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Temperament / Key Character / Tuning

Part 4

 

 

Continue from Part 3

The Temperamental Bach

Zev Bechler wrote (November 23, 2003):
I received today my copy of Frog Music's the Temperamental Bach (as well as Purcell). It contains the organ A Minor fantasia and fugue, the Kleines Harmonisches Labyrinth, and the choral setting Wir Glauben All, each recorded in several different temperaments. These are named E, MT, P, K, W1, W3, Y1, Y2. Could anyone help with this ? What does each of these mean - but put as an idiot's guide to this messy topic so I can at last explain it to my kids without being run out of town ?

Thomas Braatz wrote (November 24, 2003):
Zev Bechler commented and asked: >>I received today my copy of Frog Music's the Temperamental Bach ( as well as Purcell). It contains the organ A Minor fantasia and fugue, the Kleines Harmonisches Labyrinth, and the choral setting Wir Glauben All, each recorded in several different temperaments. These are named E, MT, P, K, W1, W3, Y1, Y2. Could anyone help with this ? What does each of these mean -but put as an idiot's guide to this messy topic so I can at last explain it to my kids without being run out of town?<<
Based on information gleaned from an article on ‘Temperaments’ by MARK LINDLEY (Oxford University Press, 2003), here are some possibilities:
[the numbers behind the letters stand for variants]

E = Equal Temperament

MT = Mean-tone Temperament

P = Praetorius (1618) a regular mean-tone temperament

K = Kirnberger (1760) an unsubtle, irregular temperament

or perhaps:

K = (Kellner, 1975) ‘well-tempered’ variety of temperament

W = (Werckmeister, 1681) ‘well-tempered’ variety of temperament

Y = (Young, 1800)

I am really not quite certain about the 'K' and the 'Y.' It is amazing that a CD covering various temperaments does not really bother to explain them. Perhaps even Mark Lindley would not really be quite certain about what some of these letters mean. Are you certain that the 'Y' is not a 'V,' a change which would make more sense than applying a temperament from 1800?

Perhaps Brad has already written an answer to your question, in which case I defer to him and his expertise in this area of musicology.

Zev Bechler wrote (November 24, 2003):
OK, got some of it now, E=equal,P=pythagorean, MT=meantone , and I suppose there are W=Wermeister 1, 2, and 3, and Young 1 and 2.

So, I'm ok for that bit. Now, how am I supposed to hear the difference between these temps ? Or more to the point, am I supposed to hear it at all ?

Neil Halliday wrote (November 24, 2003):
Of temperament, Zev asks: "how am I supposed to hear the difference between these temps ? Or more to the point, am I supposed to hear it at all".
I have a recording of Karl Richter playing the 'Dorian' Toccata and fugue (BWV538) on the Silbermann organ in Freiburg Cathedral.

On first hearing, I thought some of pipes of the organ were out of tune, but after reading some of the posts from Brad, I realised the instrument is tuned to something other than equal temperament, which is the tuning of the organ with which I first became aquainted with Bach's organ music, namely, the Royal Festival Hall organ in London.

So, that's what you will probably notice ('out-of-tuneness'), but I very much doubt if the difference between the multiple temperaments on your CD will amount to much of significance.

(I think I prefer equal temp. with its 'brighter' sound; or is it just that I'm used to it?)

BTW, Richter's Toccata rendition is brilliant on this CD, but the large registration tends to swamp the contrapuntal lines of the deeply serious fugue which follows.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (November 24, 2003):
[To Zev Bechler] I don't know about the others, but I would take a stab that "E"=Equal Temperament and "MT"=Meantone.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (November 24, 2003):
[To Neil Halliday] Which one of the four?

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 24, 2003):
[To Zev Bechler] That publication comes with a single-page foldout that lists all the temperaments for each piece, and has some other notes about the recording session. Did your copy not have that page? (And it includes the sentence, "We will gladly refund the entire amount paid if you are dissatisfied with this recording in any way.")

Zev Bechler wrote (November 24, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman] No, but they did add as a bonus yet another cd - "The Temperamenatl Mr.Purcell" . Were you able to discen any marks of the various temperaments ? Which book would give me a crush intro to this topic ? I read but couldn't understand anything really from your postings here. Too advanced.

