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Ocarina Ranges and Names; This comes up a lot; I'd like to settle it with a reference.
Topic Started: 18 Aug 2010, 11:08 PM (18,784 Views)
Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

Hi everyone. If possible and agreeable a Sticky from the mods would be FANTASTIC! If this is better suited somewhere else move it at your discretion. I simply want it viewable easily as per my goal:

I have made this diagram up to explain the ranges and names for common ocarina sizes/pitches and keys. This is all with what I would call "openly accepted and uncontested terminology", e.g. as simple and widely accepted as possible.

My goal is to help end the constant stream of posts that say things like "I want something lower than a Tenor C because the high notes are too high." and "What kind of ocarina is this? It goes from X to X1" and "What range does a X have?". I want this to be available for all the newcomers with questions, many of which who don't get answered or don't understand the terms we use.

I am open to suggestions and will modify it if there are any errors or if there is a better accepted term for something. Please let me know what you think.

OCARINA RANGE AND NAMING GUIDE



Edited by Sigurthr, 20 Oct 2010, 07:17 PM.
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ubizmo


Is this system truly uncontested?

Instead of the "8va" notation, I'd incorporate something like C5, Eb4, etc.--some indication of the absolute pitch on a piano keyboard.

Frankly, I'd drop the whole SATB nomenclature, until it becomes standardized, if ever. Instead, just show the various options from various makers. After all, there are Hinds, and MOs, and Pacchionis, and North Country Workshop, and so on, that don't fall neatly into these slots. But people are still interested in knowing about them and perhaps buying them (but you don't have to show the Ubizmified MO range). From the standpoint of utility, I think most people would like to be able to look up various ocarinas, and see where they fit into the picture. I know that when I first joined TON, I was utterly ignorant of all of this, and just wanted to get a feel for what was out there.

So.... you might have one diagram for C6 12-holes; another for C6 10-holes; and so on. Make the table longer, and under each entry, you might include notes about makers, alternative terms, and so on. This way, if someone is interested in, say, an STL tenor Enigma, that person would find a note in the table indicating that this is a C5 12-hole ocarina, and would be able to compare it to various other models.

edit: By the way, this is a very cool thing to do!

Ubizmo
Edited by ubizmo, 18 Aug 2010, 11:29 PM.
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Cavalier
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Always look on the bright side of life.
Thanks for this great material, looks good to me. This should really get pinned
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

I had considered not using the SATB nomenclature but then you confuse the european members who are used to the way european makers like Rotter and Pacchioni name things.

A C3 is an Alto C which is C5 on a piano. I think far fewer people know pitches by piano pitches than one would assume. More to the point users of Tabs would probably not know one C from another. If we give them my chart and the fingering chart that came with their oc, they could determine where theirs fits. If by names (or pitch numbers) people cannot find where their oc fits then by notes on the staff they could.

The whole STL Tenor/Alto thing does get confusing but as far as I am aware they list the pitches correctly on the staff, and in their method book use the 8va.

I'm not saying that Using Piano Pitches wouldn't be more correct, it certainly would be. But if you put too much info into it, it will seem overwhelming and daunting. Likewise using completely unfamiliar terminology would do the same. The neophyte would look upon it and think "I don't recognize a single thing on here, I cant use this!".
Edited by Sigurthr, 18 Aug 2010, 11:37 PM.
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Adam
Triple Ocarinist x 4
. . .
Edited by Adam, 28 Jun 2016, 06:49 AM.
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mondeva-2008
Inline Ocarinist x 3
I find this chart very useful, thanks Sigurthr. The only thing I am missing is a name conversion table for italian ocarinas (Pacchioni...) as you have done for STL.
Anyway, a nice and useful work!
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

I'll see what I can do about the italian names, hehe. I may just make a second chart and place it under, adding too much to the main one would be counterproductive.


Btw, thanks for the sticky!
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ocarevolutionary
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ocarina inventor/designer

I'm afraid I'd have to agree about the SATB thing. Just exactly who is the authority on classifying ocarina ranges as SATB? I certainly don't think STL Ocarina, which is run by professional musicians, is any less qualified than other ocarina companies to classify them.

