The term diapason comes from Latin diapason, which in turn has its origin in the Greek language. The notion is used in the field of music to name a interval formed by five tones (two minor and three major) and two major semitones (diatesarón and diapente), according to the first meaning mentioned by the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ).
The concept, however, has other more frequent uses even in the same musical context. In the string instruments Like the guitar, the violin and the bass, the fretboard is the wood sector covering the mast and on which the steps are pressed or pressed strings . When the instrument has frets, these are embedded in the fretboard.
Also called fingerboard is the element that allows regular the instruments and the voices regarding their tuning . The fingerboard is a metal piece, invented by the British John shore at century XVIII , which is shaped like fork . The vibration of the fingerboard generates a sound that is taken as a reference when tuning an instrument, both one manufactured by the human being and the voice.
Depending on its material and shape, the fretboard emits a specific sound (the most common is the note the 440 , which has a frequency of 440 hertz). Since the sine waves produced by the tuning fork always keep tuning intact, their sound It serves as a reference when it is intended to achieve the tuning of an instrument.
He the 440 In fact, it is considered as a pattern by the International Organization for Standardization for several decades. This makes the frequency of this sound is the most frequent for tuning and, therefore, the reference sought in tuning forks.
Using a tuning fork can be as simple as it is complicated, depending on the objective the person pursues. First of all, it is necessary to learn to sustain it and to provoke its vibration an effective form; then, we must bring it closer to the ear to finally listen to the note it produces and use it as a reference point for the tuning of the desired instrument.
It is important to note that the fretboard is much more than a simple tool of tuning: for the most passionate musicians, it is an inevitable travel companion, which they always carry in a pocket. The fretboard is often used even by people who have managed to educate their ears to recognize the height of the sounds without the need for an external reference (that is, those who have absolute ear), since its operation is practically infallible and, therefore, offers a higher reliability percentage than that of our brain.
Let's look at an example to understand the complexity that lies behind the use of the tuning fork. When a guitarist uses it to fine tune his instrument, he must combine it with a series of musical and technical knowledge that will allow him to achieve his objective, since otherwise it is of no use to him. note reference.
The guitar Spanish has six strings, which are numbered starting at the bottom end and must be tuned in the following notes: mi, si, sol, re, la y mi. But this is not all, since the height of these notes must correspond to that of certain piano octaves: mi 4, si 3, sol 3, re 3, 2 and mi 2.
To refine the Spanish guitar with the fingerboard, you also have to know the concept of intervals musicals, which in broad strokes we can define as the difference between two notes, both height and frequency, something that is also useful for placing on a particular note with the voice: if we know how to mentally calculate an interval, such as being a fourth Major, we can take the 440 and sing a natural re without problems.