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#2456358 - 09/03/15 11:42 AM Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET.
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 2760
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I just found this podcast episode. It is very well done. Hope you like it.

http://howtotunepianos.com/an-interesting-discussion-of-equal-temperament/


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (09/03/15 11:42 AM)
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Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2456498 - 09/04/15 12:05 AM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 2760
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nobody has any comments on the podcast? Not even the part about the M3 signifying a man's ejaculation and the m3 symbolizing the woman's submissiveness?

A-ha! You didn't listen to the whole thing, did you? See what you missed?
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2456587 - 09/04/15 09:40 AM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Herr Weiss Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 290
Loc: New York, N.Y.
Is your wife aware of what are up to lately??
_________________________
"Respond intelligently, even to unintelligent treatment."
-Lao Tzu

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#2456594 - 09/04/15 10:32 AM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
chopin_r_us Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 1964
Loc: London
Yeh, I listened. That Kepler, what a comedian! I've got How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony. I think they both came out roughly the same time.

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#2456788 - 09/04/15 10:36 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
rtheaux Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/15/14
Posts: 20
I found it very interesting. In my beginning studies of tuning I found it infinitely beautiful how every tone, and micro change of it's pitch had it's very own place in the harmonic spectrum. A new appreciation of sound for me.

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#2456832 - 09/05/15 02:23 AM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
rXd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2431
This is the standard stuff. I wish there was more reliable information on the most recent three hundred years or so of the history of ET. it has been so ubiquitous that it has become unremarkable until relatively recently.

I often wonder if the original cramming of 12 lunar months into the solar year caused as much acrimony. By the way, I just found out that if January is the note F, then all the white notes on a keyboard are the long months and all the black notes are the shorter months. Remarkable in that many musicians I know don't care to know which day it is. (it doesn't matter much that January is F either, come to think of it).
_________________________
Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.



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#2456948 - 09/05/15 12:06 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3843
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I just started listening. I probably can't listen to the whole thing now but one thing caught my ear right away. The final solution were, in fact, Isacoff's own words.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2456956 - 09/05/15 12:58 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: rXd]
chopin_r_us Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 1964
Loc: London
Originally Posted By rXd
I just found out that if January is the note F, then all the white notes on a keyboard are the long months and all the black notes are the shorter months.
Is there something in that?

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#2456957 - 09/05/15 01:12 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3843
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I heard enough! The whole book is a giant magazine article that appeals to what people want to believe and perhaps think they already know but is not really true. If you mix facts with fiction, what does it become? I stopped listening when the narrator played a portion of a piece by Bach in what he called "a Pythagorean Tuning system" which it was not and which Bach certainly did not use.

It was a complete falsehood but now he has you hooked. We can't use that other kind of tuning because it has sour notes in it! Oh yes, there were hundreds of possibilities but there is only one, "final solution" which were Isacoff's words, not any critic's. The only criticism of that choice of words can be their appropriateness.

If it is anyone's desire to believe in something that is not true, then any and all straws may be grasped but that does not change what the truth is. We had a similar event recently with the translation of Montal's book.

That was a noble endeavor and an important accomplishment. It is the conclusion that I have trouble with: ET was being practiced throughout the 18th & 19th Centuries by everybody and it was the foundation of all music. None of the music we have today would have been possible without it.

It simply isn't true. Montal's instructions are not complete enough to produce ET. They could just as easily produce a Well Temperament of Reverse Well for that matter.

William Braide White's book is often touted as the reason ET was practiced by everyone since he wrote it. Everyone except the people who read those instructions and tuned pianos in Reverse Well for their entire careers as piano technicians.

There is a good reason why Isacoff received such harsh criticism. It is not a factual piece of research. It is pure pandering.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2456964 - 09/05/15 01:30 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
chopin_r_us Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 1964
Loc: London
I think his major point is:

a) everyone studied music theory in the 18th century and before.

b) that it didn't work in practice à la Pythagoras became a major scandal

ET is only incidental to the 'plot'

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#2456966 - 09/05/15 01:35 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: chopin_r_us]
rXd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2431
Originally Posted By chopin_r_us
Originally Posted By rXd
I just found out that if January is the note F, then all the white notes on a keyboard are the long months and all the black notes are the shorter months.
Is there something in that?


Not that I'm aware of, just coincidence. My Japanese friend was taught a system using the bones of the knuckles and the spaces between them as a memory aid as a child.

If you google "calendar" or "month" or both you will eventually get to this information in Wikipedia.
_________________________
Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.



