How to play: sharps, flats, half-tones and accidentals?


In an article I read in my school years, it was written: "If a string player is playing as solo: sharp notes are a bit higher and the flat notes are a bit lower. However, if plays with the piano,  plays the sharps and flats exactly."


When we were in school, we did an experiment on our own. And we proved that the article was correct.

The reason for this is perhaps that is within musicians own nature, perhaps hidden within the music as a secret itself.

In fact: in Eastern music, this is a well-known situation. In this 'comma' system, which is used by dividing a whole-tone into nine, the flats played as 4 'comma' and sharps are played as 5 'comma'.

In fact, this is not entirely true: In ascending scale, if musician plays a sharp note, he/she play as 5 comma. in descending scale: if musician plays a flat note, he/she play it as 4 comma.

Even some of the players even use a little more than that. This is called "pressure" in the Eastern music terminology.
eg. "Mahmood's "pressure" isn't good. Some notes are not heard as they should."

Think of it like this:
If we play the C major in ascending scale: in the e-f and b-c range, the e and b are played a bit sharpened. But, in a descending scale, e and b are played a bit flattened.

Anyway, I don't need to say much, let's see this in a table (we're used to):

Cents And Commas Table

|        | Eastern  |                                           |
| cents  | commas   | Descriptions                              |
|  22.22 | 1        |                                           |
|  44.44 | 2        |                                           |
|  66.65 | 3        |                                           |
|  88.89 | 4   comma| oriental half tone for flats (descending) |
| 100.00 | 4.5 comma| western half tone                         |
| 111.12 | 5   comma| oriental half tone for sharps (ascending) |
| 133.34 | 6        |                                           |
| 155.56 | 7        |                                           |
| 177.78 | 8        |                                           |
| 200.00 | 9 comma  | whole-tone                                |

Note: Consider this only for theoretical purposes. Player do not exactly fit these values. The cents values ​​that the person plays will of course be slightly more or slightly less than in the table.

--- End of Part-1 ---

 In the next part of this article, I'll show you some examples in a Video. 


Demo Video
Tampered Scale and Natural Scale

As you can see in the video, the comma difference is small, but when you listen to the sounds a few times (ie: watch the video several times), ear immediately adapts it.

Because this is the player's natural reaction is like this. Musician wants to get more closer to the target note (If there is no accompaniment instrument that forces the musician to play in equal-temperament).

 In the next part of this article, I'll  play a musical piece in a Video. 


In this section: You can watch (and hear) a comparison of  phrases from two known music pieces.

Demo Video-2
Tampered Scale and Natural Scale Comparison
Two Little Phrases

In your opinion: Which is more natural?

 In the next part of this article, I'll  play a oriental piece in a Video. 

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