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Questions tagged [temperament]

For questions generally relating to systems of note frequency assignment. Questions will often include the tuning and/or alternative-tunings tag.

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96 views

In meantone temperaments, do A sharp and B flat have different frequencies?

In Pythagorean and Just tuning, according to Wikipedia, there are different frequencies for flat and sharp notes. Most notably, there is a tritone of which there seem to be 2 quite different versions. ...
10
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2answers
120 views

Why does this tonal scale from 1737 have both F and E♯?

I've recently encountered Jean Féry-Rebel's "Les Élémens". (Check out that wild opening; it's hard to believe it was written in 1737!) In the fifth measure of the third staff, why does this ...
4
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1answer
124 views

How to interpret trills in renaissance music?

So I suddenly want to try some 16th century music... I downloaded this sheet music https://imslp.org/wiki/Parthenia_(Various), which includes keyboards works by Orlando, William Byrd, and John Bull. ...
17
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6answers
2k views

Do classical pieces sound different today than the originals due to temperament?

I was reading how classical music used to not be in equal temperament. So each of their keys sounded completely different and that's why they named their pieces after the keys they were playing. ...
4
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2answers
78 views

temperament - its effect on a key

Most of Western music is now played in 12et/edo, where a key change won't make an appreciable difference to how it sounds - providing voicings are the same. Back in other temperamental days, let's ...
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2answers
52 views

Are there similarities between musical temperament and colorimetry? [closed]

It is well known that musical temperament is the basic of music theory, just as colorimetry is the basic of color theory.
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2answers
1k views

Whereabouts is G?

In 12TET, concert G is always at a particular pitch, frequency, etc. However, on instruments such as violin, players will stray slightly to make a note sound more in tune, dependent on key. (As in ...
7
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3answers
223 views

Are there any tuning differences between the C# Major Scale and Db Major Scale? [duplicate]

I am looking for a little clarification related to the differences between sharp (♯) and flat (♭) notes in music theory. Some people say C♯ and D♭ are the same, but some say they are not. Some say ...
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2answers
1k views

What do you call a scale with 19 notes per octave? Howabout 17 notes per octave?

I know that a 12-note scale (as in the currently ubiquitous 12 equal temperament) is called "chromatic". In a chromatic system, there are sharps and/or flats, but no neighboring sharps and flats. ...
8
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3answers
253 views

What is a 'temperament', in the most general sense?

In Does this scale have a name: 1, 15/14, 15/13, ..., 15/8?, some commenters to the question opined that the OP was looking for a 'temperament', not a scale. This surprised me as I've while I've ...
3
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1answer
89 views

Is this music (flow my tears) here being played in 31 TET or a form of renaissance unequal temperament such as quarter comma meantone?

While looking for 31TET music I stumbled across this recording of "flow my tears" my John Dowland The video description and the album artwork indicate that it's ...
9
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2answers
287 views

Do the EDO and TET acronyms mean the same thing?

In the context of dividing an octave into n intervals, I understand n EDO to mean n Equal Divisions per Octave and n TET to mean n Tones Equal Temperament. Do the EDO and TET acronyms mean the same ...
2
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1answer
317 views

Equal temperament nearest possible to the just intonation

It is ever possible to have an equal temperament without using the pure octave. In this case we can produce equal temperament where an universal half tone is used. It will permit to stay nearest ...
0
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1answer
93 views

Recommended tuning system for a 12 note chromatic scale [closed]

A few questions: 1) Is there a preferred or standard tuning system (e.g., even-/just-tempered, etc.) for modern western music or, perhaps a more appropriate question, what is your ideal tuning system?...
1
vote
2answers
738 views

How to compensate for inaccuracy of equal temperament?

It is a widely recognized fact that equal temperament gives inaccurate intervals (particularly, the major third). People usually ignore it, but some people try to actually fix this. I have heard that ...
2
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3answers
440 views

Tuning a string instrument with well temperament

When I practice the cello, sometimes it is noticeable that, when playing big chords, they tend to be out of tune - the C string sounds a bit too flat. This is the issue of tuning by 5ths for any ...
4
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4answers
2k views

On Tuning: What's in a Temperament? (Well-Temperament vs. Equal Temperament)

I just had my whole world shattered this morning when I was unwise enough to do a "quick" Google search on what exactly "equal temperament" means before I had started my work. Of course, the loudest ...
6
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2answers
177 views

software to determine the tuning (temperament) of a recording?