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 24, 2003):
[To Zev Bechler] Zev, the explanatory page you are missing from the Temperamental Bach CD is the same as this one, just print it out: http://www.frogmusic.com/bachtemperamental.html

To understand the concepts and techniques more easily, I suggest you learn the "Tuning Units" scheme (from organ-builder John Brombaugh) that I described at: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/temper.html
That reduces all the logarithms to a convenient scale based on the number 720, arbitrarily chosen because all the relevant fractions of that are found easily without a calculator. I had already written and posted my page years ago, and Mr Brombaugh responded to it by offering me this system that explains things more clearly to neophytes. I am grateful for his comments and help in that.

=====

I listened to the Temperamental Bach CD again last night; it had been several months since I last got it out. It does well what they intended it to accomplish: it provides a controlled listening situation where the only thing changing is the choice of temperament. That's valuable, and worth the price of admission.

It also has some unfortunate side effects they probably did not intend:
- (1) By representing "MEAN TONE" only in its 1/4-comma variety, they skew the sample and mislead the unwary. (I think they also should have included, at least, the 1/5 and 1/6 comma regular varieties, along with the most common modified [slightly irregular] varieties.) Meantone is not only vinegar. And the harsh dissonances come up only when the composer uses enharmonically misspelled notes, i.e. notes that are not really available on the keyboard!
- (2) The performances illustrate how oppressively difficult-to-listen-to Bach's music can sound when barrelled through without rhythmic inflection, clear phrasing, or breaths. It's so metronomic and monolithic!

Another side effect, although not such a bad one: this disc illustrates that the well temperaments sound nearly the same as one another (there are five examples here). The differences are subtle ones of degree, not overall character. The bickering about which specific well-temperament to use can be easily overblown, and degenerate into mostly-theoretical wanking; the well temperaments all deliver similar musical results, as distinct from the meantones and equal temperament and Pythagorean. In the well temperaments the major thirds have various sizes from one key to another, in an orderly fashion around the circle of fifth, with simple keys being best in tune and remote keys the wildest. In the regular meantones, and equal, and Pythagorean, all the major thirds have constant size.

=====

As to a good place to learn more? Not from Braatz' wild guesswork (copied below)!

Mr Braatz' comments below are butchery of reliable sources and a misrepresentation of good scholarship: namely the two excellent New Grove articles by Lindley that Braatz "gleaned" his own ideas from, along with plenty of his own guesswork.

The change of a Y to a V in the hope that things make more sense? This coming from the man who protests whenever anyone touches the note values of a Bach score?!?!?!?!?

And Braatz' guess of "Praetorius" is just plain wrong. Pythagorean. His confusion is not Lindley's fault. If Braatz had ever heard this recording, and knew what Pythagorean tuning and P' meantone sound like, such confusion would be impossible. This is as bad as a confusion of cotton candy and wasabi would be. Having tasted them, there is no way to get them mixed up.

And this one: "Perhaps even Mark Lindley would not really be quite certain about what some of these letters mean." ?!?!??!? The living person who knows more about temperaments than anybody else does, not really being quite certain what the letters would mean here in this CD? Why even suggest that? (Tom, PLEASE LEARN TO RESPECT RESEARCHERS WHO KNOW THINGS.)

As Lindley would know, as would anybody else with even a few weeks of study in these matters, the "Kirnberger" temperament used on this CD is not his "unsubtle" ones but rather the temperament that distributes the syntonic comma in 1/4s: C-G-D-A-E. It is very popular temperament nowadays among keyboard players, and an effective one in practice; that's probably why it made it as a preset choice on a Rodgers electronic organ. Kirnberger's more unsubtle temperaments, not heard here on this CD, split the comma almost in half (but naively/incorrectly, as Lindley points out, Kirnberger not understanding logarithms), or split it not at all (his first scheme which is really just a transposed Pythagorean tuning, in effect).

Both of these articles by Lindley ("Temperaments" and "Well-Tempered Clavier") are terrific; a person interested in understanding the topic will do well to start with them and read them carefully.

And don't simply rely on the juicy quote that Braatz lifted out to bias readers here in favor of equal temperament (which Lindley himself DOES NOT DO in the articles; that's Braatz talking, serving his own foregone conclusion by using small bits of Lindley as his "proof texts"). Read the WHOLE articles. Go over them multiple times, being sure especially to understand all the concepts and caveats in section 10 of the "Temperaments" article.

If Braatz EVER intended to "defer to" any area of my expertise, why did he even step up to send two postings about it last night? How is wild guesswork in any way helpful, except to bias his readers with misinformation that serves his equal-temperament foregone conclusion?