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#2456975 - 09/05/15 02:11 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
DoelKees Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 2296
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By Bill Bremmer RPT
I heard enough! The whole book is a giant magazine article that appeals to what people want to believe and perhaps think they already know but is not really true. If you mix facts with fiction, what does it become? I stopped listening when the narrator played a portion of a piece by Bach in what he called "a Pythagorean Tuning system" which it was not and which Bach certainly did not use.

He also got the key wrong of that piece (Prelude Ab major from WTC II).

Kees

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#2456981 - 09/05/15 02:38 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3843
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thanks, Kees.

George Orwell certainly did have a great perception of how people in power can manipulate society. You don't really need to know the facts of tuning and temperament history. All you need to know is that there is only one, workable system. We rearranged the facts so they sound more plausible for you. We left out information that you don't need to know. We put it all into a nicely engaging story that we intend for you to accept because it is based on research and it is what you always thought was the truth anyway. We just confirmed that for you.

Don't go trying to find any other information or experiment with any other kind of temperament. There is no reason for you to do that and every reason for you not to do it. What you believe is your position of strength. We solidified that for you. Don't question it. Use it to answer anything you may hear that is contrary to what we have told you. If it has not been covered in our presentation, then it either did not exist or it is not important to know.

The word, "equal" is merely redundant. There is only one temperament. The fact that it is equal is already presumed and assumed. There cannot be any other kind of temperament because there is only one. There has always been only one temperament. There will always be only one temperament. You do not remember having heard or even heard about any other kind of temperament. There is no such thing because no such thing can exist.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2457043 - 09/05/15 07:16 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 2760
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
But didn't you hear him say that something is lost when music is played in ET? This guy is actually on the side of UT, and what's more, he's just being objective. Very powerful.

The first time he played that Bach piece it was in the wrong key, i.e. different than the tonal center of the tuning.

The second time was in the key of the tonal center. It was very beautiful, IMHO.

The third time was in ET and he even acknowledges something was missing, ("It doesn't sound as good") and even I can hear it, but he says it is the price to pay to have all keys equal. ("It gets the job done")

Those recordings alone, the Bach piece in its correct tonal tuning and in its ET tuning, are enough to make me want to learn how to tune UT.


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (09/05/15 07:26 PM)
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2457122 - 09/06/15 03:10 AM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3843
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Yeah, but I ain't buying it at any price.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2457139 - 09/06/15 05:22 AM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
chopin_r_us Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 1964
Loc: London
What if you got it for Xmas?

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#2457188 - 09/06/15 09:49 AM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: rXd]
prout Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 2496
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By rXd
This is the standard stuff. I wish there was more reliable information on the most recent three hundred years or so of the history of ET. it has been so ubiquitous that it has become unremarkable until relatively recently.


It is tempting to think that keyboard tuning was a continuous and progressive struggle to achieve ET from the creation of the very first keyboard instruments, and therefore a history of this struggle should have been chronicled. This is not the case. We forget that tuners were isolated from one another and the knowledge of tuning styles was not shared worldwide as it is here on the Internet. The quality of the local music demanded the quality of the tuning which determined the quality of the local music - hence the myriad of UTs.

While ET, as a mathematical concept is very old, (as a concept, easily pre-dating the keyboard) this knowledge was not universal, nor has ET ever been achieved across the compass of a strung keyboard instrument.

We can be thankful that attempts to achieve ET were not in the mainstream of tunings for the bulk of the music written and played.

If one listens to modern folk, mountain, blues, jazz and any number of other western musical styles in performance (I omit eastern because it is so wonderfully different), one hears an infinite variety of UTs that define the quality of the music.

VIVE LE UT!

prout

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#2457230 - 09/06/15 12:09 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: prout]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24525
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By prout
VIVE LE UT!

prout


If you play everything in UT, or C, as we say in English, temperament does not matter.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2457233 - 09/06/15 12:31 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: BDB]
prout Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 2496
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By BDB
Originally Posted By prout
VIVE LE UT!

prout


If you play everything in UT, or C, as we say in English, temperament does not matter.


Nicely done!

But I like Gamma as well.

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#2457236 - 09/06/15 12:38 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
rXd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2431
I did say reliable history. What were the wandervogel experiences of Hipkins, Bechstein, Blüthner, in Europe and the Steinway sons on the east coast of America and Europe between 1840's and 1853 that led to the simultaneous revolution in piano design. What were the mathematics behind the scale designs based on and for how long had they been designing along these principles? What was the prevailing nominal temperament at the Royal college of Music when my old friend and mentor was one of the first students there in 1889 and told never to play with piano accompaniment if he wanted to be a string ensemble musician? Indeed, what was the prevailing pitch. It wasn't until 1895 that 439@68* was adopted for the proms. A lowering of 15 Hz. An expensive proposition. I wish I knew enough at the time (I was 12) to ask the right Questions. Would he have had some answers?