Hopefully as ocarinas become more mainstream, a classification will become standardized.

By the way, if MaxRange ocarinas become "common", do they make it onto your list?
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

I didn't mean common as in rare ocarina vs. very common ocarina. I meant that these Ranges are common. So if more ocarinas had yours' range, then it would be common =P. Do not take it as insult, quite the contrary; The MaxRange is special!

Naming things is always a touchy area, especially when there is a set or standard already accepted, if not wholly, than at least mostly, by a large number of people using the things the names are for.

If you base it on the next closest instrument in terms of range and range of voices you would come to Renaissance Recorder; I doubt anyone wants to use Garklein, Descant, Treble, etc.

Next closest is Baroque Recorder; here we have Garklein C, Sopranino F/G, Soprano C, Alto F/G, Tenor C, Bass F/G, Great Bass C, Contrabass F/G, and Sub-Contrabass C. This system could easily be adapted to ocarina, but you would now be two names separated from the STL Names, and it would not match up to any currently in use system.

Soprano C Recorder = Alto C Ocarina = STL Tenor C Ocarina. If we were to use this system we would see questions like "WTH is it Soprano, Alto, or Tenor!?" and such would prove just cause for moving to a numerical system. Nominating a numerical system is likely futile as people are generally less likely to use it when they are used to a nomenclature based system. People often feel number based names are "indefinite" and "intangible" [I wonder why =P ;)] thus default back to a more comfortable name. What's the use in developing a system no one will use?

Logically the most appropriate path is to take what is most generally accepted, expand upon it to fill any gaps, illuminate any shady areas, clear out any conflicting areas, and lay down the finished groundwork at the very least. This way there is the least amount of resistance or change needed from the least amount of users possible.

I don't see why Maker's, Representative's, or VERY accurate user based charts like mine can't be added for specific Ocarinas that aren't in my chart. There would be no harm as long as they were accurate.

A format outline would be necessary to not conflict with other information in the thread but I'll keep it simple:

OCARINA NAME:
OCARINA MAKER:
RANGE IN SHEET MUSIC :
*Use true pitch on the Staff, C4 is Middle C, the lowest Tonic C of a Bass C Ocarina.
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ocarevolutionary
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ocarina inventor/designer

You make some good points, ones that I really don't have any argument against, not that I feel like arguing anyway.
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

Thanks =). I wouldn't want to argue anyway, I respect your opinion on things like this.
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Krešimir Cindrić


I disagree with the use of the term "subtonic notes" in the chart.
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

Yes, I know you do, and I would love to change it for a correct term! But if I do no one will know what we are talking about. Think of synonym for it or a 1 line explanation, and I'll include it in!
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Krešimir Cindrić


A tone played with a sub-hole? A sub-hole tone?

Edited by Krešimir Cindrić, 20 Oct 2010, 06:54 PM.
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

that works! "Sub-hole Tone" it is.

You do realize where people got subtonic from, right? Tone -> tonal, not tonic. Incorrect modification linguistically to say "referring to a tone" would lead to "tonic" instead of "tonal". Likewise rearranging commonly phrased words would create a situation where it is very easy to create the wrong term. example: saying "the sub hole's tonality " then shifting to talk about the the hole which creates that tone: "the sub tonic's holes". Saying "the sub tonal's holes" would be incorrect grammatically, as tonal is not a noun, which only reinforced the incorrect term because grammatically it sounds correct.
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Krešimir Cindrić


I think its origin is from the misconception that "C = tonic" on an ocarina in C. B and A are below C, so they must be "sub-tonic" :facepalm:
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

Well either way it's fixed!
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ubizmo


