• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Graduating musette tuning

96Bass

Active member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
248
Reaction score
452
Location
Sebastopol, California
I am hoping that this gets Paul De Bra's attention, our resident knowledge base and expert for such things.
If you have a light musette, say in the 4 to 6 cent range, do you still need to graduate the degree of of tuning or would the entire scale be the same amount of tuning the reeds sharp? At what amount of musette do you need to graduate the musette, 8 cents, 10 cents, 12 cents, etc ?
 
I had a chart that gave graduated frequencies, but I now cannot find it. Just as an aside here is a video showing and sounding how a mismatched tremolo tuning compares with a good tuning:
 
Last edited:
It is a bit a matter of taste but generally when A4=440 (or 442 or something else) has an amount X of tremolo (in cents) on the MM register then you gradually tone down the amount of tremolo to somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of X and the same for the next octave, ending at between 4/9 and 9/16 of X at A6 (normally the highest note on a PA). Going down from A4 the tremolo goes up to about 4/3 of X by A3 and stays roughly the same for the next few lower notes, and when you have an accordion with very low nots the tremolo goes down a bit again for the lowest notes.
I tend to set my "compromise" value at 70% (about midway between 2/3 and 3/4). This applies to all values of X, whether it is 4 cents, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20 or even more...
When you reach these "mathematically correct" values you may still wish to make small adjustments by ear because the tremolo (for adjacent notes) has to sound right (that's more important than whether it is mathematically correct).
 
It is a bit a matter of taste but generally when A4=440 (or 442 or something else) has an amount X of tremolo (in cents) on the MM register then you gradually tone down the amount of tremolo to somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of X and the same for the next octave, ending at between 4/9 and 9/16 of X at A6 (normally the highest note on a PA). Going down from A4 the tremolo goes up to about 4/3 of X by A3 and stays roughly the same for the next few lower notes, and when you have an accordion with very low nots the tremolo goes down a bit again for the lowest notes.
I tend to set my "compromise" value at 70% (about midway between 2/3 and 3/4). This applies to all values of X, whether it is 4 cents, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20 or even more...
When you reach these "mathematically correct" values you may still wish to make small adjustments by ear because the tremolo (for adjacent notes) has to sound right (that's more important than whether it is mathematically correct).
Thank you Paul. It sound like there is a greater tolerance the wider the musette tuning is. A drier tuning has to be more precise.
 
Thank you Paul. It sound like there is a greater tolerance the wider the musette tuning is. A drier tuning has to be more precise.
That is absolutely correct. When a note should have say 15 cents tremolo and the tuning is off by 1 cent then 99% of the audience will not notice, especially not when just playing music. When a note should have 4 cents tremolo and it is off by 1 cent (and the adjacent notes are not) many more people will notice something is wrong with that note. Just watch the video below (which has been posted many times).
The video illustrates different tunings, along with a typical music style that tuning is suitable for. If you listen carefully you will notice in the first few examples (with low tremolo values) that several notes are off. They did not tune the instruments precisely before making this video...
 
Hello Paul, In a different post you wrote,
" If the goal is say 10 cents at A4 then I add about 0.3 cents for every note (half-tone) below that, ending at around 13.6 at A3 and staying at that value for lower notes. Then I subtract (starting at 10) 0.25 cents for every note above A4 until I reach 7 cents tremolo at A5. Then I subtract 0.2 cents for about 6 notes, then 0.15 for the next notes... and I try to get the tuning as close as possible to the resulting values (ending with about 4.75 cents at A6)."

This was for tuning to 10 cents - If the goal is 20 cents, would you double the amount above A4 to subtracting .50 cents per note for the next octave going up? If not what would be the proper amount to subtract if the goal was 20 cents at A4 as a starting point?
 
Hello Paul, In a different post you wrote,
" If the goal is say 10 cents at A4 then I add about 0.3 cents for every note (half-tone) below that, ending at around 13.6 at A3 and staying at that value for lower notes. Then I subtract (starting at 10) 0.25 cents for every note above A4 until I reach 7 cents tremolo at A5. Then I subtract 0.2 cents for about 6 notes, then 0.15 for the next notes... and I try to get the tuning as close as possible to the resulting values (ending with about 4.75 cents at A6)."

This was for tuning to 10 cents - If the goal is 20 cents, would you double the amount above A4 to subtracting .50 cents per note for the next octave going up? If not what would be the proper amount to subtract if the goal was 20 cents at A4 as a starting point?
Indeed everything changes linearly with the total number of cents desired. The overall goal, when the tuning for A4 is X is to go down gradually to 0.7X by A5 and 0.7x0.7X by A6 and to go up to X/0.7 down by A3. Any value between 2/3 and 3/4 per octave can be used, depending on taste. I tend to use 0.7 as a compromise between 2/3 and 3/4.
 
Back
Top