Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Instrument ranges

pavane 10 May 06 - 02:44 AM
s&r 10 May 06 - 03:17 AM
Dead Horse 10 May 06 - 05:01 AM
pavane 10 May 06 - 05:04 AM
Paul Burke 10 May 06 - 05:13 AM
JohnInKansas 10 May 06 - 06:16 AM
pavane 10 May 06 - 06:35 AM
Grab 10 May 06 - 07:15 AM
DMcG 10 May 06 - 07:21 AM
The Fooles Troupe 10 May 06 - 07:40 AM
The Fooles Troupe 10 May 06 - 07:45 AM
Anonny Mouse 10 May 06 - 04:15 PM
number 6 10 May 06 - 04:42 PM
M.Ted 10 May 06 - 05:50 PM
The Fooles Troupe 10 May 06 - 08:26 PM
Don Firth 10 May 06 - 09:25 PM
The Fooles Troupe 10 May 06 - 09:53 PM
JohnInKansas 10 May 06 - 10:10 PM
M.Ted 11 May 06 - 12:28 AM
pavane 11 May 06 - 05:00 AM
Don Firth 11 May 06 - 06:06 PM
pavane 12 May 06 - 03:39 AM
pavane 12 May 06 - 03:44 AM
JohnInKansas 12 May 06 - 10:12 AM
Kaleea 12 May 06 - 08:10 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 May 06 - 10:15 PM
JohnInKansas 13 May 06 - 05:02 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 May 06 - 08:49 AM
catspaw49 13 May 06 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,DrWord 13 May 06 - 12:50 PM
JohnInKansas 14 May 06 - 03:07 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 May 06 - 08:24 AM
pavane 16 May 06 - 05:29 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:







Subject: Instrument ranges
From: pavane
Date: 10 May 06 - 02:44 AM

Can anyone point me to a web site which provides details of the actual range of notes available for various instruments? (Absolute pitches, that is, particularly for stringed instruments)

This is to help me check the tablature options of my program


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: s&r
Date: 10 May 06 - 03:17 AM

here is one


Stu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: Dead Horse
Date: 10 May 06 - 05:01 AM

So harps and accordions rule, yeah!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: pavane
Date: 10 May 06 - 05:04 AM

Thanks - I will look at it later - it doesn't seem to be responding to me at present


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 May 06 - 05:13 AM

Where's the garkleinfloetlein? The glass harmonica? the bass rackett? The alphorn? The double contrabassoon?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 May 06 - 06:16 AM

Nice chart, but I'm insulted. They show the "Jr Hi" range for all the saxophones, at 2.5 octaves. Adding the other 1.5 octaves to the top (4.0 octave total) would still leave all of them within the range shown except the soprano, which can play a bit outside the top. Of course only the dogs (and maybe bats) can hear one when it's played up there, and not too many soprano sax players use all the range available. (Why play it if you can't hear it?)

Actually Dead Horse, the chart just shows where everything matches up to the piano - which in that representation is the "ruler." Note the piano keyboard along the bottom from A0 at 27.5 Hz to C8 at 4186 Hz. The harp starts on the third note up from the bottom, and the piccolo ends three notes from the top (of the piano range).

The picture shown is virtually identical to Fig 2-4, page 18-19, in The Science of Musical Sound, 2d edition, John R. Pierce, Freeman & Co., ©1992 Scientific American Books, ISBN 07167-6005-3 (It looked familiar, so I checked).

It should be reliable enough to indicate that if you can notate the full range of the piano keyboard you'll include essentially all of the common instruments.

Guitar, Banjo, Mando, etc. seem to be missing, but all are within the range shown.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: pavane
Date: 10 May 06 - 06:35 AM

I am trying to ensure that my chord generation routine within HARMONY only uses notes within the range of the instrument


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: Grab
Date: 10 May 06 - 07:15 AM

That chart's not exactly accurate for guitar. E2 to E5 only gets you as far as the 12th fret on top E. As any electric player knows, the chances of frets 13 to N (where N is 20-24 depending on instrument) never being used is pretty damn low! :-)

I presume you're just using this to set up the default options? Better make it user-tweakable so that it's possible to play chords at the 12th fret...

