe if he wants my A, or asking if my A matches his/hers.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.