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Dirk

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello,
I'd like to tune my sitar in harmonic tuning (just scale).
My chromatic tuner allows to change every note of the equal temperament (in cent).
I want to tune the first string (Ma) in G.(Sitar is tuned in D). Is the following chart right?

G = 0 cent
G# = +12 cent
A = +4 cent
Bb = +16 cent
B = -14 cent
C = -2 cent
C# = -10 cent
D = +2 cent
D# = +14 cent
E = -16 cent
F = -4 cent
F# = -12 cent


If I want to tune the sitar in C#, the first string (Ma) must be tuned in F#.
Is it right when I change the tuning in the following way:

F# = 0 cent
G = +12 cent
G# = +4 cent
(...)

Thank you!

Greetings,

Dirk
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sason

Senior Member
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Posts: 147
Reply with quote  #2 
There are some old posts about this. Make a search.
If your sa is D, you should start the scale with D and not G. D = 0 cent etc.
If C# so C# = 0 cent etc.
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Dirk

Registered:
Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for your help!

Dirk
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Dspeck

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Posts: 115
Reply with quote  #4 
The ma string must be tuned against sa , not against the tuner. The fourth in equal temperament is way off just intonation and cannot be used. Just intonation basically means, that all notes have a simple frequency ratio against a reference.

This might help:

http://www.kylegann.com/Octave.html

You need to scroll quite a bit, this is a list of frequency ratios that have been used or described, a total of 700 for just one octave.

The equal tempered hole tone is 100 cents above the prime, and the just hole tone (9/8) is 203.91 cents, so you tune 3.91 cents higher than the second of your tuner. Be careful to pick the correct values, there are more than one just scale.

As a matter of fact, it is not so hard to tune by ear. The human hearing expects just intervals by default whenever it is given a tonic first and tuning only became difficult when tempered tunings were introduced. Therefore, a basic tuning of a sitar is pretty simple compared to tuning a guitar, because the the frets of a guitar are equally tempered but you need to find a good compromise between the sound of all chords used in a piece and that is like balancing three balls on top of each other on the tip of your nose. Sitars don't change the tonic and don't play chords, so there is no compromise needed, all tones are tuned against Sa. Of course, there are all these delicacies of tuning to specific ragas and that is the moment where your tuner leaves you alone anyway. Furthermore, you are expected to play mends precisely, and you can't use a tuner there, you always depend on your hearing while you play, and that is much more time than tuning. Better skill up your hearing as soon as possible and keep the tuner only for getting your Sa.

Of course, you can use the tuner to test your hearing; tune the sitar by ear, then check against your tuner.

And read some more on Kyle Ganns website, especially the "just intonation explained" (link at the bottom of the list). The math is not so important, but listen to the examples and read the explanations. It tells you what to listen for and what to avoid, when tuning your sitar.
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Dirk

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you for your comment and the interesting link.
I know that it is better to tune the sitar by ear. Is something wrong with my chart except that I used the wrong scale (G)? Are the values ok?

Dirk
0
Dspeck

Registered:
Posts: 115
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Dirk"
Thank you for your comment and the interesting link.
I know that it is better to tune the sitar by ear. Is something wrong with my chart except that I used the wrong scale (G)? Are the values ok?

Dirk
Dirk, it is all in the frequency list, you only need to look it up.
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