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Tunings explained... but...

knobby

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I stumbled upon this today while trying to find out what was meant by "swing" tuning, which gives an example of dry, swing, mild & strong musette:


But what is "tremolo" tuning?
 

losthobos

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All off them... The varied degree of tremelo are given the generic names...
 

Dingo40

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Knobby,
A musical note is produced by a column of air, string or reed vibrating at so many cycles per second ( Herz) e.g. A440.
If a second reed vibrates simultaneously at a slightly different rate, say at 442 cps (hz), the two reeds produce an interplay of sound, which is heard as a tremulo ( or trembling) by the listener .
The further apart the two reeds are in cps, the more pronounced the effect and the " wetter " the tremulo . Conversely, the closer they are in cps, the " drier".
The terms "dry", "swing", "mild" and "strong " musette all refer to an increasing divergence in cps (hz) terms (or increasing " tremulo" , as heard by the listener) in the tuning of the two reeds (strings or columns of air) 🙂
The degree of tremulo considered acceptable, desirable or even pleasant appears to be a matter of cultural mores appertaining to the musical milieu, and is subject to change over time (like all fashions). Hence, very old accordions may display degrees of "wetness " no longer acceptable to current listers.🤔
 
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Glug

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Here's the names for different musette tunings according to Liberty Bellows

0 hz = 0 cents = Unison
0.5hz = 2 cents = Concert
1hz = 4 cents = Swing
2hz = 7 cents = Demi-Swing, Irish
2.5hz = 10 cents = American, Cajun, Quebecois
3hz = 12 cents = Slovenian, Tex-Mex
4hz = 15 cents = German, Italian
5hz = 18 cents = French
6hz = 22 cents = Old French, Old Italian
7hz = 25 cents = Scottish

 

knobby

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Thanks for the explanations.

So... based on the above, adverts like “3 voice, 72 bass tremolo tuned piano accordion” would appear to be pretty meaningless as the amount of tremolo isn’t stated, so you’d have no idea what it would sound like without hearing it. All it tells you is that it is not “Unison“ tuned. Is that correct?
 

Dingo40

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To me, an advertisement like that suggests a relatively naive seller implying an accordion with a noticeable musete tuning, such as found in French, German, Dutch or Scottish instruments, but without specifying the exact degree of "wetness ".
You'd need to hear it played to decide if you liked it enough to own it.
Not everyone likes a "musete " tuning, especially the more pronounced examples.😀
A past member here was frequently scathing about the traditional tunings favoured by Scottish players, like Jimmy Shand, claiming it was a turn-off.
 

debra

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The list from Liberty Bellows is pretty interesting and accurate. One addition I learned was that German and Italian tuning are not the same (Liberty says 15 cents), but that German is 14 cents and Italian is 16 cents.
However, nothing is that exact, and for the larger numbers it hardly matters.
A definition like "Concert = 2 cents" implies that whoever does the tuning can do very accurate tuning, because as most repairers do tuning to no better than within 1 cent an accordion with concert tuning can have notes (in the same "region") with anything between 1 and 3 cents and that is a difference you can clearly hear. And even when the tuning is very accurate it doesn't stay that accurate for very long once you start playing...
 

Ventura

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suggest descriptions for ads that are more understandable

" meusette that peels paint off your walls"

"...makes your sainted Irish Mither weep for Joy"

"guaranteed to make ears bleed during concert"

"Meusette for a night of Absinthe on the West Banke"

"Italian Wedding Soup tuning"

and one last truly unique tuning scheme my friend Walter did on his
(now mine) beloved Scandalli... "Warsaw tuning"
 

debra

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suggest descriptions for ads that are more understandable

" meusette that peels paint off your walls"

"...makes your sainted Irish Mither weep for Joy"

"guaranteed to make ears bleed during concert"

"Meusette for a night of Absinthe on the West Banke"

"Italian Wedding Soup tuning"

and one last truly unique tuning scheme my friend Walter did on his
(now mine) beloved Scandalli... "Warsaw tuning"
You forgot the "headache galore" ;) ;)
 

Scuromondo

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Certainly not “eagle eared,” but that clip sounds dripping wet to me. I would reckon somewhere between Italian and French on the ethnic scale.
 

Zevy

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suggest descriptions for ads that are more understandable

" meusette that peels paint off your walls"

"...makes your sainted Irish Mither weep for Joy"

"guaranteed to make ears bleed during concert"

"Meusette for a night of Absinthe on the West Banke"

"Italian Wedding Soup tuning"

and one last truly unique tuning scheme my friend Walter did on his
(now mine) beloved Scandalli... "Warsaw tuning"
You forgot one description that most of those tunings with fall under:
"Guaranteed to get your band-mates to kill you!"
 

Scuromondo

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On an LMMM instrument where the middle M is concert tuned and the other two are +/-15 cents, Is it true that the degree of tremolo heard will be the exactly the same regardless whether the MM* register is selected or the *MM register is selected? If so, is there any objective reason for choosing one of these registers over the other, or is it only a matter of personal preference?
 

debra

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On an LMMM instrument where the middle M is concert tuned and the other two are +/-15 cents, Is it true that the degree of tremolo heard will be the exactly the same regardless whether the MM* register is selected or the *MM register is selected? If so, is there any objective reason for choosing one of these registers over the other, or is it only a matter of personal preference?
With MM+ the "average" pitch you hear is a bit higher than the concert pitch, and that is subjectively experienced as louder than MM- which is below the concert pitch. But it is subjective. THere is only a truly noticeable difference when the central M is in cassotto.
In any case when you have a register that it M-M+ (without the middle M) then it sound like there is more tremolo than M-MM+.
 

Scuromondo

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With MM+ the "average" pitch you hear is a bit higher than the concert pitch, and that is subjectively experienced as louder than MM- which is below the concert pitch. But it is subjective. THere is only a truly noticeable difference when the central M is in cassotto.
In any case when you have a register that it M-M+ (without the middle M) then it sound like there is more tremolo than M-MM+.
That is fascinating. Why would the difference be more noticeable if the central M is in cassotto?
 

wirralaccordion

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With MM+ the "average" pitch you hear is a bit higher than the concert pitch, and that is subjectively experienced as louder than MM- which is below the concert pitch.
Is it therefore also true that an accordion tuned at 442Hz will be louder than one tuned at 440Hz and louder still at 444Hz and, if this is true, are these differences perceptible? And why tune an accordion at anything other than 440Hz anyway?
 

Ventura

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because it already was

to take an older accordion that was (common at the time) 442 and try to move every reed down is very time consuming, risky in less than expert hands, and risks losing the carachter of the accordion (especially if it was originally factory tuned to a Provino)
 

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