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: DMcG
Date: 10 May 06 - 07:21 AM

Actually, the real challenge for this task is not so much the acoustic range as the mechanics of playing, and they vary from instrument to instrument. With the guitar, the main constraint is the stretching required, of course; with an English concertina the considerations are totally different.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 May 06 - 07:40 AM

Pavanne

A much more subtle problem is to ensure that not only are the chords generated within the playable range of the instrument, but that they are within the capability of the player to be able to play them - I can stretch (or used to be able) an octave + 3rd on the piano, a couple of octaves on some piano accordions with smaller spaced keyboards, and while not a guitar player, it is obvious that there is only a limited spread of frets (but you can include open strings!) that a human hand could cover simultaneously (like a violin 'position') - ie if you are at the guitar 12th fret, I doubt if normal human fingers will reach back to the 2nd fret at the same time!

:-)
Robin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 May 06 - 07:45 AM

Oh, and of course, normal players only have 4 fingers and a thumb on each hand - keyboards beware!!!! but by barreing, guitarists can do different things.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: Anonny Mouse
Date: 10 May 06 - 04:15 PM

Is this anal-retentive or not? Like, this will make a difference to who?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: number 6
Date: 10 May 06 - 04:42 PM

It would make a difference to pavane. In fact I find this thread interesting.

sIx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 May 06 - 05:50 PM

It makes a lot of difference--particularly if you are sitting in front of a score looking at a part that goes out of the range of your instrument.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 May 06 - 08:26 PM

And some people think orchestral conductors just stand in front and wave their arms around! They need to know all this sorta crap, and much more! I know cause I studied...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 May 06 - 09:25 PM

Just for the amusement and amazement of it.

Back in the early Sixties I heard the classic guitar duo, Alexandre Lagoya and Ida Presti in concert. I met them at the reception following the concert. Ida Presti was not a very large woman. Check this out:   S T R E T C H !   And scroll down to the second photo.

She's playing as many E's as she can reach. My hands are much larger than hers and I can't make that stretch.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 May 06 - 09:53 PM

OK pavanne,

looks like you can't spread the notes over much more than 8 sdjacent frets then! :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 May 06 - 10:10 PM

Don - You're suggesting that Pavane probably doesn't need to notate more than an 8-fret reach for most guitarists?

The simple notation used by most of the people I hang with, just places the name of the chord (e.g. E7 or similar) above the staff.

The perhaps most common "next step" is the little "fret diagrams" that go with the chord beside the chord name. There may be people who actually rely on these diagrams, but I don't know any of them. My gitterist friends tell me they're always a "less than best" fingering.

I'm suspecting that Pavane's intention is to actually notate the individual notes of the chord(?).

It would seem that the notes have to be put in the score in order for an automatic midi playback to know to play them, but for most guitarists having all those notes may be more confusing than helpful on the score page they play from.

Some programs I've seen allow you to (*optionally) put the notes for the midi play back in as "hidden" so that they don't show on the printed score. The option for programs that don't allow "non-printing but playable" notes is to put them in a separate "voice" on a different stave.

* The "option" to put non-printing notes in the score implies the option to choose whether or not to "play hidden notes" when you play back what you've written - usually.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 May 06 - 12:28 AM

You don't hang with any classical guitarists, John--For a lead sheet, or a fake sheet, melody notes with chord indications are fine, but for a real piece of guitar music, it all has to be there--also, on occasion, jazz players like to put all the notes that they are playing on the staff--this because there are at least four ways to play every chord--and then there are the substitutions--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: pavane
Date: 11 May 06 - 05:00 AM

Hi everyone,
Yes it is very interesting and most useful.

I do want to generate and indicate the actual notes, as noted above, so that I can create and play a MIDI file.

For my first attempt, I have restricted the fret stretch to the tuning difference between adjacent strings, typically 3 or 4 for guitar, and 5 for mandolin. Obviously, this will vary beween instruments and tunings.

You cannot use a stretch of LESS than this, otherwise some notes are unplayable.

It is VERY tricky to ensure that all notes of a chord are playable and on different strings, when you can't use a chord dictionary, due to allowing custom tunings.

The chords produced so far do not look exactly the same as standard, probably because my algorithm does not yet include two instances of the same note within a chord. (e.g. E3 and E4).

