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Re: Choral singing
> > Whereas, for example, the fifths on the piano have all been slightly
> > stretched to make up for the pythagorean comma, in a choir they may be all
> > sung perfectly in tune, which is nevertheless flat in equal temperament.
Let's just get the story straight here. A brief perusal of the ample
scientific literature on intonation reveals that this widely held idea is a
myth. Within-note variation in fundamental frequency of singers' voices,
even in the very best ensembles and without noticeable vibrato, regularly
exceeds a comma. There is no evidence that pure fifths are preferred by
listeners or performers over equally tempered fifths, in performances
where performers have real-time control over intonation.
Richard Parncutt, Lecturer in Psychology of Music and Psychoacoustics,
Unit for the Study of Musical Skill and Development, Keele University.
Post: Dept of Psychology, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, GB.
Tel: 01782 583392. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fax: 44 1782 583387.