At some time, as I say, it ceased to be an issue. There was an academic interest in old temperaments in the 1930's. I have read some of the books, Dolmetsch and C Dayton Miller, etc. Indeed I used to tune the Blüthner upright in Carl's descendants home in Haslemere.

I have slapped an old Kay bass that I found under a trailer in the Alleghenies with local musician there. I know that though the frets are calculated twelfth root of two, they are not tuned in accordance by bluegrass players. Never underestimate the ears of them old rock n rollers from the sixties who are still doing sessions. I am often asked to tune when there's a piano in the mix. they don't want cheesy overstretching either, just like mature string players of the same vintage.

Sorry I I seem to have gone on I was on the train for too long I'll stop now. My experience keeps on throwing up questions I can't be doin with assumptions and guesses.
_________________________
Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.



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#2457247 - 09/06/15 01:05 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Dave B Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 2575
Loc: Philadelphia area
Bill, You've been using the phrase,"reverse Well" for a few years and I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Can you explain what "Reverse Well" is and offer suggestions on how to avoid it???


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#2457250 - 09/06/15 01:17 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: rXd]
prout Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 2496
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By rXd
I did say reliable history. What were the wandervogel experiences of Hipkins, Bechstein, Blüthner, in Europe and the Steinway sons on the east coast of America and Europe between 1840's and 1853 that led to the simultaneous revolution in piano design. What were the mathematics behind thee scale designs based on and for how long had they been designing along these principles? What was the prevailing temperament at the Royal college of Music when my old friend and mentor was one of the first students there in 1889 and told never to play with piano accompaniment if he wanted to be a string ensemble musician? Indeed, what was the prevailing pitch. It wasn't until 1895 that 439@68* was adopted for the proms. A lowering of 15 Hz. An expensive proposition. I wish I knew enough at the time (I was 12) to ask the right Questions. Would he have had some answers?

At some time, as I say, it ceased to be an issue. There was an academic interest in old temperaments in the 1930's. I have read some of the books, Dolmetsch and C Dayton Miller, etc. Indeed I used to tune the Blüthner upright in Carl's descendants home in Haslemere. I have slapped an old Kay bass that I found under a trailer in the Alleghenies. I know that though the frets are calculated twelfth root of two, they are not tuned in accordance by bluegrass players. Never underestimate the ears of them old rock and rollers from the sixties who are still doing sessions. I am often asked to tune when there's a piano in the mix. they don't want cheesy overstretching either, just like mature string players of the same vintage.

Sorry I I seem to have gone on I was on the train for too long I'll stop now.


I agree that it ceased to be an issue, for the most part, with regard to tuning pianos in the early twentieth century.

However, we are in the twenty-first century and interest in the quality of the aural musical experience has undergone significant changes, as all of you out there know. Orchestras now play with vastly less vibrato than they did in the early and middle part of the previous century, which means the players actually have to try to play the same pitches as each other. HIP players do not attempt to tune ET, but use UTs that they choose to make the music more sonorous. Even some classical and jazz pianists are now choosing to perform on instruments tuned in UTs. Over time, we may find the standard is not some attempt at ET, but many UTs. And at a later, we may be back to ET again. Who knows?

It seems the only "musicians" , and I use that term in jest only, who use ET, are those pop singers who use on-the-fly pitch correction to ensure they sing perfectly in ET. I don't know about you, but listening to truly perfect ET is about the most unmusical experience one can have.

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#2457272 - 09/06/15 02:19 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
rXd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2431
Yes. Same stuff different day. But interesting points arising.

The undesirability of popular music rmhamcent is again being blamed upon ET. Please don't rush to some king if emotional judgement on this yet.

Have any of you seen the latest enhanced release of "Help"? I Saw it on television the other day. Yes. It has lost it's character but why?

the Beatles are straining at notes they do actually reach in the enhanced version but far too soon which kinda makes the characteristic straining for tje notes pointless sounding. It was never quite reaching some if the notes that gave the lads that endearing quality we all remember. As Frank Muir said at the time, that "the quality of Mersey is not trained". Nothing wrong with that

If the Beatles played and sang in tune with electronic enhancement but in an unequal temperament of your choice, which one would render the results artistically acceptable? (since it seems that it is only equal temperament in these "enhancements" that causes "artistic" problems, the original is randomly out of tune. ). I choose "help" as a typical example, any of you who are interested may choose your own.

