Is there any pitch difference between D-sharp and E-flat when you are playing on

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  1. stratocarter profile image60
    stratocarterposted 12 years ago

    Is there any pitch difference between D-sharp and E-flat when you are playing on the violin?

  2. profile image52
    paulie43posted 12 years ago

    There is no difference in pitch as D shapr and E flat are the same note, therefore the same pitch.

    1. Frances Metcalfe profile image89
      Frances Metcalfeposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      E flat is absolutely higher than d sharp albeit by a misicule amount. If you do not play only a keyboard you may not know. Piano tuners have to compromise when tuning, if you play fifths all up the keyboard you will hear they aren't all pure.

  3. stratocarter profile image60
    stratocarterposted 12 years ago

    I know that, on piano, or guitar these are the same tones, but on violin or any other non-tempered instrument maybe there is a small difference (koma)?

  4. hotwebideas profile image64
    hotwebideasposted 11 years ago

    Although I am not a violist, as a piano and sax player, I assume that D# and Eb are the same note in music. Why would it be different between one musical instrument vs another? I just don't believe there is a difference on any instrument. Music is music and whether the piano or violin, D# is D# and Eb is Eb AND they are the same note. Enlighten me.

    1. profile image0
      ViolinByCourtneyposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Because members of the violin family (violin, viola, cello, and bass) are not fretted, they, as well as the human voice and some winds, are the only instruments that can hit intermediate frequencies between half steps without stopping to retune.

  5. Aficionada profile image84
    Aficionadaposted 10 years ago

    On keyboard instruments ever since the 17th century, and on fretted instruments since I-don't-know-when, D# and Eb are the same pitch. These instruments have fixed pitches such that, once they are tuned, the pitch remains the same until the next tuning or until they go out of tune. Guitarists can bend the pitch in a way pianists cannot, but still not as much as violinists can.

    On non-fretted stringed instruments and some wind instruments, the pitch of an individual note is very strongly under the control of the performer. A slight change of the finger position or a change in embouchure or breathing can alter the pitch dramatically. A good performer will make those changes almost instinctively, either as a result of training or just from listening to what sounds good, and they may not even be aware they are making a change.

    In studies of acoustics, tuning, and harmony, the notes of the musical scale are based on mathematical ratios between notes. The notes can sound right while in one key; but when the music modulates into another key, or when a piece is transposed to a different key, the ratios and tuning will be a little "off." This became such an issue with keyboard instruments, as they became more popular, that the concept of "equal temperament" (or tuning) came about. (Remember Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier"?)

    To purists, the distinction between D# (a little lower) and Eb (a little higher) is an important one, and I have seen a lot of discussion of the superiority of "just tuning" over equal tuning; but I must admit, I don't actually like the sound of just tuning on a keyboard instrument, even in music played in the right key. To me, it sounds too much like a calliope.

    On a violin, a beginning student will first learn that D# and Eb are the same, but as they advance they will develop more subtlety. When the musician can adjust each note to what sounds right, the difference between the notes can be a good thing. When a musician is locked-in to one tuning (as on a piano), whether it is just tuning or equal or mean tuning (a third type), someone may be unhappy with the results some of the time.

    The technical difference between D# and Eb is, as another post says, the difference of a Pythagorean or ditonic comma, about 1/4 of a semitone. For a mathematical explanation, see the Hubs by thunderwave or read "Pythagorean comma" in Wikipedia.

    The bottom line, though, is that in music it should *sound* right, even if there is some intentional dissonance.

    1. profile image0
      ViolinByCourtneyposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      This is a very good answer. I was never told that they were the same when I began learning to play the violin, so I was confused when I began learning music theory.

    2. Aficionada profile image84
      Aficionadaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, ViolinByCourtney. My comment about what a student first learns came from my own limited violin lessons; I'm glad your comment provides additional, better information about the teaching/learning process. I wish I could revise my answer.

  6. Jason Lowery profile image59
    Jason Loweryposted 5 years ago

    Of course they are the same note. But when you are playing on a violin, there is surely another pitch or many of them. When there is no frets there is variation all the way up and down the neck. Many of us may or may not be able to really tell the differences, but a good musician or violinist will be be able to tell. Do we have a name for it? Im sure there is. But do we really need to go that in depth when the normal human ear is not gonna know the difference.


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