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zztush
12-21-2016, 01:53 AM
Renaissance guitar is common ancestor of ukulele and guitar. Ukulele has kept its original GCEA tuning since renaissance guitar(last 500 years). It is C instrument. The scale is started from C (red circle in the figure below). Guitar is perfect fourth down, which is same as perfect fifth up. Its favorite key has shift to # (E, A, D and G). Hence key of F is bit hard to play on guitar (F and Bb are both difficult). Same things happened between viola da gamba and violin. Viola da braccio is commn ancestor of viola and violin. Viola has kept its original CGDA tuning last 500 years. It is C instrument. Violin is made for portability and handiness. Violin is perfect 5th higher than viola. Its favorite key has shift to # (E, A, D and G).

https://s29.postimg.org/jmhv0mnuv/pjimage.png (https://postimg.org/image/twk9zvdqb/)free image hosting (https://postimage.org/index.php?lang=chinese_simplified)

Sharp instruments (most of string instruments) are good at key of EAD and G, frat instruments (most of wind instruments) are good at key of F, Bb, Eb and Ab. Ukulele, viola and piano are C instruments. Ukulele is very easy to play on key of C, F, G and other keys. We are very lucky and ukulele is lucky instrument.

photoshooter
12-21-2016, 03:15 AM
We are very lucky and ukulele is lucky instrument.

That's why I keep buying more ukuleles, I need all the luck I can get :)
Thanks for your very interesting post.

lfoo6952
12-21-2016, 03:57 AM
Isn't violin tuning G, D, A, E? I think you got it backwards.

Mivo
12-21-2016, 05:14 AM
The ukulele was almost certainly modeled after the machete (a four stringed, linear instrument slightly smaller than a soprano ukulele) and the rajao (DGCEA tuned and slightly larger than a soprano ukulele). The rajao was also called "taro-patch fiddle" after arriving in Hawaii. Reading John King's excellent book, "The Ukulele: A History", left me with the impression that the taro-patch fiddle was far more popular in Hawaii than the actual ukulele, which seems to have only really started to boom after it hit the mainland.

I'm not sure that the renaissance guitar and these Portuguese instruments are directly related, at least not chronologically in the sense that the renaissance guitar would have come first (I don't think it did). They may both go back to an older group of instruments that they evolved from separately and individually, possibly a Greek or Arab instrument.

Booli
12-21-2016, 02:16 PM
Isn't violin tuning G, D, A, E? I think you got it backwards.

I've seen lots of times that violin-family players/instruments/luthiers like to name the strings from thinnest to thickest instead of vice versa like most other lute-family instruments and it really bugs the hell out of me.

Not sure of the historical precedent, but seems like fiddle players want to confuse the lute players...

EADG is a bass guitar not a violin as far as I'm concerned and a Violin or Mandolin is GDAE.

If I'm wrong then just shoot me because that's how I will do it until I'm worm food. :)

Mivo
12-21-2016, 03:12 PM
I don't recall where it was, but I read somewhere that the naming order of strings goes back to medieval string instruments (lutes?) that had different numbers of strings, but the same "core" tuning, just with additional strings, so it was more practical to name them from the first to last string.

zztush
12-21-2016, 06:04 PM
Thanks lfoo6952 and Booli.

I actually took GDAE according to Booli's previous post. I've checked the internet and the books in local library about it today. I still not sure. Because no one says GDAE or EADG tuning in violin as far as I checked so far. And some people show tuning from low to high (GDAE order) and others show high to low (EADG).

I can not say which one right is here. But I compare ukulele with viola in this thread I changed the figure according to lfoo6952's suggestion. Now we can compare the both tuning directly on the figure. Hence two interesting things appear.
1) The lowest note in both ukulele and viola is C. It is good evidence of C instruments, which scale starts from C.
2) They(ukulele and viola) both have perfect 5th up relation to guitar and violin (5th up is same as perfect 4th down).

Booli
12-21-2016, 06:31 PM
Thanks lfoo6952 and Booli.

I actually took GDAE according to Booli's previous post. I've checked the internet and the books in local library about it today. I still not sure. Because no one says GDAE or EADG tuning in violin as far as I checked so far. And some people show tuning from low to high (GDAE order) and others show high to low (EADG).

