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#2266784 - 04/25/14 08:47 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Forgive me Bill, but a minor typo needs to be corrected: "Barcarolle"
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2266791 - 04/25/14 09:07 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 482
Loc: Italy
Equal temperament was well-known but no-one had a way of achieving it like we do today with electronic tuners that can accurately divide the octave by mathematically equal fractions of the octave.

Hummel used to tune to a quasi-equal (truly equal was impossible) but most people did not like the sound and tempered tuning was the norm centuries after it was 'invented'

Bach wrote the well-tempered keyboard (instrument) because he was coming-out of an era where music was only in a few keys and you did not need to modulate chromatically..

he did modulate frequently in his own way, exploiting the different colors of the well temperament instead of fighting them.


as far as not getting your head around the concept.. it is quite easy to grasp, really..

tuning 101:

if you tune each key of the keyboard by perfect, beatless fifths, by the time you've covered all 12 tones you will be totally off..

ideally music, to be tuned perfectly, should always be in the same key, therefore you would not need any black keys.. no problems with tuning..

well-temperament is not a science but an artform subject to the musician's and tuner's sense of proportion and taste..

historically, there are dozens of examples to choose from, so that you can get nearer to what the composers used..

ET is a 20th century invention, based on equality... before 1900 equality did not exist anywhere.. everything was derived from heirarchy..
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#2266794 - 04/25/14 09:17 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1964
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
What really gets me is how so many publications seem to want to confuse Well Temperament with ET, essentially calling them synonymous when, in fact, the two are mutually exclusive.

It may well be that J. S. Bach's acceptance of a tuning system which permitted access to all 24 major and minor keys through the new idea at the time, Well Tempered Tuning (as I still prefer to call it), was a turning point in music history.

Sadly, however, so many books, even recent ones such as Stuart Isacoff's Temperament seem to deliberately choose to truncate the facts to make it appear as though keyboard tuning took a quantum leap after Bach's creation from 1/4 Meantone, directly to ET! It is simply NOT the truth!

Then, to take an untruth ever so much further, a video such as the one displayed on here, seeks to tell the general audience that all music after the WTC event was made possible and due entirely to ET!


Bill,

Howard Goodall made no such claim in the video. He said that the "well tempered keyboard" was here to stay after publication of the WTC. Then he went on to say that it took "another revolution altogether" over a century later, the industrial one, for the ET version to gain the ascendancy [e.g. Schiedmayer publishing a manual around 1830 saying his pianos should be tuned in ET - my comment].

Maybe Larry, as the OP, will say whether he found the video enlightening in any way.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2266799 - 04/25/14 09:31 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: acortot]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 836
Originally Posted By: acortot
Equal temperament was well-known but no-one had a way of achieving it like we do today with electronic tuners that can accurately divide the octave by mathematically equal fractions of the octave.

...

ET is a 20th century invention, based on equality... before 1900 equality did not exist anywhere.. everything was derived from heirarchy..


One minor correction in an otherwise good post -"...some scale theories by Aristoxenus (c.300BC) were interpreted by some theorists as describing Equal Temperament...The earliest unequivocal and mathematically correct account of Equal Temperament was produced by Salinas (1577)." (di Veroli)

Edit: missing "



Edited by prout (04/25/14 09:32 AM)

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#2266824 - 04/25/14 10:24 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: prout]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 482
Loc: Italy
Yes..

it's been an issue ever since people started tuning.

I would say that the music never needed it in truth until composers began to modulate more freely.

in the 1500's the music did not stray far from the main key so it was more or less a theoretical approach to harmony and I suspect a bit dangerous from a theologic point of view because of it's inherent lack of inner heirarchy.

The harmonic series is the purest, most natural tuning you can get and it is based on one main (fundamental) frequency from which all other frequencies are derived..
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#2266833 - 04/25/14 10:57 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: acortot]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 836
Originally Posted By: acortot
Yes..

it's been an issue ever since people started tuning.

