True-harmonic tuning

oakcroft13 bill at h...
Fri Feb 22 16:20:08 GMT 2002

Chris Pickford:

> I would have disagreed quite strongly with the view
> that Taylors moved towards true-harmonic tuning over a
> lengthy period. I think that they got to true-harmonic
> in one step, but then perfected the tonal quality . . .

Steve Ivin:
> . . . controlling the prime through shoulder thickness

I'm not going to argue with any of this. The point I was making 
earlier was that there was a series of inter-related steps:
* getting the hums right
* getting the primes right, especially in the trebles
* getting the tierces 'right', which took longer.
All this took some years, as I hope to demonstrate in an article I'm 
writing. Along the way, there could have been a change in relative 
intensity of partials (which can have a huge effect on the sound 
independant of partial tuning). I am still seeking objective evidence 
of this last.

CJP again:
> We all too easily forget that "getting the numbers right"
> doesn't necessarily give a good sound

Absolutely - 'To analyse is to destroy' - (quote from D. H. 
Lawrence.) But what is fascinating is to track the changes to the 
numbers, because at least they can be measured objectively, and then 
try to relate this to our appreciation of the sound. Too much is made 
of exact adherence to the numbers, the errors often do not make that 
much difference.

What set me off on this track was listening to a recording I took of 
Newcastle Cathedral. I thought I knew their sound well, having rung 
there for a couple of years. When I listened to the recording away 
from the tower I was astonished, they sounded more modern than I 
expected, which caused me to begin asking why.

Someone mentioned Crewe. I haven't rung there for a while (15 years) 
but I remember them as somewhat unpleasant. I must go and record 
them . . . a phrase which will go on my gravestone!

Bill H

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