Krešimir Cindrić
20 Oct 2010, 07:14 PM
I think its origin is from the misconception that "C = tonic" on an ocarina in C. B and A are below C, so they must be "sub-tonic" :facepalm:
I disagree. The tonic note is the first note of a scale, yes, but ocarinas (and other wind instruments) are tuned to a fundamental scale. The notes below the tonic of that scale are sub-tonic in the precise sense that they are below the lowest note of the fundamental scale of the instrument. The lowest note of many C5 ocarinas is A4, and it is certainly possible to play an A major scale starting at A4. But it would be misleading to call it an ocarina tuned to A4. It's tuned to C5 with notes below the tonic of that scale. Again, the lowest note on a Bb tenor sax is a concert Ab, and although it's certainly possible to play an Ab major scale starting on that note, it's not an Ab tenor sax. Once again, some soprano recorders have a low B foot, but they are still C recorders. What makes recorders, saxes, ocarinas, and many other instruments "in" the key that they're in is the key of the fundamental scale for that instrument.

Ubizmo
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Krešimir Cindrić


Even if what you say is true, the notes played using sub-holes are not subtonic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtonic

Most of ocarinas are chromatic instruments - they are not tuned in a specific scale any more than piano is.
Edited by Krešimir Cindrić, 20 Oct 2010, 09:59 PM.
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Tentenguy
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That guy

Actually kres, even if an instrument is chromatic, it has a 'native' scale. For a C ocarina, the native scale is C, for a B flat clarinet it's B flat, etc. Pianos are easiest to play in C, because you can completely ignore the black keys. While I don't use the term subtonic, I still think that it is okay to use.
Also, you posted the link twice in a rowtiwce in a row. it's really http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtonic
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Krešimir Cindrić


Does a piano have a native scale? Hmmm... It's probably C major - because white keys play C major. But calling every note C on a piano "tonic" is ridiculous.

Tonic is a property of tonality (key), not an instrument.

Subtonic is a seventh scale degree of minor and major modes. In strict, narrow meaning of the word, it is a minor seventh from the tonic, or a seventh degree which is not a leading tone. In C major scale, subtonic would be B flat.
Edited by Krešimir Cindrić, 20 Oct 2010, 10:03 PM.
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ubizmo


Krešimir Cindrić
20 Oct 2010, 10:01 PM
Does a piano have a native scale? Hmmm... It's probably C major - because white keys play C major. But calling every note C on a piano "tonic" is ridiculous.

Tonic is a property of tonality (key), not an instrument.

Subtonic is a seventh scale degree of minor and major modes. In strict, narrow meaning of the word, it is a minor seventh from the tonic, or a seventh degree which is not a leading tone. In C major scale, subtonic would be B flat.
The notion of a native (good term) or fundamental scale is more relevant to wind instruments, I think. What is the "F-ness" of an alto recorder in F? Is it the fact that it's lowest note is F? If so, then why isn't a Bb tenor sax called an Ab tenor? For that matter, why isn't a C melody sax called a Bb, since it's lowest note is Bb? The answer is: It has nothing to do with the lowest note. And these are all chromatic instruments. They are classified as being in a certain key based on their native, or fundamental scale. For the F alto recorder, that's the F scale, regardless of whether it has a low E foot.

Tonic is about scale, yes, but on many (most? all?) wind instruments there's a "home" scale from which the instrument gets its key assignment.

As for the term "sub-tonic", I try to remember to hyphenate it to distinguish it from "subtonic" in music theory. The term is no more confusing than using the term "tone" to refer to an arbitrary pitch, or two semitones, or timbre.

Ubizmo
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Krešimir Cindrić


ubizmo
20 Oct 2010, 10:16 PM
If so, then why isn't a Bb tenor sax called an Ab tenor? For that matter, why isn't a C melody sax called a Bb, since it's lowest note is Bb? The answer is: It has nothing to do with the lowest note. And these are all chromatic instruments.
Of course it has nothing to do with the lowest note. However, the "Bb-ness" of an instrument in Bb is the fact it is notated transposed - in Bb. I can imagine a transposing piano keyboard, in fact, many stops on the organ are in E or G, but I wouldn't call the key C (which plays the note E or G1) tonic, as the piece I am playing can easily be in F sharp major, and therefore F# is the tonic.

