March 2017 update: browsers are gradually removing support for Java
applets. This is because Java is a big security risk, like Flash.
Right now, I don't see what alternative technology one could use to
have something like the Java Tuner run inside a browser. Java itself
however is not going away anytime soon as far as I know, so there is
always the possibility of running the Java Tuner applet outside the
browser. Other possibilities are discussed here.
October 2005 update: the pages for JavaTuner have been slightly
rearranged, and new features added to the newer JavaSound version of
June 2011: a calibration feature has been added to the JavaSound version.
The JavaTuner is a small Java applet that allows
some experimentation with
various tunings and temperaments (experimenting on a real instrument is
orders of magnitude better of course), and that can
be used as an electronic tuner and even as a tuning practice tool.
Caution: If you use this applet to tune an instrument, be sure to check that it generates correct frequencies;
on a recent winXP machine, I see up to a semitone off-pitch!
The best is to compare the generated A-440 with a tuning fork; I find this easiest with no harmonics ('0' in the applet).
V2.5 now offers a "calibration" feature that can be used, esp. when invoking the JavaTuner stand-alone (ie. locally), to have
the applet generate the intended frequencies once the applet itself has been "tuned". See the V2.5 page.
There are currently two version of the JavaTuner:
- A first version, based on Sun's audio classes (limited to 8 KHz). This should work on
older browsers and systems. May be removed in the future.
(Note: the email address in the applet is no longer valid -- see below)
- JavaTuner V1.12 based on JDK 1.0, with usage notes
- JavaTuner V1.12 based on JDK 1.0, with extra temperaments (now including Lehman's), but no usage notes
- A second version, based on JavaSound classes (at 22050 Hz). This should work on
more recent browsers and systems.
Internet Explorer: this version of the JavaTuner does not work
under MSJVM, Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine, because it does not have the
classes needed (see further notes below).
But it does have the sun.audio.* classes used by the V1 applet.
Wrt older version, it supports a few new features:
- Added Lehman's theory on Bach's WTC temperament in the available temperaments. See
http://www.larips.com/ for the full
and fascinating story on this (published in "Early Music" in 2005).
- Minor changes in layout and labels.
- Minor changes in cents and frequencies modifiers (up/down arrows, and alt
up/down arrows) which now go in steps of .1 cents, or 1 cents
with shift. The previous steps of 1 and 5 cents were too
coarse to set Lehman by hand (as an example). It's
still probably true that this is much beyond anyone's
tone discrimination abilities, but it helps at least
from a theoretical point of view.
- Improved/completed the descriptive text somewhat.
- A violin tuning mode (a convenience) had been added about a year ago.
- A "calibration" adjustment to deal with computers that are off-pitch (added 2011).
Currently, these changes were not carried over to the older
version. I don't know if anyone is still using it. If you
are and would like to see some of these changes, drop me a
note (but I make no promises!).
Wrt Internet Explorer:
The main Java classes and the sun.audio classes are in
As I understand
what I read there, the MS Java VM (MSJVM) is discontinued: "Going forward,
Microsoft is not including the MSJVM in its software"; users are encouraged
to migrate away from MSJVM. So probably no point worrying about it.
For IE users, one option is to install a recent Java run-time (JRE) from
Sun, including the installation of the plug-in for the IE browser. This
worked for me on my 3-years old WinXP. I suppose this could break other sites
(if there are still any) that depend on MSJVM.
Or maybe use FireFox instead! Or download Sun's Java run-time
environment (JRE) and use the JavaTuner stand-alone, eg. with
The latest Java run-time from Sun can be obtained
Copyright: Pierre Lewis
Page URL: http://leware.net/temper/accord.htm
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