Golly. At least Socrates understood the topics he was teaching. This is not about anybody "being the smartest," but about HAVING RELIABLE INFORMATION IN POSTINGS ABOUT MUSICAL TOPICS, and about REPRESENTING SCHOLARLY WORK ACCURATELY.

Brad Lehman
(There goes another wasted hour.)

Thomas Braatz wrote (November 24, 2003):
Some points of interest

Brad Lehman, recently, in a discussion about Gould’s playing style commented:
>>That is the essence of that style, and really a defining characteristic of Baroque rhythm: that a melody can flow freely before and after the beat, unconstrained. (And it's also a basic technique on harpsichord, letting things not quite line up so the listener can follow multiple lines at once, more easily. But the most important angle to this is the singing one.) "Whoever does not know how to steal the Time in Singing, knows not how to Compose, nor to Accompany himself, and is destitute of the best Taste and greatest Knowledge." - Pier Francesco Tosi<<
It is of interest to read Johann Friedrich Agricola’s commentary on this statement by Tosi, whose book on singing (1723) Agricola [who had studied with and performed under Bach’s direction for a number of years] (“Anleitung zur Singkunst” Berlin, 1757, p. 225) translated into German:

„Diese ziemlich räthselhaften Worte des Verfassers zielen alle auf das sogenannte ‘Tempo rubato:’ aus solchem man, zu seinen Zeiten, fast zu viel Wunder machete.“

[All of these rather puzzling words of the author [Tosi] refer to the so-called ‘tempo rubato.’ Almost too much {unnecessary amazement} has been made of this {rubato technique of a singer} in Tosi’s time.]

It would appear that Agricola’s training under Bach did not allow him to accept easily this primarily Italian mode of expressiveness. Because Agricola is translating Tosi, he gives Tosi’s explanations and recommendations, but Agricola also expands or comments personally on many of the ideas that Tosi presents.

The connection which I make here is that Bach would have been much more conservative in regard to the use of ‘tempo rubato’ than the texts by Tosi, Quantz, etc,. as interpreted by a number of musicologists, would want to have us believe. Agricola’s direct connections with Bach’s performance practices carry greater weight compared to most of the other more remote descriptions we have from this period.

On another matter concerning the temperament(s) which J. S. Bach may have used,

Mark Lindley (Grove Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2003, articles on ‘temperaments’ and ‘well-tempered’) comments as follows:

“No unequivocal conclusion can be established as to the attitude of his [C.P.E. Bach] father, J.S. Bach, towards the relative merits of equal temperament and a mildly unequal one.
Moreover, while many theorists, including Meckenheuser (1727), Sorge (1748) and Marpurg (1756), referred to equal temperament as a good tuning or even as the best of the good tunings, other influential theorists from Werckmeister in the 1680s to Bach’s former pupil Kirnberger in 1776 held that a good temperament ‘makes a pleasing variety’ (Werckmeister, 1697) or does not ‘injure the variegation of the keys’ (Kirnberger, 1776–9).
There is no proof that Bach explicitly endorsed the latter view, but there is clear evidence that had he done so he would still have rejected the tunings advocated by his former pupil Kirnberger.<<

Charles Francis wrote (November 25, 2003):
Bradley Lehman wrote: < Another side effect, although not such a bad one: this disc illustrates that the well temperaments sound nearly the same as one another (there are five examples here). The differences are subtle ones of degree, not overall character. The bickering about which specific well-temperament to use can be easily overblown, and degenerate into mostly-theoretical wanking; the well temperaments all deliver similar musical results, as distinct from the meantones and equal temperament and Pythagorean. >
For the benefit of those who may be unknowingly misled:

The above presumes "well-temperament" refers only to rough approximations of "Equal Temperament" and that "well-temperament" is somehow distinct from closer approximations refered to as "equal temperament". But in the absence of any evidence showing that Bach's "Wohltemperierte" excluded closer approximations, this usage of "well-temperament" is anachronistic.

Zev Bechler wrote (November 25, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman] Brad, many thanks for the info. I'll go and get those Lindley articles and see if the whole matter rates the effort at all. I am starting to develop a hunch it doesn't. For if, as you say, "this disc illustrates that the well temperaments sound nearly the same as one another (there are five examples here) . The differences are subtle ones of degree, not overall character. " then why bother at all ? One beneficial side effect for me is that it appears now that it was not my coarse sense of hearing that was to blame. And that's a piece of knowledge that is truly worth the 5 dollars I spent.