Bb tenor sax isn't called Ab tenor because it is not notated in Ab but in Bb (relative to C, which is a convention). When you play the Bb sax you don't think in Bb, you think in C. But you can play in any key on it, you just have to add two sharps (or remove to flats) to sound in tune with the rest of the orchestra.

Even if there is such a thing as a native scale, then you still cannot call it's first degree a tonic in general case. You can only if the piece you are playing is in the same native key as the instrument.
Edited by Krešimir Cindrić, 20 Oct 2010, 10:35 PM.
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Tentenguy
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That guy

Well, there are actually lots of instruments in foreign 'keys' like recorders in F that read in concert pitch, and are still pitched in another key. The term sub-tonic (shorted often to subtonic because of laziness) to me means any notes below the lowest normal (no pedal tones, plugging the bell, etc.) of an instrument's native scale. For example, a flute (usually) can either have none (C foot) or 1 (B foot) sub-tonic notes. Standard grand pianos have 3, Low B, B flat, and A; as do most 12 hole ocarinas.
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Goudy Stout


Quote:
 
Pianos are easiest to play in C, because you can completely ignore the black keys.
This can be correct but can also be incorrect. Playing a 4 octave scale 2 hands together fast in C is *MUCH* harder than playing the same kind of scale in Gb, or Db, or even Bb.
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Tentenguy
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That guy

Well, you would still consider it a C instrument, wouldn't you? Because if it were in F, then the keys would play a fifth down/fourth up from what they do now. And the flute is a C instrument, even though for me, plying in D major is quite a bit easier. The lowest note of the native major scale of an instrument is the 'tonic', and 'sub' (meaning 'under', 'beneath', or 'below') placed before 'tonic' to create a new term called subtonic, or Sub-Tonic, or any variation therof, would mean any notes below the tonic, usually below the lowest tonic. Though I doubt my points will be convincing kresimir any time sooner than I would convince him that asian ocarinas are better than italian ocarinas, I will most likely continue to use this term, because it's not really confusing, at least not to me.
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

Kresmir
 
which is a convention
Conventions stick harder than actual music theory.

Most people here call the one/two/three subhole notes subtonic notes and whether thats musically wrong or not it has stuck and probably always will be called that.

In the same way that Type1 and Type2 Ocarina classifications aren't completely decisive, they have stuck and are being used by most people.
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ubizmo


Krešimir Cindrić
20 Oct 2010, 10:33 PM
ubizmo
20 Oct 2010, 10:16 PM
If so, then why isn't a Bb tenor sax called an Ab tenor? For that matter, why isn't a C melody sax called a Bb, since it's lowest note is Bb? The answer is: It has nothing to do with the lowest note. And these are all chromatic instruments.
Of course it has nothing to do with the lowest note. However, the "Bb-ness" of an instrument in Bb is the fact it is notated transposed - in Bb. I can imagine a transposing piano keyboard, in fact, many stops on the organ are in E or G, but I wouldn't call the key C (which plays the note E or G1) tonic, as the piece I am playing can easily be in F sharp major, and therefore F# is the tonic.

Bb tenor sax isn't called Ab tenor because it is not notated in Ab but in Bb (relative to C, which is a convention). When you play the Bb sax you don't think in Bb, you think in C. But you can play in any key on it, you just have to add two sharps (or remove to flats) to sound in tune with the rest of the orchestra.

Even if there is such a thing as a native scale, then you still cannot call it's first degree a tonic in general case. You can only if the piece you are playing is in the same native key as the instrument.
And the alto F recorder? Why is it called that? It's not a transposing instrument, as you know. It's notated in C, so what makes it an F instrument?

The answer: Its native scale is in F.

I think we all understand what the term "tonic" means as applied to scales. The point is that on wind instruments, a certain scale has a privileged status, because of which we refer to that instrument by the name of that scale. It's not merely a matter of transposition. Yes, you can play an F recorder in any key, but doing so doesn't change the native scale of the recorder itself.

