Well, I'm not Nicole, but I've heard this said before by other people who comment on orchestral music. I'm also an engineer who likes music, so I know a little of the science of acoustics, etc. With that introduction, I will now state an opinion that may or may not have anything to do with reality.<P>The chromatic scale (which most composers use, it's the old familiar five lines with four spaces between, treble clef on top, bass clef on bottom, etc.) defines what notes a musician is to play at any particular instant in a piece of music. (duh) But what exactly is a "note?" Part of the definition is the frequency of the fundamental vibration the instrument puts into the air and the listener's ears. The old definition (not that old, I doubt if it were possible to measure this in Bach's time) is the A below middle C is a vibration at 440 Hertz, or 440 cycles per second. The rest of the notes have definite mathematical relationships to this definition.<P>Most of us can't tell if it's 440.1, or even 441 Hz. However, some conductors feel that the music has more excitement if the orchestra is tuned a little sharp. It's one of those "artistic" decisions that every performer makes all the time. <P>Most instruments can be adjusted (tuned) over a pretty wide range, so it's not usually a problem. However, if you are a vocalist, the high notes just got a little higher, and you could be in trouble in front of a few thousand people who are about to become ex-fans.
<BR><p>[This message has been edited by barfle (edited 06-30-2001).]