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 25, 2003):
[To Charles Francis] The presumption that it ever referred to a "rough approximation of equal temperament" exists in your mind, perhaps, but not in mine. You're the one who wishes the outcome to be an evenness close enough to be called "Equal," such that everything more uneven is merely an inferior approximation.

Instead, why not take the route of seeing time move FORWARD, as time tends to do? The well temperaments, both in theory and practice, arose out of adjustments from meantone: fudging the sharps upward and the flats downward to make more keys usable (while not necessarily wanting all those keys to sound the same as one another), compromising the musical quality of them as they went along.

The people who did this were not morons who were really trying to make it equal, yet being sloppy at it. But that's what your reverse view of history requires: that they were poor at both mathematics and music, unable to make things as equal as they supposedly wished, or unable to realize when they had achieved it.

Think about it this way. They already knew about equal temperament from fretted instruments (lutes and viols), where the frets go straight across the fingerboard, crossing strings that are arrayed in fourths and major thirds.(*) Yet, these musicians did not want exactly the same set of pitches on the keyboards; they could have simply copied the pitches straight over from somebody playing them on a lute or viol, matching the pitch exactly. They didn't. That should tell you something. It should tell you that, to those musicians, equal temperament sounded unacceptably bad on keyboards.

(*) An owner of a guitar can confirm this, readily, on open strings: if the major third G-B is not tuned extremely wide, namely to its size in equal temperament, the outer E octaves of the instrument will not be in tune. Nor will the open B match a B that is played on the G string next to it. This is also easy to prove mathematically without a guitar. Let fE be the frequency (pitch) of low E. Tune everything upward in pure intervals: multiply the frequency by 4/3 to get A, and 4/3 to get D, and 4/3 to get G, and 5/4 to get B, and 4/3 to get the top E. Does that equal 4*fE, which would be exactly two octaves? No. It equals (320/81)*fE, not (320/80)*fE. That 81/80 discrepancy is the "syntonic comma." That problematic little guy is the basis of almost all temperament issues. (And yes, I know that lutes and viols have the major third at a different place than the guitar has it; but it's still four fourths plus a major third, needing to be expanded slightly to make a double octave. Multiplication is commutative.)

But don't take it from me. You don't believe me. Perhaps you should read both the Lindley articles that Mr Braatz cited, from New Grove, about the historical development of temperaments.

For the benefit of those who may have been unknowingly misled by Charles' explanation: clocks run clockwise. Were all the well temperaments merely bad approximations of equal temperament, allegedly the highest goal for keyboards? Perhaps so, for people whose clocks run backwards.

Charles Francis wrote (November 26, 2003):
Bradley Lehman wrote: < The presumption that it ever referred to a "rough approximation of equal temperament" exists in your mind, perhaps, but not in mine. >
Interesting polemic, however you fail to provide any evidence that Bach's "Wohltemperierte" excluded "Equal Temperament" approximations. So your usage of "well-tempered", I'm afraid, remains anachronistic.

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 26, 2003):
Charles Francis wrote: < Interesting polemic, however you fail to provide any evidence that Bach's "Wohltemperierte" excluded "Equal Temperament" approximations. So your usage of "well-tempered", I'm afraid, remains anachronistic. >
Here's a bit from chapter 3, "Nomenclature", from Owen Jorgensen's Tuning: Containing the Perfection of Eighteenth-Century Temperament, The Lost Art of Nineteenth-Century Temperament, and The Science of Equal Temperament (1991).

"The systems published in the seventeenth century by Andreas Werckmeister for the well-tempered clavier are similar to equal temperament in that they are unrestrictive, circulating temperaments allowing modulation through all the keys without encountering wolf intervals. These systems for the well-tempered clavier differ from equal temperament in that the fifths are not all the same size. Therefore, they are classed as irregular temperaments. The different sizes of fifths create different sizes of thirds and sixths. The varying sizes of major thirds are placed in a strict order whereby they change regularly in patterns from smallest to largest and back to smallest while modulating through a series of fourths or fifths around the circle. The form of tonality in these irregular temperaments is, therefore, regular. The advantage of these temperaments for the well-tempered clavier is that they contain strong key-color contrasts that promote the 'characters of the keys.' They also promote strong tonality, and there is always a pleasing variety when one modulates. These types of temperaments can no longer be classed as an early form of equal temperament because the basic philosophy of twentieth-century equal temperament is to promote atonality with a neutral homogenized sound that has no color contrasts and no variety among the keys. Therefore, during the last half of the twentieth century the original seventeenth-century systems for the well-tempered clavier have come to be known as well temperaments. The word 'well,' as used here, means being in favor or in good standing. Well temperament is an unrestrictive, irregular, circulating temperament that promotes key-coloring and the characters of the keys. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it was in favor and in good standing because it formed a physical basis for the characters of the keys." (p. 9)