Ubizmo
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markal363
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A Woodwind Doubler
For those that are saying that modern chromatic instruments have a "tonic" is wrong, wrong, wrong. The key an instrument is pitched in has nothing to do with a home scale. (I'll get into folk and traditional instruments in a little bit). When one is referring to what an instrument (those considered modern) is pitched in, it signifies one and only one thing - its pitch transposition (when fingering and playing a "c" the actual pitch that sounds is ___). Ex. On an Eb Alto Sax when fingering and playing a "C" an "Eb" actually sounds. And usually on an Eb Alto Sax, the first scale learned is a G Major Scale. On Bb Clarinet, trumpet, etc. "Bb" is by no means their "home scale". Usually the first scale these instrumentalists learn is their "C" Major Scale which sounds a "Bb" Major scale. What a modern chromatic instrument is pitched in has nothing to do with its "tonic" or "home scale" because it has neither. If you asked an accomplished flutist, clarinetist, trumpeter, bassoonist, and the likes to play their "tonic" or "home scale" for you, you are going to get a weird look. Again, I encourage people to research any published text on instrumentation, composing/arranging/orchestration, theory, method books, etc., etc., etc., and see if you can find these words to mean what they're being used as.

Yes, I realize the ocarina is a very old instrument but the modern ocarina is chromatic and is a modern instrument, invented or developed if you wish, around the same time that the saxophone was invented by A. Sax and the modern concert flute developed by T. Boehm.

Now about traditional and/or folk instruments, traditionally some of these have the designation that have to do with the lowest note they play. Ex. Using the traditional designation, a "D" Fife's lowest note is a "D" and it actually sounds a "D" when played. It is non-transposing but designated as a "d" fife. And of course there are many other examples. But even with this said, some makers of traditional and folk instruments are switching to the modern "concert key/transposition" designation as to try to lesson the confusion which can be even more confusing unless they tell you beforehand which designation they are using - traditional or modern.

@Kresimir I like the term "sub-hole note" as you are 100% correct. The modern chromatic ocarina does not have a tonic. It has a pitch designation which identifies it's transposition.


Edited by markal363, 22 Oct 2010, 02:18 AM.
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Krešimir Cindrić


Have a cookie, Markal :cookie: , as thanks for the nice explanation! :thumbsup:
(i.e. a little picture of a cookie...)


(except there is a little typo which may confuse people: it's should be a "sub-hole note", not "sub-whole note" :) )
Edited by Krešimir Cindrić, 21 Oct 2010, 06:31 PM.
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

@ Ubizmo I think your wording in that alto F recorder post is a little confusing, at least it confused me for a good few minutes while I worked it out in my head. What threw me off was the word "notated" to which the only plausible connection I could make was "when a C is written, the actual pitch played is a C" which is the defining clause of a non-transposing instrument. Notated can also mean "has music written for it in ___ key" can't it? In which case it makes what you wrote not make much sense.

What key music is written in for an instrument does not determine whether the instrument is transposing or not. What determines if it is a transposing instrument is if the actual produced pitch matches the fingered pitch. To say an Alto Recorder's music is notated in C makes it seem as if when you want a piece played in F you hand the player a sheet in C, which you know is not the case, you hand them a sheet in F. If it were a transposing instrument that would be different, then you hand them a sheet in C as we do with many ocarinas.
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Krešimir Cindrić


Sigurthr
21 Oct 2010, 06:41 PM
Notated can also mean "has music written for it in ___ key" can't it? In which case it makes what you wrote not make much sense.
No, "notated in C" means it is not a transposing instrument - nothing else (or that it transposes by one or more octaves, like a guitar, which is also an instrument in C, but transposing, as it sounds one octave lower than what it written). Music written for chromatic instruments can be in any key. That is the point of having a chromatic instrument - to be able to play in all keys. Chromatic instruments do not have a preferred key (well, some keys are easier to play than others, so they are not completely equal, but all keys are, at lest in theory, possible to play on it). When I hear the word "ocarina" I do not think about the pre-Columbian clay whistles, but about a modern, chromatic instrument.