By default, the current effective 'fret window' is frets 0 (Open) to 4. In the next version, I plan to add a user defined 'Window' option and allow barre chords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 May 06 - 06:06 PM

Music for the classic guitar is written out note for note, just like any other instrument. The range of the guitar (full range, three octaves and a fifth, from the E on the open 6th string to the B on the 18th fret on the first string). To avoid having to read two clefs like music written for the piano, guitar music is written on the treble clef only. To do this, the guitar is a "transposition" instrument in that the actual sounds of the notes are one octave below the note as written. For example, the C on the 5th string, 3rd fret is written on the first ledger line below the staff—middle C on the piano—but it is actually an octave below middle C. To play a middle C in relation to the piano, you find it on the 2nd string, 1st fret (along with several other places). Sounds more complicated than it really is. A lot of standard orchestral instruments are "transposition," i.e., the notes they actually play are not exactly as written.

The problem with keeping it all on one staff is that one has to learn to read notes on ledger lines above and below the staff. Sight-reading for the guitar is not too easy, because often the same note can be found several places on the fingerboard. For example, the aforementioned C on the 2nd string 1st fret:   it can also be found on the 3rd string 5th fret, the 4th string 10th fret, or even up over the body of the guitar on the 5th string 15th fret. Where you would play that C depends on what else is going on. So unless a piece is pretty easy and sticks close to the first position, classic guitarists usually have to do a couple of read-throughs at least before being able to play through it smoothly.

But all the actual notes are right there on the page.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: pavane
Date: 12 May 06 - 03:39 AM

HARMONY already does the score in this way if you select Guitar Staff, including the transposition down.

The difficulty for my program, as you say, is choosing one of the possible ways to play a specific note. However, you can override the automatic choice by specifying the string, which then makes it unique.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: pavane
Date: 12 May 06 - 03:44 AM

Just managed to get to that site, and it doesn't show ANY of the instruments in which I may be interested for tablature purposes, i.e stringed instruments like banjo, mandolin, mandola, cittern, lute, dulcimer, and so on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 May 06 - 10:12 AM

pavane -

Getting a precise range for many stringed instruments may be difficult, as there seem to be no real standards of construction that will apply to all instruments that have the same name.

The chart that was linked does show a guitar, I believe, but I didn't attempt to figure how many frets they included in the calculation.

Tuning and range for common mandolins usually are the same as for violins. The tuning and range for "mandolin family" instruments pitched lower - so far as I've seen - tend to follow the progression of instruments in the violin/viol family.

Older mandolins, some of which are still played, typically had about 18 frets, although I've seen a few old ones that I believe had more like 15; but newer ones often go as high as at least 23 - or more. On some of those with lots of frets the highest frets are only under the top couple of string courses - on a "finger extension" of the soundboard.

Tenor/Irish banjos sometimes are tuned like a mandolin but an octave lower, although the "standard" tuning drops everything another fifth so the low open string is at a C (C,G,D,A) rather than at G (G,D,A,E) - I think.

From what I can tell from listening to the family nuisance practice, 5-string banjos have no standard tuning.(?) There may be a "range" that could be sorted out, but there are long-necks and short-necks too. I've been given lectures by said family expert on what's different depending on which banjo style a player uses, but I'm afraid they didn't stick too well.

"Modern" lap dulcimers may typically have 2 octaves plus a fourth on each string, if Lin's McSpadden is an indication, 19 frets (including a 6-1/2 fret in each of the two octaves), but older dulcimers and those by other makers may vary by a few frets, usually fewer. String tunings, and intervals between strings, are extremely variable. The 6-1/2 fret is not used by many "traditional" players, and lots of "modernists" add a 1-1/2 fret. Three "strings" are pretty standard, but one or two of the "strings" may be double-coursed, and I've run into one or two players who tuned the two strings in a course differently - a.la. some 12-string guitar tunings.

Hammer dulcimers come in several sizes, possibly differing by an octave or more for pitch of the lowest string and sort of in a number of "generic grades" depending on how many octaves are included.

While most of us can picture a mental image of what's meant by a "lute," and might even have a different image for a "cittern," there seem to be several usages for instruments that are generically similar but with variations in tunings and range. (These may be more "standardized" than I've understood them to be, among those who play them in this century.)

My conclusion is that the reason none of the "good" instruments show a standard pitch range in any of my physics/acoustics/composition/harmony/history/notation/encyclopedia references is that there are no really "standard" ranges for any of them.

