The Art of Sweetened Tuning — Historical Temperaments

 

Peterson tuners feature unique Sweetener™ presets not found in any other brand of tuner. This comes from an almost 70-year legacy reaching back to the dawn of popular music as we know it today.

Decades of research and the experience of musicians the world over has led to the creation of the “Sweetener”, a system of preset tuning offsets designed for specific instruments, only available on Peterson tuners, and used worldwide wherever precise and professional results are expected.

    Peterson StroboPlus HD

Most Peterson tuners contain historical temperaments. These are accurate to 0.1 cent and can, if required, be transposed to other keys besides the default of C. The wide concert pitch range of most models of Peterson tuners make them ideal for players of Baroque and Early Music. The current Strobo series of tuners from Peterson includes the StroboPlus, a compact and affordable battery operated programmable tuner which features a USB interface and a software editor allowing the easy programming of any additional temperaments. Unique to the StroboPlus is the ability to program more than 12 notes to an octave, making it possible to include enharmonic notes also (e.g. C# and Db as separate pitches).

 

Equal Temperament

For Equal Temperament, use the EQU preset.

The octave is divided into twelve equal parts. Each half-step or semitone is 100 cents away from its immediate neighbor. Equal temperament also does not require a root note. Modulation is possible to all keys without adjustment.

 

 

 

Just Major Intonation

For Just Major Intonation, use the JMI Sweetener™ preset.

Tuning in Just Intonation means that unlike Equal temperament, the tones are tuned to frequency ratios which correspond to the harmonic series of the root. This results in pure beat-less intervals (root, major third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth etc.) It also means that in order to modulate to other keys, a new root must be selected. The default root of JMI is C.

 

 

Just Minor Intonation

For Just Minor Intonation, use the JME Sweetener preset.

Tuning in Just Intonation means that unlike Equal temperament, the tones are tuned to frequency ratios which correspond to the harmonic series of the root. This results in pure beat-less intervals (root, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth etc.). It also means that to modulate to other keys, a new root must be selected.

The default root of JME is C.

 

Pythagorean

For Pythagorean tuning, use the PYT Sweetener™ preset.

Tuning with the default root of C will produce a stack of eleven perfect fifths with one fifth being almost a quarter of a semitone out of tune (wolf interval). Thirds are poor. Playing in G# major & minor keys should be avoided.

 

 

 

Quarter Comma Meantone

For Quarter Comma Meantone, use the 4MT Sweetener preset.

Tuning with the default root of C will produce perfect major thirds and slightly tempered fifths. Major keys which should be avoided: Db, Gb, Ab & B. Minor keys which should be avoided: Bb, Eb, F & G#

 

 

 

Sixth Comma Meantone

For Sixth Comma Meantone, use the 6MT Sweetener preset.

Tuning with the default root of C will produce very slightly sharp (from pure) major thirds and slightly tempered fifths.

 

 

 

 

Kirnberger III

For Kirnberger III tuning, use the KRN Sweetener™ preset.

Tuning with the default root of C will produce one perfect major third (C-E). Four fifths are imperfect.

Major keys which should be avoided: Eb, E.

Minor keys which should be avoided: C, C#, G#.

 

 

Werckmeister III

For Werckmeister III, use the WK3 Sweetener preset.

Tuning with the default root of C will produce six perfect fifths, five narrow and one wide fifth. Strong key color.

Major keys which should be avoided: Db, Gb, Ab, B.

Minor keys which should be avoided: Bb, Eb, F.

 

 

Young

For Young, use the YNG Sweetener preset.

Tuning with the default root of C will produce no perfect intervals. Major thirds become wider the farther one gets from the home key of C. Mild key color.

Major keys which should be avoided: Db, Eb, Gb, Ab.

Minor keys which should be avoided: Bb, C, Eb, F.

 

Vallotti

For Vallotti, use the VAL Sweetener™ preset.

Tuning with the default root of C will produce six perfect fifths. Major thirds vary from slightly sharp to harsh. Similar to Young.

 

 

 

 

Rameau

For Rameau, use the RAM Sweetener preset.

Tuning with the default root of C will produce three perfect fifths and four perfect major thirds.

Major keys which should be avoided: C#, Eb, F#, Ab, B.

Minor keys which should be avoided: all except C.

 

 

Current Peterson tuners featuring the Sweetener settings described above include:

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©2013 John Norris for Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc. All rights reserved.