Using $80 worth of parts, copper-colored spray paint and an air compressor, they developed a whistle that blows an almost perfect F-sharp, resembling the sound that signals a factory’s shift change.

Read here.

Fun article about a whistle, built by some students, for Shostakovich’s second symphony.

About Pitch
I’ve been reading articles about pitch lately. It’s been interesting to delve into Time Magazines archives; believe it or not, they seemed to think the discussion of the controversy over the pitch of A in orchestras was worthwhile enough to write about. The first article I found dates from September 22, 1930. Can you believe it? (I’m guessing both Newsweek and Time wouldn’t really consider pitch to be noteworthy now.) This first article is about setting an international A. And more articles appear—1945, 1947 and again in 1971. I’ll be reading them more carefully (I’ve been in skim mode recently) and I’ll blog about this whole thing later. But it seems that there has been an attempt to get an “international pitch standard” for many years.

As if even all the orchestras in the US agree. Hah!

1 Comment

  1. I worked at a music camp in Lennox, MA one summer and we used the same
    piano tuner as Tanglewood. I asked him if it was true the BSO tuned

    He told me that the first time he went to tune the piano at Tanglewood
    Ralph Gomberg handed him an A- 442 tuning fork and winked at him.

    The orchestra here stays pretty religiously near A-440 and tries not to
    let the pitch creep up. I think it helps keep the woodwinds sounding
    rich, and allows good intonation in general.

    I note that most of the high school bands in Florida tune sharp and the woodwind players pinch like mad.