What I wrote about Andy Karzas's comments concerning the pitch of the Auer
records can be explained by the following. Based upon my notes from the
On August 1, 1983, I played the two Auer records when Andy was here. I
played them using my Technics SP-15 turntable. It has an LED speed change
display. Additionally, I have a chart devised by a WFMT engineer that lists
the very small up- or down- SP-15 increments in rpm terms. When I reached
-0.9 on the LED display, Andy said "stop." On the chart, that was 77.56 rpm.
The 12" Auer record contains Tchaikovsky's "Melodie," Op. 42#3. We
established (I don't remember how: it's been almost 29 years) that the key for
that transcription is E-Flat. At -0.9, Andy said "stop." "Start it again."
"All right. That's E-Flat." I also don't remember what we did about the
From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
Hello Don [Tait],
> The late Andy Karzas, who had absolute pitch, said the records play at
> 77.56 rpm.
- alas, absolute pitch is worthless unless you know what his mother's piano
was tuned to. In other words, an RPM is no good without a reference pitch,
typically for a or c.
If you have a number of records pitched by the late Andy Karzas, we may
determine his internal reference by measuring up the records.
I have tried to fit 77.56 into the discrete RPMs you get from a 60 Hz mains
with a suitable number of bars in the stroboscope: it does not quite fit the
one lower than 78.26, which would be 77.42. So his incredible precision must
have been obtained in a different way.
Personally, I would have thought 76 rpm would be the correct speed.