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Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. #2456358
09/03/15 10:42 AM
09/03/15 10:42 AM
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Mark Cerisano Offline OP
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I just found this podcast episode. It is very well done. Hope you like it.

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

Last edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT; 09/03/15 10:42 AM.

Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
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Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2456498
09/03/15 11:05 PM
09/03/15 11:05 PM
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Mark Cerisano Offline OP
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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, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2456587
09/04/15 08:40 AM
09/04/15 08:40 AM
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New York, N.Y.
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Herr Weiss Offline
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Is your wife aware of what are up to lately??


"Respond intelligently, even to unintelligent treatment."
-Lao Tzu
Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2456594
09/04/15 09:32 AM
09/04/15 09:32 AM
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London
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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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Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2456788
09/04/15 09:36 PM
09/04/15 09:36 PM
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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.

Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2456832
09/05/15 01:23 AM
09/05/15 01:23 AM
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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.


Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2456948
09/05/15 11:06 AM
09/05/15 11:06 AM
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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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
Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: rXd] #2456956
09/05/15 11:58 AM
09/05/15 11:58 AM
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London
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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?

Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2456957
09/05/15 12:12 PM
09/05/15 12:12 PM
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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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
Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2456964
09/05/15 12:30 PM
09/05/15 12:30 PM
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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'

Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: chopin_r_us] #2456966
09/05/15 12:35 PM
09/05/15 12:35 PM
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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.


Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2456975
09/05/15 01:11 PM
09/05/15 01:11 PM
Joined: May 2010
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Vancouver, Canada
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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

Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2456981
09/05/15 01:38 PM
09/05/15 01:38 PM
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Madison, WI USA
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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
Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2457043
09/05/15 06:16 PM
09/05/15 06:16 PM
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Mark Cerisano Offline OP
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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.

Last edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT; 09/05/15 06:26 PM.

Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2457122
09/06/15 02:10 AM
09/06/15 02:10 AM
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Yeah, but I ain't buying it at any price.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2457139
09/06/15 04:22 AM
09/06/15 04:22 AM
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What if you got it for Xmas?

Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: rXd] #2457188
09/06/15 08:49 AM
09/06/15 08:49 AM
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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

Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: prout] #2457230
09/06/15 11:09 AM
09/06/15 11:09 AM
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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
Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: BDB] #2457233
09/06/15 11:31 AM
09/06/15 11:31 AM
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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.

Re: Fascinating Discussion of the History of ET. [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2457236
09/06/15 11:38 AM
09/06/15 11:38 AM
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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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