Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Cornelia Yarbrough


The purpose of this study was to examine performance trends of advanced wind instrumentalists with regard to intervallic tuning. Factors of interest were tuning system, location (above or below a referential stimulus), interval type, and group (student or professional). Also of interest was the direction of deviation of the target pitches, sharp or flat, from equal temperament. Subjects (N = 16) were experienced wind instrumentalists, eight experienced professionals, and eight advanced university students. Subjects were recorded performing a two-part reduction of a Bach chorale, first playing the melody with a synthesized harmony line, then vice versa. Performances were transferred to a NeXT computer where target intervals were analyzed and converted to cent distance. Results indicated that overall cent deviation was greatest when compared to just tuning and least when compared to equal tempered tuning. For cent deviation from equal temperament, thirds and sixths were performed slightly less in-tune than fourths, fifths, unisons, and octaves. Location also affected the direction of deviation from equal temperament as it appeared that subjects tended to play sharp and less in-tune when performing below the stimulus. There were no differences found between groups for the magnitude of deviation, however, considering direction of deviation from equal temperament, it was observed that the student group performed less sharp than the professionals when performing below the stimulus and less in-tune when performing above.