I would say that the music never needed it in truth until composers began to modulate more freely.

in the 1500's the music did not stray far from the main key so it was more or less a theoretical approach to harmony and I suspect a bit dangerous from a theologic point of view because of it's inherent lack of inner heirarchy.

The harmonic series is the purest, most natural tuning you can get and it is based on one main (fundamental) frequency from which all other frequencies are derived..


Interesting. In all the reading I have done about temperament over some 40+ years I do not remember encountering the idea that ET might be theologically heretical, but it is possible. Dividing the octave into 12 or more parts is not elegant.

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#2266834 - 04/25/14 10:59 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: acortot]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 482
Loc: Italy
Another thing which is worth mentioning is that Chopin wrote his 24 preludes in different keys, like Bach, and that he too exploited each key from a tempered point-of-view

Liszt, when he transcribed Shubert's Impromptu in Gb Major transposed the piece half a tone upwards..

Gb major in well temperaments is quite out-of-tune, so that would imply that Liszt corrected this and that perhaps, unless Shubert liked out-of-tune keys, the tuning system in Vienna was incorporating a close-to-equal temperament... or at least a temperament which made keys with more accidentals more in tune than the ones with naturals..

either way... the composers were 'well aware' of temperament.
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#2266845 - 04/25/14 11:22 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: prout]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 482
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: prout


Interesting. In all the reading I have done about temperament over some 40+ years I do not remember encountering the idea that ET might be theologically heretical, but it is possible. Dividing the octave into 12 or more parts is not elegant.


People were getting in trouble all the time for what is today considered normal.

The harmonic and geometric relationships which define harmony were considered to be sacred and they were also incorporated in high architecture etc.. they were in essence divine and not to be toyed with.

Our culture today gives emphasis to the democratic concept that everyone is equal and undefineable, in a way. This in the days before the late 1800's was considered heretical, against 'order' in general etc.. and to a great extent they were correct..

our concept of beauty today has been influenced by post-modern relativism which, at it's worst, aims to destroy the concept of natural beauty for political reasons.

but all we need to know is that the composers knew about unequal tempering, they used it regularly and were connoisseurs of how temperements influenced the sound of their music

whatsmore the older, pre-steinway, European pianos which had a wooden frame would resonate as a whole, or 'shake' as it were, with the right temperament and the right keys..

the metallic frame is yet another manifestation of this 'separation' of the notes, to make each one equal to the other.. with a wooden frame all the notes interact like a heirarchy.. some chords sound more resonant than others, some keys sound different than others and groups of notes sound different because the frame resonates with the total output of vibrations in a way..


Edited by acortot (04/25/14 11:24 AM)
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#2266853 - 04/25/14 11:39 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: David Jenson]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2413
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
If you want to have some fun, feel the temperature rise as the tuners become ill-tempered whenever temperament is mentioned.


Yet so many of us sally forth weekly in fine fettle and well temperament to joust bravely at the windmills of making something untunable, ... well, ... tuned.


I just did that opera...
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2266856 - 04/25/14 11:45 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2413
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: prout
Thanks Chuck for your thoughts. There is something about a Good Temperament, particularly a gentle one like Bill's that can be very inspiring for a musician.

What a wonderful term: Good Temperament

I will now think of ET or GT.


Dood, I came up with SGET a long time ago...

laugh
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2266857 - 04/25/14 11:46 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: bkw58]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2413
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: bkw58
"Try as I might I cannot get to grips with "just" and "wolf" tuning. Help!" -Larry Shone

Try this approach:


(First stab at tuning ET)


Bob is the winner of this week's internet.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2266863 - 04/25/14 11:50 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2413
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
IMNSHO, whether we're striving for ET or a UT, we need to remember that the end result needs to be musical.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2266889 - 04/25/14 12:25 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
IMNSHO, whether we're striving for ET or a UT, we need to remember that the end result needs to be musical.

Is ET musical?