I can not say which one right is here. But I compare ukulele with viola in this thread I changed the figure according to lfoo6952's suggestion. Now we can compare the both tuning directly on the figure. Hence two interesting things appear.
1) The lowest note in both ukulele and viola is C. It is good evidence of C instruments, which scale starts from C.
2) They(ukulele and viola) both have perfect 5th up relation to guitar and violin (5th up is same as perfect 4th down).

Yes, GDAE is fifths tuning, and EADG is fourths tuning. GCEA/DGBE are modified-fourths tunings.

I have instruments tuned in both fifths and fourths, as well as modified-fourths tunings, all fretted, but none bowed like viola/violin/cello etc.

I name strings from top down in position from face-to-floor, and number then in reverse with first string to the floor and highest number string to your face. Standard Guitar EADGBE is like 654321, like uke is GCEA/DGBE and 4321. Most all documentation I have seen in 35 yrs of playing guitar and bass, and 3.5 yrs of playing ukulele are following these patterns.

It seems only the bowed instruments have decided to go the opposite way. TO me, they are backwards, similar to how iFoo has said. :)

zztush
12-21-2016, 06:58 PM
Hi, Bill! Thank you for the reply!

The meaning of sharp instruments is shown in the figure below. Guitar and violin are good at the music with # key signatures(red circle). Guitar is actually weak at key of F (Which have F and Bb). On the other hand many wind instruments are good at flat key signatures. Ukulele, viola and piano is stay neutral on C.
https://s30.postimg.org/x6j6s06xt/sharp.png (https://postimg.org/image/92sf3pogt/)upload (https://postimage.org/index.php?lang=chinese_simplified)

ukatee
12-22-2016, 12:07 AM
I don't recall where it was, but I read somewhere that the naming order of strings goes back to medieval string instruments (lutes?) that had different numbers of strings, but the same "core" tuning, just with additional strings, so it was more practical to name them from the first to last string.

With traditional string materials - gut, brass, iron - the best sound is achieved when the string tension is near breaking point. The top string is the most vulnerable and old lute treatises tell you to start by tuning the top string until just before it breaks!! Then you tune the other strings accordingly. If the top string is the first one you tune it seems logical to call it the first string and I imagine that that is where the convention comes from. As more strings were added it was always to the lower end.

daviddecom
12-22-2016, 07:59 PM
The viola da gamba (or viol) is actually a very different instrument from the modern violin or viola: viols are a family of six-stringed instruments with frets: tuned more like a guitar or ukulele than a violin (fourths, with a third in the middle, one string lower than a guitar), shaped more like a modern double bass, held vertically like a cello, and bowed German-style, the way some bassists still do, rather than French-style, as modern violinists, violists, and cellists do. Like the ukulele, they come in different sizes, with tunings specific to the size.

David
(new ukulele player, former violinist, and sibling of a vielle / rebec / medieval fiddle player)

zztush
12-22-2016, 09:07 PM
The viola da gamba (or viol) is actually a very different instrument from the modern violin or viola: viols are a family of six-stringed instruments with frets: tuned more like a guitar or ukulele than a violin (fourths, with a third in the middle, one string lower than a guitar), shaped more like a modern double bass, held vertically like a cello, and bowed German-style, the way some bassists still do, rather than French-style, as modern violinists, violists, and cellists do. Like the ukulele, they come in different sizes, with tunings specific to the size.

David
(new ukulele player, former violinist, and sibling of a vielle / rebec / medieval fiddle player)

Thank you very much David! I had corrected it. viola da gamba -> viola da braccio

Booli
12-22-2016, 09:15 PM
ok, so I have to ask - where would the BOWED Dulcimer fit in all this?

(it's kind of like a 'fretted' cello)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYNVIMrB-I4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYNVIMrB-I4

daviddecom
12-23-2016, 11:05 AM
Viola da braccio is actually just an old Italian name for the whole family of violin-like instruments (violin, viola, and cello). The viola da braccio, in turn, developed from earlier bowed string instruments played on the arm like the rebec and vielle. There would have been multiple tunings from the beginning, largely dependent on size.

David

ukatee
12-24-2016, 12:58 AM
David is correct. "braccia" means arm, while "gamba" means leg. They are two different families of bowed stringed instruments.