Piano History

Expand all | Collapse all

Brahms Temperament

  • 1.  Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-13-2013 21:08
    This message has been cross posted to the following Discussions: Piano History and Fine Aural Tuning .
    -------------------------------------------
    Does anyone have any knowledge of what temperament use for Brahms' pianos?  I am familiar with several pre-1800 temperaments, but do not know much about the later taste in tuning.  (And don't cop out and tell me Equal Temperament.)

    -------------------------------------------
    Douglas Laing
    Tuner/Technician
    Safety Harbor FL
    727-539-9602
    -------------------------------------------


  • 2.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-13-2013 21:49
    Not a cop out, an informed historical opinion: equal temperament.

    -------------------------------------------
    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    http://fredsturm.net
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein
    -------------------------------------------








  • 3.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 06-16-2013 19:45
    Hi!

    Whilst searching videos this evening I found http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O9vHGQm0UY which is a great example of the colour that an unequal temperament demonstrates in Beethoven.

    The reason specifically for opening up this thread again, however, is that we had a rather surprising performance - of Brahms in Meantone. . . .

    This was on an organ of 1856 with pipework bearing signs of being ancient. To play Brahms on meantone is laughable . . . but many audience were most moved by this piece in particular and were raving about it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFErBGuB26o

    I hope you might enjoy it also.

    Incidentally at the very beginning of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lbNdHBtbvw you can hear the cellist tuning. On the bottom two strings aren't the harmonic overtones beautiful? It's when overtones such as this line up within a piano tuning that great beauty shines through and adds selectively in keys tuned with an unequal temperament, very often with near pure thirds singing beating slowly against the Tierce overtone of a lower harmonic note. This particular recording of the Beethoven Sonata for piano and cello in G minor is an example of an instrumentalist adapting to a piano not tuned to equal temperament.

    (On that recording I'd much appreciate comments on which microphone /.recorder gives the most natural rendition. Many thanks!)

    Best wishes

    David P

    -------------------------------------------
    David Pinnegar
    Curator and house tuner
    East Grinstead

    -------------------------------------------








  • 4.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 06-17-2013 00:50
    In response to your request for comments, David.
    Using Apple earbuds connected to a Bose system connected to a Mac Pro, I have to go with the  JVC M201 stereo mic without reservation.

    Keith McGavern, RPT
    Shawnee, Oklahoma, USA
    tune-repair@allegiance.tv



  • 5.  Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-13-2013 22:35
    Greeetings, ET does one thing, the palette of a well temperament does another. Listen to both and decide for yourself. My preference for Brahms would be something other than ET. I would suggest keeping the M3's maximum width below 18 cents. The Coleman 11 tuning is basically an idealized representation of some late 19th century non-ET values that would do this, and do it very well. Regards, Ed Foote RPT


  • 6.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 04-14-2013 10:15
    I've heard some nice  recordings of a Mason & Hamlin
    recently that was tuned to Bill Bremer's EBVT III which
    has color and yet is mild enough. It is a "Well Temperament"
    but not ET. The offsets are at his website. You might
    find this to be acceptable.
    http:/www.billbremer.com

    I intend to start using this WT.

    Incidently, there is one murky recording
    of Brahms playing, but I doubt that
    you can hear a temperament effect
    from it, it is so scratchy.


    -------------------------------------------
    Richard Adkins
    Coe College
    Piano Technician
    Cedar Rapids IA
    -------------------------------------------








  • 7.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Member
    Posted 04-14-2013 13:29
    The DiVeroli (Almost Equal) is a good replacement for ET.

    -------------------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page


  • 8.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 04-14-2013 18:06

    Fred Sturm is absolutely right. The historical literature leaves no room for doubt that equal temperament was universally prescribed in 19th century German literature on piano and organ tuning, music theory, composition, and acoustics. ET had already essential become the recommended temperament from about 1750 onwards, although undoubtedly some continued to prefer slight differences in key color. However, as the century draws to a close, references to such a preference become increasingly rare, and ET is ever more roundly praised as being the most perfect of all temperaments. That's not including Kirnberger, of course, whose crude Just/Pythagorean mix was so far outside of the mainstream of prevailing theory and practice that it cannot be considered anything other than an historical curiosity, which as Marpurg said, was "praised by many, used by no one".