Although, unlike most, I have no emotional attachment to any of this, I am still academically interested.
_________________________
Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.



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#2457285 - 09/06/15 02:48 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3843
Loc: Madison, WI USA
RXD, singers don't sing in unequal temperament.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2457289 - 09/06/15 02:59 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
rXd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2431
Originally Posted By Bill Bremmer RPT
RXD, singers don't sing in unequal temperament.


Aw. You spoiled it for me. But I for my point across.
_________________________
Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.



Top
#2457291 - 09/06/15 03:04 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: rXd]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24525
Loc: Oakland
Most musicians and instruments do not use any particular temperament. Of those that do, most of them are not particularly accurate.

That is why this is a non-issue for me.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2457292 - 09/06/15 03:04 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Dave B]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3843
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By Dave B
Bill, You've been using the phrase,"reverse Well" for a few years and I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Can you explain what "Reverse Well" is and offer suggestions on how to avoid it???



Reverse Well is the reverse of Well Temperament. Since in your training and that of most other piano technicians, you were denied the knowledge of what Well Temperament is or that it ever existed, then Reverse Well cannot exist either.

I've been using the term a lot longer than just a few years but I am virtually the only person who ever uses it. Therefore, as most people on here would say, there is no such thing and nobody ever tuned it.

If you buy any book on piano tuning from the most modern down to Cree Fisher and William Braide White from a hundred years ago to Montal in the 19th Century (now conveniently translated to English and available for purchase as such) you will find instructions for tuning the temperament.

Just follow those instructions and whatever the results, it is all good. But if you happen to dig deeper and acquire a book that reveals more profound knowledge and you actually learn to use that knowledge, you will be getting yourself into some serious trouble.

Ignorance is strength. What you don't know won't hurt you.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2457295 - 09/06/15 03:13 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3843
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Temperament is only a function of tuning a fixed pitch instrument. All other instruments and voices practice intonation either very well or not so well.

The recording industry now routinely uses so called "pitch correction software" to help the total package of the product they sell sound more appealing but whenever I hear it, it turn it off. It doesn't sound better to me. I wonder what Billy Holiday would sound like with it deployed? Some people did not really like her singing because so much of it was "in the cracks" as they say. But to me, that is where the artistry was. She had a unique sound and messing around with it could never improve it.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2457298 - 09/06/15 03:15 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: rXd]
prout Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 2496
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By rXd
Yes. Same stuff different day. But interesting points arising.

The undesirability of popular music rmhamcent is again being blamed upon ET. Please don't rush to some king if emotional judgement on this yet.

Have any of you seen the latest enhanced release of "Help"? I Saw it on television the other day. Yes. It has lost it's character but why?

the Beatles are straining at notes they do actually reach in the enhanced version but far too soon which kinda makes the characteristic straining for tje notes pointless sounding. It was never quite reaching some if the notes that gave the lads that endearing quality we all remember. As Frank Muir said at the time, that "the quality of Mersey is not trained". Nothing wrong with that

If the Beatles played and sang in tune with electronic enhancement but in an unequal temperament of your choice, which one would render the results artistically acceptable? (since it seems that it is only equal temperament in these "enhancements" that causes "artistic" problems, the original is randomly out of tune. ). I choose "help" as a typical example, any of you who are interested may choose your own.

Although, unlike most, I have no emotional attachment to any of this, I am still academically interested.


Agreed, I shouldn't blame the crap we hear on enhanced ET. It would sound just as bad in enhanced UTs. It is the removal of the musician from the music that is the problem. I never had a problem with the sound and quality of the Beatles. It is precisely the unique (and sometimes self imposed damage to the vocal apparatus - think Rod Stewart, Sting, Mel Tormé, Buffy St. Marie for example) sound and resulting pitches that make them musically interesting.

Can you imagine the result if Joshua Redman had his sax tracks all corrected to ET, or any xT other than his own unique, in the moment tuning?

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#2457301 - 09/06/15 03:19 PM Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: prout]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24525
Loc: Oakland
I have known Joshua Redman for a long time (I knew Dewey, too), and he has never spoken to me about temperament.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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02/20/17 09:18 AM
Roland RD-2000 Now Available in OZ!
by brooster
02/20/17 09:08 AM
what scale is this?
by iamanders
02/20/17 07:28 AM
Does the Kawai CS-11 have a soft-close lid?
by Giin
02/20/17 02:04 AM
April 1, I'm performing in Carnegie Hall (not as a pianist)
by Orange Soda King
02/19/17 10:32 PM
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