Case in point: Glenn Gould's recording of the WTC. The liner notes mention nothing about the tuning (in fact, I doubt the author understood the difference between equal and well temperament). This is ...
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5answers
298 views

Equal temperament

Practically speaking: Does equal temperament only mean arranging a set of intervals (scale) such that it can be repeated (similarly t o what is defined in 12 tone equal temperament as an octave)? ...
25
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9answers
5k views

With modern electronic technology is temperament unnecessary?

I am a Physics student but also love math and music, and know a little bit about tuning because it is related to mathematics. So as far as I understand, Just Intonation is more consonant than ...
10
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5answers
275 views

“∞-TET”: Is there music that doesn't use discretely pitched notes?

Is there music that doesn't use notes with discrete* pitches, but rather has instruments playing continuously changing frequencies? I know there are microtonal tunings as high as 72-TET, but is there ...
2
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1answer
191 views

keyboard instrument with only some of the black keys

I have a vague memory of seeing a photo of an ancient keyboard instrument (a calvichord?) that had only some of the black keys - maybe just B flat and F sharp. Alas, I can't find anything similar now....
9
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3answers
256 views

Continuous Music Theory

Is there a musical theory of harmony or a system of chord-understanding that does not rely on the 12-tone temperament? For example, a fretless instrument has (theoretically) an infinity of tones ...
2
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2answers
177 views

How do you flatten a pure fifth by a fraction of the syntonic comma?

According to Wikipedia, the size of the perfect fifth in 1/4 comma meantone is "flattened by one quarter of a syntonic comma, with respect to its just intonation used in Pythagorean tuning (frequency ...
6
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5answers
1k views

Why does it take 700 cents to get to a perfect 5th, which is 3/2 (one and a half) from the root?

I think I have the wrong perspective. If you take an octave and express it in cents, you get 1200. Half of that is 600. A perfect 5th is 1.5 (3/2) of the root. But 600 is not a perfect fifth, 700 ...
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5answers
16k views

What does a capo really do to chords?

Practically, a capo will shift each string by a half tone per position, but what does it do to the intervals they produce with each other? My shot is that e.g. * without capo if we fret the simplest ...
9
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3answers
746 views

What is the difference between temperament and intonation?

We talk of equal temperament but just intonation. From wikipedia, tempering is described as "the process of altering the size of an interval by making it narrower or wider than pure." where ...
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1answer
174 views

Term & abbreviation for number of tones or notes per octave - independent of temperament or intonation

In the context of characterizing a completely arbitrary instrument or piece of world music, when trying to describe the number of notes or tones per octave we tend quickly to get grounded in notions ...
2
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1answer
746 views

Tuning type setting on Yamaha CP5?

I would like to change the tuning type on a Yamaha CP5. I could not find anything relevant in the manual, surprisingly, since cheaper models (like P-140) routinely have this setting. There is a thread ...
4
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5answers
600 views

Is there any support for microtonality and temperaments in (or beyond) the MIDI specification?

The number of tones (or notes) per 8ve is just one of many potentially customisable aspects of any instrument. Standard midi, however, is pretty much clamped to western 12-tone equal temperament. ...
7
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6answers
23k views

B -> C and E -> F, No Sharp?

The keyboard has these notes: A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# Why do B and C and E and F not have a sharp note between them? If they did, the keyboard would look like this: A A# B B# C ...
6
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2answers
2k views

What is the significance of Pythagorean comma (as in why is there a need to end in the same place)?

The following two links provide a brief introduction to Pythagorean comma: Pythagorean Comma - Indiana University The "Pythagorean Comma" - Jody Nagel The wikipedia article on this subject is also ...
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3answers
396 views

“Tritone” intervals in n-tone equal temperament

In 12-tone equal temperament, the tritone interval is made of three whole tones (six semitones) and is considered, if I am not mistaken totally, as the most dissonant interval. I have two questions: ...
2
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3answers
575 views

Colour of keys in the era of equal-temperament

As I understand it, the great bulk of music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras are at least these days performed on equal temperament instruments. And yet there is still a great deal of ...
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2answers
230 views

Does 'just' or 'well' temperament center around the key of a given piece, or is it key-agnostic?