(duck & cover)
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2266907 - 04/25/14 12:58 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Minnesota Marty]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 836
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
IMNSHO, whether we're striving for ET or a UT, we need to remember that the end result needs to be musical.

Is ET musical?

(duck & cover)


As a staunch supporter of GTs, I have to say, IMHO, that a really well tuned ET, done by someone who really listens to the piano as a whole, can be very musical.

That said, a really well tuned GT, done by someone who really listens to the piano as a whole, can be very musical.

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#2267106 - 04/25/14 07:26 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3274
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thanks for your contribution, Acotot. It is interesting to me that Thomas Salinas is mentioned, as I seen it before, since he was known for a temperament even more extreme than the 1/4 Meantone, the 1/3 Comma Meantone. I have tuned it before, just experimentally. It is my understanding that it was used primarily for funeral music. My impression of it was that the chords "dripped" from the piano as in one of Salvador Dali's paintings.

It was truly a bizarre sound but I can see how it could have invoked tears from people who heard it. And that leads me to recall very vividly what the entire purpose of Key Signature in Well Temperament really is: the emotion in music.

One earlier poster said something about scientific proof that beat speeds of Major (or minor) thirds definitely did invoke emotion and the PTG Journal editor challenged him to show that proof. I certainly don't have that proof, at least scientifically but I know it is true. Otherwise, what would someone say that when he heard music in the Vallotti temperament on the harpsichord, it "made his skin crawl"?

ET literally puts all music on Prozak. No highs, no lows, just all smooth sounds. No reason to be in any particular key. The video showed "Industrial mechanization" that supposedly made all instruments play in ET but when a choice of key signature based upon temperament is suggested, those who don't think key signature matters at all immediately point to Brass instruments having trouble with sharp keys and stringed instruments having trouble with flat keys. But they all "play in ET" don't they?

There supposedly is no distinction from one key signature to the next in ET (and there really is none) but there are many ET only advocates who still very strongly claim that they actually do hear a distinction! Yet if music is played in a Well Temperament, that distinction is too much! It jars the emotions and make the skin crawl! But an emotional response cannot be proved, so therefore it must not exist.

If you ask me, you have to return to what early 18th Century theorists suggested and that is that temperament should evolve to a point where all key signatures should be much more toned down in order that they be more accessible but not to the point where any and all distinction be erased. Hence, the "Victorian" style temperament. Several theorists advocated it. I have practiced it as my usual way to tune the piano for over twenty years.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2267125 - 04/25/14 08:21 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 686
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
I do not get any sense of emotional distinctions whatsoever from different keys in any temperament. I only get a sense or more or less sourness, but generally not enough to be bothered with unless the temperament is extreme. Changes in the level of sourness do not register with my musical appreciation senses. I don't have a problem with mild well temperaments, but I don't see the point in bothering about it.

Am it to be considered un-musical? Or, am I missing out on a higher plane of musical appreciation?


Edited by Chris Leslie (04/25/14 08:26 PM)
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Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2267138 - 04/25/14 09:23 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Chris Leslie]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 836
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
I do not get any sense of emotional distinctions whatsoever from different keys in any temperament. I only get a sense or more or less sourness, but generally not enough to be bothered with unless the temperament is extreme. Changes in the level of sourness do not register with my musical appreciation senses. I don't have a problem with mild well temperaments, but I don't see the point in bothering about it.

Am it to be considered un-musical? Or, am I missing out on a higher plane of musical appreciation?


Neither, I think.

What I enjoy about music is the struggle of tension and relaxation that occurs as a result of many factors, but primarily the harmonic changes. The tritone is tense, leading to a relaxed resolution. Another form of tension/relaxation occurs when the composer modulates from the tonic key to another key. The further around the circle of fifths the modulation occurs, the more tense the music becomes in a GT. This does occur in ET. The modulation back to the original key provides a relief from that tension.

