from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An alternate way of tuning a stringed instrument that varies from standard tuning.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In stringed musical instruments, an intentional deviation from the usual tuning of the strings for some special effect; the altering of the proper accordatura.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun cross-tuning; a system of tuning a musical instrument to pitches other than the accepted standard, for example, tuning one or more strings of a violin to pitches other than the commonly accepted GDAE.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Italian, from scordato, out of tune, from past participle of scordare, to put out of tune : s-, privative prefix (from Latin ex-; see ex–) + (ac)cordare, to bring into agreement, tune (an instrument) (from Medieval Latin accordāre, to bring into agreement ; see accord, the musical sense in Italian perhaps being influenced by Italian corda, cord, string of a musical instrument, and its source, Latin chorda).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Italian scordatura discord


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  • And that's not to mention the tuning of the concertmaster's violin "scordatura," or up a tone, to create a harsh sound symbolizing the dance of Death of the second movement scherzo. - News

  • Death has the power to call forth the dead from their graves to dance for him while he plays his fiddle represented by a solo violin with its E-string tuned to an E-flat in an example of scordatura tuning.

    "Danse Macabre," Saint-Saëns, 19th Century

  • Now for a bit of dark humor: In an earlier version of the piece to be performed on the MATA festival, a rather extreme scordatura in the cello is required.


  • Since that incident, I have modified the scordatura.


  • In short, my attempt at creating a simple piece resulted in a fast microtonal composition for singing violist playing scordatura while using extended vocalizations.


  • Timbre anyone?...and Pianos are not tuned in the same way as a guitar so it is very possible that unless the piano was only used for 1 note (the F in question) the dissonance in tunning (guitars are tuned in perfect intervals and pianos are slightly out of tune by nature), there would have been a dissonance found in some of the other notes vis a vis the imperfectly tuned piano against the guitar(s)....also there is 2. scordatura tuning which means that the "g" on the guitar could well have been retuned to an "F"

    About that famous guitar chord.


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  • Obscure usage here.

    September 17, 2010

  • Bach's fifth cello suite uses this device.

    February 25, 2013