I'm going to be recording some piano music in the near future, and I'm interested in the (possibly crazy) idea of tuning the piano to a non-equal-tempered system for the recording. I am recording ...
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6answers
2k views

How do I tune my cello to play the second Bach suite(prelude)?

None of the videos on youtube are is concert pitch.
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1answer
152 views

How were tuning/temperaments indicated on scores (if they ever were)?

Bradley Lehman claims that the details of the intended tuning for the Well-Tempered Claivier are encoded in the squiggle at the top of the manuscript (related wikipedia link). Are there other (...
2
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1answer
362 views

In C major, if the third note is 14 cents sharp from JI, does the V/VI have a third that is 28 cents sharp?

In the key of C major, the note "E" in equal temperament is 400 cents above the root, but in just intonation it would be a ratio of 5:4, or 386 cents above the root. If this is true, is it not also ...
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4answers
2k views

How does the harmonic series affect consonance?

NOTE: for the purpose of this question, assume we are talking about 12-TET and assume that references to overtones in the harmonic series are being referred to in relationship to the 12-TET note that ...
5
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3answers
3k views

Appropriate temperament for violin

I'm new to violin (and music in general). I am learning through the Suzuki method, but after I get down the fundamentals I hope to learn Irish and American fiddle tunes. I recently discovered an IPad ...
8
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1answer
258 views

Why is 16/9 used for the minor seventh instead of 7/4?

Does the 16/9 sound less dissonant than 7/4 (less uncomfortable) due to consisting of only the 3rd undertone (squared), or the 7/4 would sound "better" (I know, it's quite subjective what sounds good ...
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2answers
951 views

What kind of temperament to play Monteverdi with?

We would like to perform excerpts from Monteverdi's Orfeo on period instruments. According to recent research, what is the most authentic temperament that could have been used for the keyboard ...
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2answers
972 views

How can I play my new tenor recorder (a'=440) along with someone playing a harpsichord (a'=415)?

From an article I read online, I believe I've understood that it's possible to treat the middle C (fingers covering all holes) on the tenor as if it were a D flat, and all higher notes on the ...
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5answers
28k views

Why are pianos traditionally tuned “out of tune” at the extremes?

My understanding is that the vast majority of western music uses equal temperament, i.e. all semitones have a frequency ratio of the 12th root of 2. However I can hear in my piano that the notes at ...
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3answers
1k views

Is there a sound theoretical reason why a capella choirs “drift off” of the starting pitches in a piece?

Is the "comma pump" an empirical problem, or merely theoretical? It's a standard music theory exercise to show that certain chord progressions don't actually quite work. For example, in the I-IV-ii-V-...
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3answers
1k views

Can we tell by ear if a piece is in sharp or in flat without relative or perfect pitch?

I remember a masterclass where the piano teacher commented a piece from Chopin with something like "and after this modulation we enter the world of sharps". This left me wondering if it was a poetic ...
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4answers
11k views

What frequencies should the violin and viola be tuned to?

I'm using this app to tune my violin, it supports many temperament options. What I want to do is tune the A string to 440Hz first, then comparing the other strings sympathetically to the adjacent ...
6
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1answer
969 views

Natural vs tempered semi-tones

I am reading "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" by Arnold Schoenberg. Chapter XI, page 99, states: Chromaticism is difficult partly because the natural semi-tones differ in size from the ...
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2answers
250 views

What is the savart unit in Persian music theory?

i was heard about savart unit in persian music that divides a chromatic interval into smaller units. persian musicians using an interval smaller than the chromatic intervals, called: kron. they ...
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2answers
525 views

What note(s) are a diminished 3rd above D-flat?

In What is the interval between Db and D# some of the comments indicate that the interval Db->Eb can be considered as a diminished third. I would think that Fbb (double-flatted F) is a diminished ...