It seems likely that you'll need to find a friendly expert or two for each of the instruments you're concerned with, and arrive at a "compromise" as to how much range to score for, for the individual instruments. We probably have enough experts at the 'cat to get you several compromises on about any instrument you pick, if you can get them interested enough.

Maybe you'll get some of what you need from those who'll volunteer why my babbling above is mostly B.....S......(?)

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: Kaleea
Date: 12 May 06 - 08:10 PM

DMcG is on target-each individual instrument has it's own idiosyncrasies & you really need to consult someone who plays the instrument, & hopefully has some knowledge of Music notation.

anonny--perhaps some Musicians may not be aware of the fact that many professional & amateur Musicians are frequently called upon to use a Music score, which, if incorrect, creates quite some problems for the Musicians. To whom do they turn--the conductor or director? Many church & community band, orchestra, or chorus directors do not have a strong educational background in both instrumental as well as vocal Music. Few professional conductors have any knowledge of what we think of as "traditional" instruments, to include Guitar as well as many others. The Musician is stuck trying to figure out how to play what they can of their portion of the score. This can alter the overall sound of the Musical work.
Often, as a Church Music Director dealing with the all volunteer choir, I've had occasion to use Music which calls for solos by various instruments. I have often had to use a different instrument, & transcribe the score for that instrument.
I also am frequently asked to write out tunes for various "traditional" instruments, as I play several of them. This is terrific for slow jams with beginners, even if they do not read Music, as I provide on each part the tab & chords in addition to the notation. This way, most people can participate in a beginner jam.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 May 06 - 10:15 PM

JohnInKansas

not all 'hammer dulcimers' (I play one) are fully chromatic either.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 May 06 - 05:02 AM

Foolestroupe -

I should have mentioned that, as I was aware of it. My layer of BS was getting pretty thick, so I tried to pare it down to giving a concept instead of instructions.

The lap dulcimer is strictly a one-scale diatonic instrument in its basic form. You can change which scale by retuning. Adding the 6-1/2 fret lets you "sort of" have two major scales on the same instrument. Adding the rarer 1-1/2 fret gives three (sort of).

And guitar tab should be able to show hammer-on and pull-off notations, and probably bends, for completeness.(?)

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 May 06 - 08:49 AM

"My layer of BS was getting pretty thick"

But John, you're so full of it normally... er, wait on, was that quite what I meant to say...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 May 06 - 10:07 AM

.....and just to be completely pedantic, as I used to build them, they are "Hammered Dulcimers" not Hammer......(:<))

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 13 May 06 - 12:50 PM

i luv it around here
the pedantry :)
the scholarship
& the fellowship. Thanks for the thread, pavane

in HARMONY,
dennis


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 May 06 - 03:07 AM

Robin -

My sister once explained to one of her friends, in my presence when I was at a young and tender age, that the B.S. was a compensation for my total lack of personality.

I did try once "having a personality" but it didn't work out at all well, so I completely discarded that mode of operation.

As you know, B.S. detection is much more useful than B.S. production, in the real world; but a certain level of development seems necessary in both sides of the matter to have useful ability with either.

Spaw -

The "hammer dulcimer" was a deliberate plant, to induce you to enter the discussion and reveal the exotic scale secrets of the "cheese slicers" (the real and proper technical nomenclature).

Proceed and explain.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 May 06 - 08:24 AM

If "Hammered Dulcimers" were made out of metal, rather than wood, wouldn't they always be flat?

;-P


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Instrument ranges
From: pavane
Date: 16 May 06 - 05:29 AM

I think I can ignore hammered dulcimer, I supposed I should have restricted my question to 'Fretted stringed instruments'.

I will just leave it to the user to define his own instrument (apart from Guitar & Mandolin), instead of trying to provide default tunings for many different instruments.

I don't yet show hammers or pull-offs on the tab, but they can be indicated on the score (above) as slurs. Bends can be played by using note styles, but are not yet shown on the score or tab. All these can be future enhancements, but I can't do it all at once!

kaleea - you may find my program helpful in creating these scores for traditional instruments - or maybe you already use a different one.

JohninKansas
My program does not provide simultaneous notes within a voice, therefore all chords require one voice per note. That makes it easy to hide notes that you don't want to see. However, I do also provide a 'Hide Note' option on the edit menus. (From the NEXT version, 3.4.2, only)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 27 May 7:24 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.