Hi Scott:

Part of that 60's "tuning" was also due to lack of talent and excess of mind-altering substances in 
the studios. Many pop "artists" still can't tune their instruments or their voices, but we have 
digital remedies for that today. YouTube has some great examples of pop stars' vocal tracks not 

I have what I'd call good pitch, not perfect to a standard but I clearly hear when ensemble players 
are out of tune to each other and it drives me nuts. I can't listen to amateur bands and orchestras 
for this reason. As a music consumer, I expect inter-ensemble tuning to be a given, or it's a junk 
product in which I have no interest. A missed note here and there is forgivable, especially in 
large-ensemble recordings, but someone being tuned wrong in relation to the group is just not 
acceptable. The problem with amateur ensembles is that they usually aren't skilled enough in 
listening or don't play together often enough to understand and embrace the fine points of staying 
in tune to each other.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Scott Phillips" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch

> Richard,
> I do have perfect pitch... and you were right! Now I can't 'unhear' that
> painful combination...
> Very interesting in any case... reminds me of sixties era multitrack
> recordings before PLL tape transports became common, where all the separate
> elements in the final mix are out of tune with each other.
> Scott
> On Tue, May 5, 2015 at 8:18 AM, Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>> Getting back on topic, my son Robert, the music student, passed on this
>> link to me--I don't think that I had mentioned this thread but we had been
>> talking about variations in recordings (specifically in regards to Dvorak's
>> New World Symphony (9th now after renumbering)).
>> So here are the opening chords of Beethoven's Eroica (3rd) Symphony,
>> recorded between 1924 and 2011.
>> And here is a similar compilation of a short section from Stravinsky's
>> Rite of Spring from 1921-2010
>> Yes, I know that the recording technology influences the pitch as much as
>> the actual playing, but, overall, I think these two are very informative
>> peeks into the degree of variation considered "normal."
>> The first Toscanini performance of the Beethoven really shows off the dry
>> acoustic of what I assume to be Studio 8H at 30 Rock...and perhaps why, in
>> 20/20 hindsight, it wasn't such a good idea,  though it seemed to make
>> sense at the time.
>> As an aside, my friend the late Dr. Gerre Hancock, after bringing the
>> choir of Men and Boys from St. Thomas Church to ABC TV-2 studio on W 66th
>> Street in NYC for a holiday season appearance on "Good Morning America"
>> asked me why I built studios that sounded like "pillow factories."
>> Get out your tuners or pitch pipes and enjoy! If you have perfect pitch
>> and are offended easily, please don't listen <smile>.
>> Cheers,
>> Richard
>> --
>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.