Jorgensen then spends the next ~780 pages clarifying those remarks.

On that same page 9, he remarks about Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and the way history books have distorted things. It's in the paragraph that starts, "Misleading information has been propagated by many nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers. They incorrectly used the term 'equal temperament' to include all the systems since the sixteenth century that allowed one to modulate freely through all the tonalities without encountering wolf intervals." Jorgensen then introduces the term "unrestrictive temperaments" and suggests that the history books should be edited to read: "J. S. Bach proved the practicality of unrestrictive temperament when he composed his Well-Tempered Clavier in all the keys in 1722, and most musicians have been using unrestrictive temperament ever since."

He also points out, on page 65 in his chapter 20 'Well Temperament': "The chromatic scale in most well temperaments sounds quite even. For this reason, well temperament was often reported as being equal temperament. Occasionally, this happens even today. As an example, read the section entitled 'What the title 'Well-Tempered Clavier' Means' on page 6 of Joseph Banowetz's edition of J. S. Bach's music, The Well-Tempered Clavier. Of course, well temperament is not equal temperament, and Werckmeister did not include equal temperament as one of the good and correct systems in 1691. More proper and up-to-date information is found on pages 3 and 4 of Willard A. Palmer's edition of J. S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier."

And in chapter 182: "The notion that J. S. Bach had anything to do with the theoretically correct equal temperament was a phenomenon that developed in the nineteenth century, long after Bach died. There is no record that J. S. Bach ever mentioned equal temperament or that he wrote about it. If Bach had equal temperament in mind, he would have given a technical description of it in his title page. Instead, he only wrote that one could perform 'in all the tones and semitones, both with the major third or Ut, Re, Mi, and with the minor third or Re, Mi, Fa.' in other words, one could perform in all twenty-four major and minor keys. This was common practice in England in 1722, and the system of well temperament had already been tested before then. Bach was not testing anything. He only specified by means of his title Das Wohltemperirte Klavier that one could not perform this music in the old meantone temperament that had been outmoded on clavichords and harpsichords. The meantone temperament continued in common practice only on organs."

But don't take my word for this; read this book for yourself and you will see I am not being either selective or polemical with the material. [And: 'Because Jorgensen says so' is not a valid argument (and indeed, his writing style could use quite a bit of tightening-up).]

Study his material. Criticize not his presentation of it, or his scholarly methods, but get to the mathematical and historical basis of the facts. They are here in this book. His conclusions are correct: not because he is Owen Jorgensen, but because the historical record and the mathematicsare clear.

And, as he points out, it is the meaning of the phrase "equal temperament" ITSELF that has changed over the centuries; it does not do to simply locate that phrase in old writings and claim triumphantly that the writer automatically meant the same thing a twentieth-century person does. (Lindley also points out this same problem of semantics in his New Grove articles.) That is, part of the fault here lies in the modern conflation of different historical meanings of "equal temperament"!

Expectations, such as yours, reading truly equal temperament (in the modern sense) back into Bach? They come from a later time. But time moves forward.

How much more clearly can this be said? Obviously, you do not believe me but would rather keep conflating the meanings of "equal temperament". (And I suspect--although this might be paranoia on my part--that you are being disagreeable just because it's me saying it, that you're being ad hominem about this and trying to show that I'm incompetent.) Read the literature. Spend years at it, as I have done, to learn the nuances and disagreements and to make sense of it all. It's a huge amount of information. Obviously, no amount of explanation by me is going to make you get the point (or, if you have got the point, you will never admit to it). Your Ni-saying obstinacy still does not change the facts, Charles.

p.s. Still waiting to hear your forthright responses to all my direct questions about your piano temperament choices, from: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BachRecordings/message/11693

Charles Francis wrote (November 27, 2003):
Bradley Lehman wrote: < Here's a bit from chapter 3, "Nomenclature", from Owen Jorgensen's Tuning: Containing the Perfection of Eighteenth-Century Temperament, The Lost Art of Nineteenth-Century Temperament, and The Science of Equal Temperament (1991). >
Thank you for taking the trouble to post this.

