How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care)

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W. W. Norton & Company, Oct 17, 2008 - Music - 208 pages
2 Reviews

"A fascinating and genuinely accessible guide....Educating, enjoyable, and delightfully unscary."—Classical Music

What if Bach and Mozart heard richer, more dramatic chords than we hear in music today? What sonorities and moods have we lost in playing music in "equal temperament"—the equal division of the octave into twelve notes that has become our standard tuning method? Thanks to How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony, "we may soon be able to hear for ourselves what Beethoven really meant when he called B minor 'black'" (Wall Street Journal).In this "comprehensive plea for more variety in tuning methods" (Kirkus Reviews), Ross W. Duffin presents "a serious and well-argued case" (Goldberg Magazine) that "should make any contemporary musician think differently about tuning" (Saturday Guardian). Some images in the ebook are not displayed owing to permissions issues.
 

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HOW EQUAL TEMPERAMENT RUINED HARMONY: and Why You Should Care

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Duffin (Music/Case Western Reserve Univ.; Shakespeare's Songbook, 2004) sets out to challenge the modern perception that equal temperament is the only way to tune an instrument for performance.This is ... Read full review

How equal temperament ruined harmony (and why you should care)

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and the ensuing mass production of musical instruments, equal temperament-the practice of dividing an octave into 12 equally proportioned half-steps-has ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
9
Prelude
15
How Temperament Started
31
NonKeyboard Tuning
46
How Long O Lord How Long?
64
A Bridge to the Nineteenth Century
76
Really Better or Simply Easier?
94
Some Are More Equal than Others
104
The Joachim Mode
119
The Limbo of That Which Is Disregarded
138
Where Do We Go from Here?
145
Table of Intervals in Cents
163
Select Bibliography
171
Sources and Permissions
177
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Ross W. Duffin, the Fynette H. Kulas Professor of Music at Case Western Reserve University, is the author of the award-winning Shakespeare's Songbook. He lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

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