Alto recorder is an instrument in C, not in F. Again, "in C" means that it is not transposing instrument, nothing else.

Alto/tenor F ocarina is not an instrument in C (although some recorder players treat it that way), but in F, where "in F" means that it sounds a perfect fourth higher (or a perfect fifth lower) than what is written and nothing else (no "tonic", no "home key", etc...).


Elven Spellmaker
21 Oct 2010, 12:45 PM
Kresmir
 
which is a convention
Conventions stick harder than actual music theory.

Most people here call the one/two/three subhole notes subtonic notes and whether thats musically wrong or not it has stuck and probably always will be called that.
The only convention I was talking about is that a new octave begins with the note C (which is because C major scale doesn't have any accidentals, and that simplifies things). That is why we call non-transposing instruments in C. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this convention, whereas incorrectly using terms like "tonic", "subtonic", etc... is just plain wrong.

Another example of similar mistake is when STL says their ocarinas are tuned to F major (like this one). This is wrong (and it bothers me a little, hehe). This ocarina is in F, which implies its range, but it is not in F major, as it is a chromatic instrument. The music piece can be in F major. Or in D major. Or in any key. But not a chromatic ocarina.


Goudy Stout
21 Oct 2010, 09:07 AM
Quote:
 
Pianos are easiest to play in C, because you can completely ignore the black keys.
This can be correct but can also be incorrect. Playing a 4 octave scale 2 hands together fast in C is *MUCH* harder than playing the same kind of scale in Gb, or Db, or even Bb.
Oh, this is so true. That is why so many pieces by Chopin and Liszt are in c# minor - not because of the sound of this keys (as pianos back then were tuned differently than today), but because of its playability - it just happens that c# minor is so comfortable for hands.
Edited by Krešimir Cindrić, 21 Oct 2010, 07:23 PM.
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Dullahan
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Don't you just love soundwalking?

I've studied music for almost my whole life, and at least in specific scale instruments THERE IS a Tonic, as long as an instrument in classified as a C instrument, then the Tonic is C, and all notes under it are Sub-tonics.

Kres, you used a Wikipedia reference which is not such a good source for music theory, actually, when doing Roman Analysis of a song or Jazz standart, then you should only use Sub-Tonic for the 7th degree of the scale in which the song is tuned. Now, when you talk about sub tonics out of the Roman Analysis, then they are every note below the Tonic.

THERE IS A TONIC IN AN OCARINA! If it's a G Oc, then G is the tonic, even if its chromatic, the base scale is the one you can play without using accidentals, (Eg: Sub-Holes).

:D
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ubizmo


Krešimir Cindrić
21 Oct 2010, 06:54 PM
Alto recorder is an instrument in C, not in F. Again, "in C" means that it is not transposing instrument, nothing else.
See Types of Recorders. Note the "Instruments in F" column.

See Ganassi Recorders, under "Types."

See Kynseker Alto in f, and many others.

If these are all C instruments, why are all these sources calling them F instruments?

Ubizmo
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markal363
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A Woodwind Doubler
Dullahan
21 Oct 2010, 07:52 PM
I've studied music for almost my whole life, and at least in specific scale instruments THERE IS a Tonic, as long as an instrument in classified as a C instrument, then the Tonic is C, and all notes under it are Sub-tonics.

Kres, you used a Wikipedia reference which is not such a good source for music theory, actually, when doing Roman Analysis of a song or Jazz standart, then you should only use Sub-Tonic for the 7th degree of the scale in which the song is tuned. Now, when you talk about sub tonics out of the Roman Analysis, then they are every note below the Tonic.

THERE IS A TONIC IN AN OCARINA! If it's a G Oc, then G is the tonic, even if its chromatic, the base scale is the one you can play without using accidentals, (Eg: Sub-Holes).