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#2267150 - 04/25/14 10:07 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: prout]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 686
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Originally Posted By: prout
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
I do not get any sense of emotional distinctions whatsoever from different keys in any temperament. I only get a sense or more or less sourness, but generally not enough to be bothered with unless the temperament is extreme. Changes in the level of sourness do not register with my musical appreciation senses. I don't have a problem with mild well temperaments, but I don't see the point in bothering about it.

Am it to be considered un-musical? Or, am I missing out on a higher plane of musical appreciation?


Neither, I think.

What I enjoy about music is the struggle of tension and relaxation that occurs as a result of many factors, but primarily the harmonic changes. The tritone is tense, leading to a relaxed resolution. Another form of tension/relaxation occurs when the composer modulates from the tonic key to another key. The further around the circle of fifths the modulation occurs, the more tense the music becomes in a GT. This does occur in ET. The modulation back to the original key provides a relief from that tension.

I enjoy the sense of tension an relaxation from harmonic changes as well, also from tense intervals resolving to calmer intervals. I also get a sense of pleasure from modulations resolving back or elsewhere. However, I also get this sense from listening to either piano ET, piano WT, or a string quartet or a choir etc etc. For me, a particular temperament is not the governing factor. There must be other intrinsic musical reasons why tension resolution occurs and that is what I pick up on.
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2267151 - 04/25/14 10:14 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2413
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
IMNSHO, whether we're striving for ET or a UT, we need to remember that the end result needs to be musical.

Is ET musical?

(duck & cover)


According to Bill, my quasi-ET was, so I'll take it. wink
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2267159 - 04/25/14 10:44 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21687
Loc: Oakland
Anything is more musical than this constant inanity about temperament!
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Semipro Tech

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#2267277 - 04/26/14 08:08 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: BDB]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 836
Originally Posted By: BDB
Anything is more musical than this constant inanity about temperament!


Yeah, but the conversation regarding temperament has been going on for at least 2300 years, and the music to which we now listen has been going on for only 1000 years or so.

It's one of the big three - Politics, Religion, and Temperament.

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#2267284 - 04/26/14 08:21 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1403
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I find reference to emotions from music as being objective, to be short sighted.

The organization of music has arbitrary elements in it.

Just think to yourself how your own reaction to a piece of music changes as you listen to it more and more. Or what about how a piece of music sounds different depending on your mood or something personal that happened to you since the last time you heard it.

This is where the arguements for and against ET fall short. Anyone who pretends to say one is better than the other, is navel gazing and does not realize that each person gets their ideal of beauty from their own experiences.

If I say ET is beautiful to me, who has the right to tell me it is not?
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2267889 - 04/27/14 06:08 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 482
Loc: Italy
if you want to try a well temperament that has good color but does not shock the senses try broadwood's best tuning.. it is quite 'british' and will fit many kinds of music

the really old tunings need to be used for very specific compositions made especially for those tunings.
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#2267931 - 04/27/14 06:57 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: OperaTenor]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1777
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: bkw58
"Try as I might I cannot get to grips with "just" and "wolf" tuning. Help!" -Larry Shone

Try this approach:


(First stab at tuning ET)


Bob is the winner of this week's internet.


