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#626803 - 12/13/01 11:52 PM Good Vibrations  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,926
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member
netizen  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,926
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:

http://www.thenewrepublic.com/121001/franklin121001_print.html

[ December 13, 2001: Message edited by: netizen ]


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#626804 - 12/15/01 10:20 AM Re: Good Vibrations  
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 128
PNO2NER Offline
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PNO2NER  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 128
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 - 12/18/01 12:15 AM Re: Good Vibrations  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,688
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,688
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.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
http://www.cunninghampiano.com/how-its-made/

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