Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Ups and Downs of Fiddling A-432

My commitment to playing in public with A 432 tuning gets tested.

Most recently, when I did the New Port Richey library gig, I was challenged.
Just before starting my program of talking and playing, I opened my case, rosined the bow and started adjusting the tuning.

The was when one of the people in the audience, a man who plays in the Richey Community Symphony, called out, "Tune it up!"

I was hit by the sudden doubt that the difference in pitch between 440 and 432 was painfully obvious. My second thought was that this fellow was just teasing me in a light hearted way. So I went ahead with my planned program.

After I've performed publicly enough times, this doubt will vanish. It quickly went away after I began playing that day. The program went well. I got good feedback on it. No one said that the tuning was off, even though I revealed my secret.

In a couple of days I get to test the concept again. This will even involve other musicians--a first for the idea. We will play a mostly Irish fiddle program at a local bistro, the Ka Tiki, down on Sunset Beach.

My very able helpers are members of a folk string band, The Juniper Trio. They showed a little reluctance to tune down at first. But, only a little.

Just as my expectations and belief in this program go Up and Down Again, (and up again), and just as my colleagues must tune up after a practice and down again when we perform...so I offer this little Irish slip jig, Up and Down Again.