Two Views of a Tuning

Practicing on the concert-grand in the empty recital hall one afternoon, I became more and more distracted by the state of its tuning. Finally I tried some chromatic intervals, and found that, in a sequence of major thirds—E-G#, F-A, F#-A#, G-B, Ab-C—no two were the same size.

Returning to practicing, I was deeply into it when one of the French doors opened behind me, and a young man poked his head in. “Excuse me,” he said. “I finished tuning an hour ago and just wanted to see how it’s holding.”

I said nothing, but wordlessly played the same sequence of intervals while watching his face. A satisfied look spread across it as he said, “Perfect! Just wanted to check. Thanks.”

Exiting, he closed the door quietly.

Copyright © James Boyk 2013. All rights reserved.
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