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clarkking
05-27-2015, 08:30 AM
Between ukulele's / similar strung instruments what is a good way to measure the total range of tone or tonal range? Is the total number of frets a good way to do this? Ultimately my question is this, what size/voice of ukulele might best match the tonal range of a charango?

Thank you,

kypfer
05-27-2015, 12:16 PM
Between ukulele's / similar strung instruments what is a good way to measure the total range of tone or tonal range? Is the total number of frets a good way to do this? Ultimately my question is this, what size/voice of ukulele might best match the tonal range of a charango?

Thank you,
Which begs the question ... what is the tonal range of a charango?

Ukejenny
05-27-2015, 12:22 PM
If I understand you right - are you looking for the playing range? For Re-entrant G tuned instruments with twelve frets, you have a range from middle C to the A above the staff.

If you have more frets - you get a few more notes on the top end. I have 17 frets and can go from middle C to 2nd. ledger line D above the staff.

If you have a Low G tuned ukulele, you can go from the G below middle C and up like what I explained above, depending on how many frets you have.

Also, there are alternate tunings that will change things. So, a little over two octaves.

This is my limited understanding of what is available.

clarkking
05-27-2015, 12:41 PM
That's that is what I was looking for thank you, kypfer I'm researching that as well. Thanks guys.

PhilUSAFRet
05-28-2015, 12:57 AM
All other things being equal, construction + scale length + tuning + strings = tonal range...............maybe!:confused:

Ukejenny
05-28-2015, 06:18 AM
That's that is what I was looking for thank you, kypfer I'm researching that as well. Thanks guys.

Glad to help. When you find out the playing range of a charango, let us know. What are you planning on doing with them?

k0k0peli
05-28-2015, 08:23 PM
It all depends on tunings and stringings. The same instrument can strung and tuned in various ways giving very different tonal ranges and ease of chord-making. Take a soprano uke and try setting it in 3rds (very compressed range), 4ths (moderate range), and 5ths (expanded range). Tonal range is complicated on multi-string-course instruments like charangos and 12-string guitars where some courses are doubled in octaves. Comparisons can be an apples-n-oranges game there. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stringed_instrument_tunings and make up your own mind. Note all the variant tunings. Ay yi yi.

Louis0815
05-28-2015, 11:54 PM
Regarding the ukulele range this post might be helpful: http://just.4str.in/ukulele-tuning-pitches/

Yet the charango question remains open....

According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charango) the charango stringes are usually tuned G4/G4, C5/C5, E5/E4, A4/A4, E5/E5. The highest possible note depends on the number of frets, e.g. on a 16 fret charango you'd have G6 (16 half tones above highest string).

Standard ukulele tuning is G4 (G3 for low-g), C4, E4, A4 - slightly below the charango.


All other things being equal, construction + scale length + tuning + strings = tonal range...............maybe!:confused:Construction can be left out, tonal range can be determined mathematically - the only relevant factors are
- lowest open note (e.g. C4 on a standard, re-entrant tuned ukulele)
- highest open note (e.g. A4 on a standard ukulele)
- scale length (number of frets, not physical length)

Tonal range is from lowest open note up to highest open + scale length (1 half step per fret)

k0k0peli
05-29-2015, 05:26 AM
Yet the charango question remains open....
<...>
Tonal range is from lowest open note up to highest open + scale length (1 half step per fret)
And that "lowest open note" can be ambiguous on an instrument with multi-string courses. IMHO a low note paired with an octave mate (like a charango or 12-string guitar) sounds higher than that same note paired in unison (like a mandolin). Is there a definitive definition of tonal range for such instruments?

Louis0815
05-29-2015, 11:20 AM
I would stick with the mathematical approach rather than the musical approach: lowest note is lowest note, regardless of any "mates".
Using the sound in the equation makes the definition of tonal range too fuzzy - after all it is a pretty theoretical measure anyway. Keeping the definition as clean and neutral as possible makes it at least somewhat comparable across various instruments. The "real feel" might be different, but scientifically this is just a result of various frequencies blending into each other.

k0k0peli
05-30-2015, 03:46 AM
Taking the 'mathematical' approach leads to such circumstances as my Kala KA6 (factory-tuned G4, C5-C4, E4, A4-A3) having its tonal range almost entirely in the top course. I'll argue that the full tonal range cannot be HEARD in that one course. Neither can the full range of the C course. Thus, the octave-paired strings serve to REDUCE tho total tonal range. [/me head spins]

Ukejenny
05-30-2015, 09:55 AM
For anyone wondering what the note names with numbers after might mean, each octave has a number. C4 is commonly known as "middle C" and would be the C key you find in the middle of all the keys of a piano. Here's a photo of the octave numbering system.

80094

k0k0peli
05-30-2015, 05:05 PM
For anyone wondering what the note names with numbers after might mean, each octave has a number. C4 is commonly known as "middle C" and would be the C key you find in the middle of all the keys of a piano. Here's a photo of the octave numbering system.

80094Thanks for that! I know, I tend to get carried away with the shorthand. It's hard to describe mixed tunings any other way. And the numbered-octave notation is confusing enough -- octave changes happen at C, not A, so C4 is almost an octave lower than B4. How the [expletive deleted] did C become the lynchpin of musical notation anyway? Musical traditions are almost as bad as theology. ;)