Thanks, Jim. The OP mentioned "wolf" tuning and it brought me back to my first try at tuning. "What's all the fuss about," I thought - "this is easy." That was until I went back and checked a particular fifth in the temperament. Never heard anything so horrible in my life. (The "wolf" in the video sounds quite melodious by comparison.)
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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#2268044 - 04/28/14 01:37 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Iori Fujita Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/10
Posts: 73
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
The difference is very delicate. But if you are interested in this matter, it should mean a lot. The difference certainly exists. There are many kinds of Temperament Systems. Pure, Mean-Tone, Kirnberger-1, Kirnberger-3, Werckmeister-3, Silbermann, and others. Now ordinary keyboards are tuned basicaly on the Equal-Temperament System.
Over the centuries musicians, mathematicians, theorists, thinkers, experts and amateurs have been suffered from the comma which is the difference between a perfectly tuned octave and the octave resulting from a tuned circle of fifths. Many great people have been trying to create the perfect scale in vain. Mathematics easily proves that perfection is not possible. Any solution does not exist. Musicians, especially pianists, have been accused of using the Equal Temperament for thier pianos because the Equal Temperament is said to be an anti-musical compromise which leaves each key equally damaged and none perfectly in tune.
Then how about pianists?
I made a test using FFT and the result is;
Walcha used an equal-tempered chembalo.
S. Richiter used a basically equal-tempered piano tuned a little higher than standard.
Gould used an Equal-Tempered Piano.
By the way, even nowadays there are many people who claim that the 12 tone-equal temperament is a product of mere compromise. They say that the pure temperament is the only authentic one, and that the 12 tone-equal temperament makes dirty resonances without being expressed as the ratios of whole numbers, which is, they believe, a fundamental music fact. On the contrary, I think that the basic temperament should be the pure temperament and the 12 tone-equal temperament, and that other various temperament systems are nothing but compromise. Moreover the pure temperament, I think, can be only a little modified version of the 12 tone-equal temperament. Musicians specialized in classic music, especially performers of works of Bach and Mozart and professional piano tuners, might have guilty consciences in basically using the 12 tone-equal temperament system for their daily mission because it has been "a priori" imprinted on their mind as the origin of dirty resonances. For all that, those who hate the 12 tone-equal temperament usually use the unit called "cent", which is very convenient, in order for them to discuss about their favorite temperament sysytem. In fact this "cent" is a logarithmic unit itself and is remote from the "harmonious" ratios of whole numbers. And other people want to talk about the beats bewteen two tones to make them consonant. When, in an octave in which A=440Hz is located, two tones with certain beats are within a harmoniously permissible range, one octave higher tones will have double numbers of beats because they are determined by their frequency difference.
SEE;
http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/wtcpage004.html

Let's think about "Uncertainty Principle for Temperament".
Then the uncertainty clouds cover the differentials of pitches which depend on various temperaments. And this uncertainty might be able to break the historic curse over the music.
SEE;
http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/wtcuncertain.html

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#2268054 - 04/28/14 02:10 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7901
Loc: France
Very "funny" thank you . Interesting to read but the last chord does not sound correctly to me (for whatever reason ) .

the harmonic progression however is well contrasted.
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It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2268099 - 04/28/14 06:55 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 482
Loc: Italy
Early keyboards showed how important temperament was to musicians of the time by sometimes having two black keys where only one exists today. This was because in one key the black key would have a different frequency than another key.

String players were taught (and still should be taught) to play certain thirds etc. a little flat or sharp depending on the key.

I would say to anyone, including pop songwriters etc. who live in a tonal world, that is remotely interested in getting an inspiring sound from the piano, to get your piano tuned in the Broadwood's best or another Victorian Well-Temperament and live with it for a little while.. smile
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#2268102 - 04/28/14 07:21 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 482
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Thanks for your contribution, Acotot. ...snip..

There supposedly is no distinction from one key signature to the next in ET (and there really is none) but there are many ET only advocates who still very strongly claim that they actually do hear a distinction! Yet if music is played in a Well Temperament, that distinction is too much! It jars the emotions and make the skin crawl! But an emotional response cannot be proved, so therefore it must not exist.



Hi,

You're welcome!

There are a couple of things to consider about keys that go beyond temperament.

The first is that every key has a different range of frequencies so that for instance an A as a root note is going to sound 'punchier' than a low E in the same way that a sound engineer knows that boosting an equalizer at 110 hz is going to have a different sound and feel than a 150 or 75 Hz

Furthermore you also have the vocal range which is affected by key. The human voice, and each individual's voice, resonate and sing more clearly on certain notes and certain keys.

So, internalizing all of these subjective and objective perceptions of sound and frequencies you begin to hear different keys, in general, as being different.. this is a result of repeated listening and making music in general


If we put aside the theoretical notions that soundboards are perfect 'speakers' or 'transducers' that work without resonances and with impedance which is flat across all frequency ranges, we come to the realization that certain keys are going to resonate differently on one instrument than others.


