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#626803 - 12/13/01 10:52 PM Good Vibrations
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
I came across this review of Stuart Isacoff's book "Temperament: The Idea That Solved Music's Greatest Riddle". It gives a fairly interesting, at least to me, discussion of equal and unequal temperament.
The reviewer writes: "The revolution of equal temperament took place primarily in the musical arena, but Isacoff shows that the concepts that brought it about were inseparable from contemporaneous ideas about astronomy or man's place in the universe or God." There's also some discussion of how this bears on the HIP movement, and Enid Katahn's recordings ("Six Degrees of Tonality: A Well Tempered Piano" and "Beethoven in the Temperaments: Historical Tunings on the Modern Concert Grand"). I'm not familiar with the recordings, but the review has make me interested that I'm thinking of getting them so as to do some side-by-side comparisons with other recordings. I'm really not sure what to make of the matter. Here's the link for those interested:


[ December 13, 2001: Message edited by: netizen ]
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#626804 - 12/15/01 09:20 AM Re: Good Vibrations
PNO2NER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 128
Loc: Traverse City, MI
From a piano technician's standpoint, historical temperaments have long been known about and written about. A good example is Owen Jorgensen's book, "Historical Temperaments". Early music played on pianos tuned this way will sound entirely different than when played on an instrument tuned using today's standard, equal temperament. The difference is in how each note is tuned ie. what frequency, and the relationship various notes have to each other. The whole concept is a world unto itself and there are those who have devoted virtually a lifetime of study and experience in the field (Mr. Jorgensen being a good example).

#626805 - 12/17/01 11:15 PM Re: Good Vibrations
Rich Galassini Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 10271
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Dear PNO,

I had the pleasure of hearing a lecture/performance that featured some of Chopin's music played in historic temperaments.

Without being an expert, I must say that it was obvious to me that Chopin used the inherent "perfect" intervals and (to my ears) overblown dissonance to highlight the emotions of the music. It was an adventure that I would like to learn more about.
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834


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