2 thoughts on “Piano Triets

  1. Could you explain more about tuning the instruments for playing indian traditional? There could be macro- and micro attenuations, fine tuning for string and key instruments, including piano retune. Would be pleasant to having this figured well.


    1. Hi Alex,
      In essence, the ancient Indian octave is in theory divided into 22 śrutis (microtones), where Sa and Pa are fixed, and the other five notes in the ṭhāṭ have optional alternative tunings chosen by the performer. Eg: in a ṭhāṭ that begins C D♭ E, where C is śruti 1, D♭ may be set as either śruti 3 or 4, E may be śruti 8 or 9 etc. The C and G are always in a perfect relationship to each other – the “just perfect fifth” with a ratio of 3:2 string length, which is an interval ever so slightly wider than any perfect fifth on a piano, as all pianos are tuned in equal temperament. As an example, the Toḍī ṭhāṭ might actually be tuned: C, low flat D♭, high flat E♭, high sharp F#, G, low flat A♭, low B, C. (Unless you want to play around with detuning your piano, there’s not a lot you can do about this…)
      Regardless of the precise system of tuning used, each ṭhāṭ is always a seven-note scale that is close in concept to western scales and modes, even though it may sound slightly out of tune to western ears. However, there are numerous different and contrasting systems of tuning in Indian music, both in theory and in practice, and the extent to which precise śrutis are intentionally and meaningfully used in practice is debatable. Although ‘microtonal tuning’ is the first thing that many people think of in relation to Indian rāgas, śrutis are actually far less important to the character and journey of a rāga than any other musical ingredient.
      I hope that helps!


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