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Automatic Tuning of High Piano Tones

Acoustics Laboratory, Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics, Aalto University, FI-02150 Espoo, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: BITS Pilani – K K Birla Goa Campus, Goa 403726, India.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 1983;
Received: 31 January 2020 / Revised: 24 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 March 2020 / Published: 13 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Music Computing -- Music and Interaction)
Piano tuning is known to be difficult because the stiffness of piano strings causes the tones produced to be inharmonic. Aural tuning is time consuming and requires the help of a professional. This motivates the question of whether this process can be automated. Attempts at automatic tuning are usually assessed by comparing the Railsback curve of the results with the curve of a professional tuner. In this paper we determine a simple and reliable rule for tuning the high tones of a piano with the help of a listening test. This rule consists of matching the two tones in an octave interval so that the first partial frequency of the upper tone becomes exactly the same as the second partial frequency of the lower tone. This rule was rated best among four tuning rules that were compared in the test. The results found are explained using a beat-based analysis, and are consistent with some previous studies. They are also tested against the existing method of using Railsback curves, and it is shown that comparison using Railsback curves is an unreliable method of assessing different tunings. The findings from this paper can be used to create a complete automatic tuner that could make the process of piano tuning quick and inexpensive. View Full-Text
Keywords: acoustics; audio signal processing; music; psychoacoustics; spectral analysis acoustics; audio signal processing; music; psychoacoustics; spectral analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shah, S.; Välimäki, V. Automatic Tuning of High Piano Tones. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 1983.

AMA Style

Shah S, Välimäki V. Automatic Tuning of High Piano Tones. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(6):1983.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shah, Sneha, and Vesa Välimäki. 2020. "Automatic Tuning of High Piano Tones" Applied Sciences 10, no. 6: 1983.

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