:D
Im not sure where you came up with this information but again I reiterate, research any published source/text regarding theory, composition, arranging, instrumentation, method books, treatises or even music history. I am quite confident you will not find what you have just stated as fact. If you do come up with evidence for what you have written please share it with the rest of us.

Even though Kresimir used a Wikipedia reference and Wikipedia can be wrong at times, in this case this reference is spot on.

Your use of the term "accidentals" is quite inaccurate in your last paragraph. Any Major or natural minor scale (if played correctly) has no accidentals. If one plays a D Major scale (which includes F# and C#) you have played no accidentals because the F# & C# are in the key. No matter how many sharps, flats, double sharps, or double flats are in a key, they are not accidentals. You would have to play notes that are not in the key for there to be accidentals. Therefore, by your definition, any Major, natural minor, or even modal scale is the "tonic" of a modern ocarina (since it is chromatic) no matter what the ocarina is pitched in. I have no idea why you even wrote this: "(Eg: Sub-Holes)". Sub-holes in and of themselves have nothing to do with accidentals anymore than any other note. You would have to play them outside the key for them to be accidentals. If they are in the key they are not accidentals which is the same as any other notes.

Now if you wish to discuss atonal music (no tonal center or key) or even tonal music where the composer does not designate a key, I will be glad to get into that also.

@Kresimir Thanks for the heads-up on the typo. I fixed it.
Edited by markal363, 22 Oct 2010, 03:52 AM.
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

We're all over the place in this thread anyway so I figure why not ask something I have always wondered....

What is the purpose of double flats and double sharps? Why not just write them enharmonically?
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markal363
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Hi Sig, here is one example but there are many more: Take an Eb Major chord Eb-G-Bb (consists of a Major 3rd & a minor 3rd). Turn this into a minor chord Eb-Gb-Bb (consists of a minor 3rd & a Major 3rd). Now turn this into a diminished chord Eb-Gb-Bbb (minor 3rd & another minor 3rd) The 3rds in all of these examples are important if this is to be called an Eb chord. If you wrote Eb-Gb-A instead of Eb-Gb-Bbb you no longer have 3rds but instead you have a minor 3rd and an augmented 2nd which would not be considered an Eb chord. Sometimes enharmonic spellings are used but hardcore theory/composition enthusiasts often stay away from them if possible.

Think of it a little like this: What if we got rid of "K"s in the English language and used only "C"s instead. Kill would become cill, kayak would become cayak, Mike would become Mice, etc.
Edited by markal363, 22 Oct 2010, 03:26 AM.
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Sigurthr
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Ahh ok, thanks! So it is mostly just to keep "chordal shapes" (I don't know if that is a real or correct term, but thats what I always called it, you know 3 lines or spaces in a row, and all the close inversions).

In SATB or single melody setup, not string or piano sheets, would they still stick to strict naming?
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markal363
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Sigurthr
22 Oct 2010, 03:31 AM
Ahh ok, thanks! So it is mostly just to keep "chordal shapes" (I don't know if that is a real or correct term, but thats what I always called it, you know 3 lines or spaces in a row, and all the close inversions).

In SATB or single melody setup, not string or piano sheets, would they still stick to strict naming?
Probably. It really doesn't matter whether it's harmonic or melodic. Usually enharmonic spellings are used so that lesser experienced players/singers can have an easier time reading. Even in melodic single line pieces/passages where there is no accompaniment there is still implied harmonic content. I wish I could show you the Bach Partita in A minor for flute that I have picked up again recently. Even though it is only a melodic line for flute with no accompaniment, there is massive implied harmonies. If you haven't heard it, youtube it. I think you will love this piece.
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Dullahan
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Don't you just love soundwalking?

Mark, I have limited English Vocabulary regarding Musical Theory as it is not my mother language, that's why my terms might be inaccurate some times, I apologize. But I'm pretty sure that there is a Tonic in an ocarina. Your base note, without playing any accidentals (If it's a C Oc then playing no sharps or flats, by using the sub-holes or alternate fingerings) is your tonic. If you play a D minor scale in your C Ocarina then D is the Tonic of THAT SCALE, but if the Ocarina is tuned in C, then the tonic of the Oc is C.

