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

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W. W. Norton & Company, Oct 17, 2008 - Music - 208 pages
12 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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Review: How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (And Why You Should Care)

User Review  - John - Goodreads

A good read and excellent explanation of the complexities of different temperaments, with just the right amount of maths, and some amusing anecdotes along the way. I think he overstates his case ... Read full review

Review: How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (And Why You Should Care)

User Review  - Angie - Goodreads

If you really care about intonation, this is the book for you. And if you're like me, an amateur musician who cares a little about intonation, but is also fascinated by the science of harmony, this is ... 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
6
85
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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