Laajentunut viritys ja kontekstisidonnainen intonaatio


  • Jussi Jaatinen


Musical intonation is a complex phenomenon. It can be broadly divided into three distinct parts: a psychoacoustic stretched tuning, a context-bound distinction of harmonic and melodic intonation, and an affective characteristic intonation.  The stretched tuning, which has been verified in psychoacoustic listening experiments, where the notes above the reference (A4≈442Hz) are more up-tuned than their mathematic equal-tempered (octave ratio 2:1) counterparts and the notes below the reference are correspondingly more down-tuned, forms the basis of the tuning. Harmonic and melodic in-tuning is applied on top of this, rather than in relation to the mathematical equal temperament tuning. Characteristic intonation is used to accentuate the effects of certain intervals. Before the mainstreaming of equal temperament thinking, the separation of enharmonic tones also had a significant impact on intonation. The principle of counterbalance, proposed to stabilize orchestral tuning, is based on a stretched tuning and the fixation of tuning reference always to the middle register (A4) instead of the bass register. In this way, the downward expansion of the tuning of low register instruments allows a moderate increase in the tuning level of high register instruments. Well-tuned intonation is not a question that can be unambiguously defined. It is also influenced by learned and cultural factors, differences in musical aesthetics and neurophysiological differences in the auditory system between perceivers.





Jaatinen, J. (2022). Laajentunut viritys ja kontekstisidonnainen intonaatio. Musiikki, 52(3).