When I said accidentals, I meant any note out of the scale in which the Ocarina is tuned, even if it is or not a flat or sharp. The fact that the ocarina can be played chromatically does not mean that it is not tuned to a specific scale, and thus does not have a Tonic.
The tonic will change which each scale you play on the Oc, but the Oc itself will have a tonic of it's own, which is, as I said, the base note (Not the lowest, the base) of the scale in which it was tuned.

And about the enharmonic, it's usually used in Jazz to maintain the cadences and the "function" of the chord in the song, as each degree of the scale has a different one. I've found them a lot in analysis, as they are, as Mark said, used by theory enthusiasts or teachers..


Edited by Dullahan, 22 Oct 2010, 04:11 AM.
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markal363
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Maybe a language barrier is our problem but I will tell you that "pitched in", "tuned to/in" & "tonic" have different meanings in English than how you are using them. As far as an instrument's "base note", let me go back to an example I gave earlier. What do you consider the "base note" of the Eb alto sax and why do you consider it that?

"And about the enharmonic, it's usually used in Jazz to maintain the cadences and the "function" of the chord in the song, as each degree of the scale has a different one."

I'm sorry but I have to disagree with this too. "Enharmonic" spellings do not maintain cadences and the function of the chord. They subvert it. "Harmonic" spellings actually maintain cadences and the function of the chord.

Let me give you an example: Here is a very basic chord progression. I-IV-I-V7-I (with some inversions). In the key of C Major the notes are:
C-E-G; C-F-A; C-E-G; B-F-G; C-E-G (harmonic spelling). Now an enharmonic spelling: B#-E-F##; B#-E#-G##; B#-E-F##; A##-E#-F##; B#-E-F##. Even though these 2 progressions sound exactly the same when played on the piano, the 2nd is not I-IV-I-V7-I in the key of C Major. See how the enharmonic spellings would subvert/screw with an actual analysis?

Sorry to sound so argumentative but this is basic music theory for a first or second semester music major at a university (at least in the U.S.).
Edited by markal363, 22 Oct 2010, 05:43 AM.
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talarđu Íslenska?

I wish I could have gone to a Uni and taken classes XD!
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markal363
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Sigurthr
22 Oct 2010, 05:41 AM
I wish I could have gone to a Uni and taken classes XD!
Now I'm beginning to wish I hadn't. :)
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

Quote:
 
Usually the first scale these instrumentalists learn is their "C" Major Scale which sounds a "Bb" Major scale.
I would therefore argue that they learn a Bb Major scale and not a C Major scale.


Just because its a transposing instrument and they read a C and play a Bb, doesn't mean that the scale they learn is C Major. It might look like C Major on sheet music but its not actually a C Major scale.
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Goudy Stout


Jack, i think that you missed out one thing in that quote.

Quote:
 
Usually the first scale these instrumentalists learn is their "C" Major Scale which sounds a "Bb" Major scale.



Quote:
 
I would therefore argue that they learn a Bb Major scale and not a C Major scale.

Just because its a transposing instrument and they read a C and play a Bb, doesn't mean that the scale they learn is C Major. It might look like C Major on sheet music but its not actually a C Major scale.
They learnt to read a C major scale, so in reality, they did learn a c major scale. Though what is played sounds a Bb scale and it is, they did not learn a Bb major scale. What you said about it not actually being a c major scale is false, but can also be true depending on how you interpret it. When a trumpeter plays a C major scale it is a c major scale. Simple logic. The only thing is that the c fingering is a Bb, so the notes produced are actually in the Bb scale.

If a trumpeter plays a c major scale, is he playing a c major scale? Yes.
If a trumpeter plays a c major scale, is the scale c major in concert pitch? No.

Thats where you got confused ;)

Edited by Goudy Stout, 22 Oct 2010, 11:07 AM.
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