< "The systems published in the seventeenth century by Andreas Werckmeister for the well-tempered clavier are similar to equal temperament in that they are unrestrictive, circulating temperaments allowing modulation through all the keys without encountering wolf intervals.

These systems for the well-tempered clavier differ from equal temperament in that the fifths are not all the same size. >
All attempts to realise "Equal Temperament" result in fifths that are not the same size (a priori from mathematical principles, a-posteri from engineering).

< Therefore, they are classed as irregular temperaments. >
By this definition, any realisation of an "Equal Temperament" is irregular as Equal Temperament remains an unattainable mathematical ideal.

< The different sizes of fifths create different sizes of thirds and sixths. The varying sizes of major thirds are placed in a strict order whereby they change regularly in patterns from smallest to largest and back to smallest while modulating through a series of fourths or fifths around the circle. The form of tonality in these irregular temperaments is, therefore, regular. >
This is a different sense of the word "regular", however.

< The advantage of these temperaments for the well-tempered clavier is that they contain strong key-color contrasts that promote the 'characters of the keys.' They also promote strong tonality, and there is always a pleasing variety when one modulates. >
Given this purported advantage, one may reasonable ask why later temperaments displaced the earlier ones?

< These types of temperaments can no longer be classed as an early form of equal temperament because the basic philosophy of twentieth-century equal temperament is to promote atonality with a neutral homogenized sound that has no color contrasts and no variety among the keys. >
Here, the discussion has moved on to a twentieth century perspective.

< Therefore, during the last half of the twentieth century the original seventeenth-century systems for the well-tempered clavier have come to be known as well temperaments. >
Note that "well temperament" is now to be understood in the last half of the twentieth century sense. Consider now the English-translation of "Wohltemperirte Clavier" as "Well-Tempered Clavier". Is "Well-Tempered" to be understood in Bach's eighteenth century terms or in last half twentieth century terms? Conflating the modern sense of "Well Tempered" with Bach's "Wohltemperirte" introduces anachronism unless one can demonstrate Bach's understanding of "Wohltemperirte" and the last half twentieth century sense of "Well Tempered" are the same. As the last half twentieth century sense of "Well Tempered" specifically excludes"Equal Temperament" and as any realisation of "Equal Temperament" is necessarily a rational-approximation to this mathematical ideal, avoiding anachronism implies demonstrating that Bach's understanding of "Wohltemperirte", excluded certain close rational approximations to "Equal Temperament". Clearly, the burden of proof lies with those that conflate "Wohltemperirte" with a last half twentieth century usage of "Well-Tempered".

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 28, 2003):
[To Charles Francis] Bzzt. It is not a valid scholarly method to criticize an author's command of his own nomenclature, without reading the book to see how it was developed. The book was published by a respected university press, and is a standard reference book in the field both for researchers and practitioners. The burden of proof falls on those who would assert that the author is wrong.

Hope this helps,

Thomas Braatz wrote (November 28, 2003):
Brad Lehman stated: >>Bzzt. It is not a valid scholarly method to criticize an author's command of his own nomenclature, without reading the book to see how it was developed. The book was published by a respected university press, and is a standard reference book in the field both for researchers and practitioners. The burden of proof falls on those who would assert that the author is wrong.<<

>>a respected university press<< is East Lansing, Michigan. Sounds very close to home base educationally for Brad.

This book and Jorgensen's doctoral dissertation were taken into consideration by Mark Lindley in the information/articles [from the Grove Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2003] that I shared recently on 'temperaments' and 'well-tempered.' By examining more than simply Jorgensen's view and Jorgensen's take on the definition of certain terms, Lindley comes to a more balanced viewpoint, one that is expressed in the quotations from his articles which I recently shared.

Charles Francis wrote (November 28, 2003):
Bradley Lehman wrote: < Bzzt. It is not a valid scholarly method to criticize an author's command of his own nomenclature, without reading the book to see how it was developed. The book was published by a respected university press, and is a standard reference book in the field both for researchers and practitioners. The burden of proof falls on those who would assert that the author is wrong.
Hope this helps, >
Just to be clear, the anachronism I referred to was on your part, not the author. I don't doubt the authors competence in this regard.