Old European pianos had a fixed resonance or 'EQ' which gave them a 'vocal' quality and sometimes you see that certain notes 'drop' in tension where the board resonates.. this is a sort of compensating by listening that some more obsessive manufacturers used to do.

Sievers went so far to say that a piano could not sound good unless each section of the soundboard was carefully tuned by shaving the bars under the soundboard and hitting the soundboard with a mallet, until the section of the sounboard concerned corresponded with the pitch of the strings!

So yes there are multiple issues involved and tuning was certainly more of an artform and subject to discussion, local tastes, philosophy etc.
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#2268115 - 04/28/14 08:12 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: acortot]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1964
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: acortot
Old European pianos had a fixed resonance or 'EQ' which gave them a 'vocal' quality and sometimes you see that certain notes 'drop' in tension where the board resonates.. this is a sort of compensating by listening that some more obsessive manufacturers used to do.

Acortot, your post is very interesting but would you please explain the sentence I have quoted in more detail?

How much did the increase in tension, due to stronger frames and wires, during the second half of the 19c affect the situation?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2268141 - 04/28/14 09:23 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Iori Fujita]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1777
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: Iori Fujita
The difference is very delicate. But if you are interested in this matter, it should mean a lot. The difference certainly exists. There are many kinds of Temperament Systems. Pure, Mean-Tone, Kirnberger-1, Kirnberger-3, Werckmeister-3, Silbermann, and others. Now ordinary keyboards are tuned basicaly on the Equal-Temperament System.
Over the centuries musicians, mathematicians, theorists, thinkers, experts and amateurs have been suffered from the comma which is the difference between a perfectly tuned octave and the octave resulting from a tuned circle of fifths. Many great people have been trying to create the perfect scale in vain. Mathematics easily proves that perfection is not possible. Any solution does not exist. Musicians, especially pianists, have been accused of using the Equal Temperament for thier pianos because the Equal Temperament is said to be an anti-musical compromise which leaves each key equally damaged and none perfectly in tune.
Then how about pianists?
I made a test using FFT and the result is;
Walcha used an equal-tempered chembalo.
S. Richiter used a basically equal-tempered piano tuned a little higher than standard.
Gould used an Equal-Tempered Piano.
By the way, even nowadays there are many people who claim that the 12 tone-equal temperament is a product of mere compromise. They say that the pure temperament is the only authentic one, and that the 12 tone-equal temperament makes dirty resonances without being expressed as the ratios of whole numbers, which is, they believe, a fundamental music fact. On the contrary, I think that the basic temperament should be the pure temperament and the 12 tone-equal temperament, and that other various temperament systems are nothing but compromise. Moreover the pure temperament, I think, can be only a little modified version of the 12 tone-equal temperament. Musicians specialized in classic music, especially performers of works of Bach and Mozart and professional piano tuners, might have guilty consciences in basically using the 12 tone-equal temperament system for their daily mission because it has been "a priori" imprinted on their mind as the origin of dirty resonances. For all that, those who hate the 12 tone-equal temperament usually use the unit called "cent", which is very convenient, in order for them to discuss about their favorite temperament sysytem. In fact this "cent" is a logarithmic unit itself and is remote from the "harmonious" ratios of whole numbers. And other people want to talk about the beats bewteen two tones to make them consonant. When, in an octave in which A=440Hz is located, two tones with certain beats are within a harmoniously permissible range, one octave higher tones will have double numbers of beats because they are determined by their frequency difference.
SEE;
http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/wtcpage004.html

Let's think about "Uncertainty Principle for Temperament".
Then the uncertainty clouds cover the differentials of pitches which depend on various temperaments. And this uncertainty might be able to break the historic curse over the music.
SEE;
http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/wtcuncertain.html


Thanks. Very informative. Love the Tower of Babel analogy.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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