David Beecroft: Perfecting Intonation

David Beecroft: Perfecting Intonation

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With an approach that is well organized, this book is indispensable for all musicians looking to hone their sense of pitch... Perfect Intonation provides an excellent source of practice material, organized in an efficient and well-structured manner - Randy Hunter, saxophonist, author of the Complete Jazz Styles series.

This is an exercise book for learning how to blend or otherwise play in tune. It is ideal for all horn players, strings and singers, especially those who wish to develop a strong aural awareness of pitch and a sensitive ear for playing with an ensemble or band or any sort.

The CD tracks are made up of all of the possible intervals within one octave. The intervals are all perfectly in tune with each other, i.e. Natural Tuning or ratios that are made up from Rational Numbers, (3/2, 4/3, 5/4, 7/5 etc.). This is a departure from the intervals played on the piano which features 'equal temperament' tuning, a compromise with 4ths & 5ths relatively close to perfect but all the other intervals quite far away from being 'in tune'.

Audio sample #1: saxophone and background interval 'equal temperament' tuning (music today)

Audio sample #2: equal temperament saxophone against an 'in tune' major 7th

Audio sample #3: blending saxophone with perfectly 'in tune' background major 7th

The exercises are written out for C, Eb and Bb instruments and tuning tips explain which tunings the performer will need to be particularly aware of, as they differ from the 'equal temperament' tuning.

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Playing the exercises along with the tracks has several big benefits:

1) It is much easier to hear whether or not you are in tune while playing your note along with two perfectly in tune tones. Not "in tune" as the piano would sound but "in tune" as two musicians would naturally blend

2) Being fed a steady diet of perfectly in tune intervals changes your appreciation of pitch. You become more sensitive to intonation.

3) You learn to focus on blending instead of worrying. You become much more relaxed about tuning.

Bk/CD, 96 pages

Until I viewed your new book, I had never put much emphasis on the inner workings of "Equal Temperament and Just Intonation". I would, as many of my other colleagues - when performing with Equal Temperament instruments - experience many difficulties with certain intervals, especially the Major 3rd interval.

It all makes perfect sense now when one understands that "Just Intonation" intervals are related by ratios of whole numbers, therfore making them members of the same harmonic series - well on the other hand "Equal Temperament" divides intervals and the octave into 12 (logarithmically) equal parts.

This book is a must study for Beginners and Professionals alike. Singers and Players will achieve a better understanding in regards to the relationship between intervals, and when practiced as outlined by Mr. Beecroft, will open up a "new window of insight" into the world of "Harmony and Vibration
- Leo Sullivan, Canadian saxophonist