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 28, 2003):
Quite apart from issues of anyone's ability to use scholarly methods (which, after all, is not the content of the argument):

The objection below is a superficial one: quibbling about semantics of the terms "well temperament" and "equal temperament" (in several languages). That's a valid but ultimately not very significant concern.

Attention is better applied to the historical record (development and use of temperaments), and the music (the way the compositions influenced temperament, and vice versa). And especially, one must not ignore the profound influences of the 19th and 20th century Industrial Revolution, on historiography and interchangeability and hagiography and perception and taste. (Most notably, the assumptions that progress is a straight line, and that people of different societies had the same goals as oneself, but inferior methods of achieving them.)

Study the history of equal temperament, and then discuss those sissues with a sociologist. It's enlightening.

Iori Fujita wrote (November 28, 2003):
Dr. Stuart Isacoff wrote an interesting book "Temperament". Its subtitle is "THE IDEA THAT SOLVED" and "MUSIC'S GREATEST RIDDLE". But the RIDDLE has remained. His last comment in this book is "And I thought: Perhaps Pythagoras was right after all."

I would say, "Even if Pythagoras was right, Music would not live without the equal temperament. So let's think about the Sacred Temperament in order to avoid fruitless dispute."

Music of Sacred Temperament the Well Tempered Clavier:
http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/index.html

Fumikata Sato wrote (November 29, 2003):
[To lori Fujita] I was very impressed with your study in the link of your original post, and especially the experiment in the next link:
http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/temp00.mp3

Iori Fujita wrote (November 29, 2003):
[To Fumikata Sato] A Thank you for your comment.

I missed two WTC. The lost of towers resulted from the conflict. Our WTC should make ninguna guerra because of a subtle difference of understanding. The sacred is for all the people. The prayer is the same among us,
http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/index.html

Satofumi wrote (November 30, 2003):
I have changed my group membership name to satofumi4@yahoo.com from fsato4@mac.com, with the identity being the same, for maintaining consistency of the name used in BeginnersBach group.

I am very interested in the following page especially, and I have reconfirmed that I prefer "pure tempered" sound to "equal tempered."
http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/wtcpage004.html

(In the former post I may have typed an incorrect spelling for your name. Sorry about that. Actually, the font in my mail text could not differentiate 'I' (Uppercase i) from 'l' (lowercase L).)

Santu De Silva wrote (December 1, 2003):
[To Bradley Lrhman] I recently bought the recording on an electric organ from an outfit called Frog Music, titled The Temperamental Bach.

Was it you who recommended this recording?

I wonder where I can get the documentation that goes with it? (I.e. "Liner Notes"?)

Bradley Lehman wrote (December 1, 2003):
[To Santu De Silva] The explanatory page that comes with the Temperamental Bach CD (or did, when I bought my copy of it) is the same as this one, just print it out:
http://www.frogmusic.com/bachtemperamental.html

Iori Fujita wrote (December 3, 2003):
I would like to listen to <A HREF="http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/wtc1241s.mid">the Well-Tempered Strings</A>.
But violinists and other strings players can not get rid of the Pure-Temperament Spellbindings. for 24th prelude of WTC 1: http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/index.html

Bradley Lehman wrote (December 3, 2003):
[To Iori Fujita] I listened to your sample; but the bass line is very difficult to hear in that MIDI file. Why is it so quiet against the other two parts?

It is amusing to click through to your "music in the air" page where Kandinsky objects can be moved around the screen.

And, ultimately, to this page that shows your preferences: http://members.aol.com/mocfujita/airmain5.html

Iori Fujita wrote (December 5, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman] Thank you for your comment.

Q: "I listened to your sample; but the bass line is very difficult to hear in that MIDI file. Why is it so quiet against the other two parts?"
A: The bass line is quiet enough for listeners to concentrate to
the upper line of two notes' combination.

Fisher and Gould played the bass line strongly. But I think that the various distances of two notes are important for us to feel the real well temperamnt.

"It is amusing to click through to your "music in the air" page where Kandinsky objects can be moved around the screen."

I am happy to hear it. Thank you again.



Continue on Part 5


The Keyboard Temperament of J. S. Bach: Article | Music Examples | Feedback: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
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Last update: ýJuly 17, 2004 ý19:01:21