    In terms of actual practice, it's quite likely that many musicians/tuners continued to use slightly unequal circulating temperaments up through the first decades of the 19th century, either by choice or by accident, but by the times of Brahms birth, ET would have been expected of any competent tuner, even if were imperfectly implemented. Even with Sorge's method (c. 1750), if you are careful and demanding, you can get so close that any deviation is musically inconsequential, especially if you use a well-constructed monochord as guidance, as he recommended. Any technical limitation in terms of implementation disappears completely with the publication of Scheibler's method in 1834. With the various further explications and elaborations published soon thereafter, most notably those of Loehr (1836) and Töpfer (1842), it became quite easy to tune an absolutely-perfect ET, even without the aide of Scheibler's forks. His methodology was referred to and highly-praised over and over again in all manner of subsequent publications, such as articles in the AMZ, books on acoustics, piano making, etc, so any German tuner during the second half of the 19th c. who didn't know about it would have simply been incompetent.



    -------------------------------------------
    Paul Poletti
    Builder/restorer historic keyboard instruments
    Poletti Pianos
    Barcelona


  • 9.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 04-15-2013 01:27
    How much of a noticeable difference is achieved by slightly unequal temperaments? Is the difference aurally obvious or simply emotional/psychological? Is equal temperament sterile in terms of key color when compared to unequal temperaments? Because variety is often desirable in composition it seems that variation in temperaments and key color would further enhance music, making key changes etc more interesting. Opinions? Comments? ------------------------------------------- Jason Leininger Las Vegas NM 412-874-6992 -------------------------------------------


  • 10.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-15-2013 08:24
    I graduated from New England Conservatory (classical guitar major - not piano) and never heard any discussion of various temperaments except within the early music department. Dan Pinkam was head of early music at the time and there there was a beginning movement toward "historically accurate" performance. Since graduating from N.E.C. I've always kept "one foot" in the professional music world and have never heard any mention from musicians (classical or jazz) of various temperaments. After 35 + years in the piano service business, I've never been asked to tune anything other than equal temperament. My point is that this may be a topic of conversation among the early music community and some musical academics - but it seems (to me at least) to be primarily an esoteric conversation among piano technicians.  No question that with the advance of electronic instruments there will continue to be more widespread use of "microtonal" music, but this is really a separate issue from "temperament".
    Guitarists often use alternate tuning schemes (not the same as alternate temperaments) but there are only 6 strings to deal with and all guitarists must learn how to tune their own instruments - it only takes a few minutes anyway. Since it is highly impractical to retune a piano between pieces (I'm not talking about tuning between performances) we should probably all just plan to stick with E.T.
    I.M.H.O.
    -------------------------------------------
    Gerry Johnston
    Haverhill MA
    978-372-2250
    -------------------------------------------








  • 11.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 04-20-2013 15:50
    Does scale design have any influence on temperament? For example do modern scale designs assume ET, and if so, does this have any effect on how a piano will sound under a given temperament? Or is the difference so small that it is negligible? Also can someone post a list of primary source readings related to various tuning methods? Thanks. ------------------------------------------- Jason Leininger Las Vegas NM 412-874-6992 -------------------------------------------


  • 12.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-20-2013 18:11
    I am not aware of any historical string keyboard instruments in which the scaling is made to express unequal temperaments. Perhaps fretted clavichords could be contrrived to be seen that way. A few early harpsicchords included a monochord for tuning, expressing, I believe, meantone temperament. For reading, begin with Fred Sturm's temperament series. See his Montal series for a reproduction of Montal's partition (temperament pattern). Montal's partition is fairly easy to reproduce. ------------------------------------------- Ed Sutton Editor Piano Technicians Journal ed440@me.com 704-536-7926 -------------------------------------------


  • 13.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-20-2013 19:00
    Scaling is independent of temperament. I guess you could say that all scaling is more or less based on ET, as the string lengths are in a consistent logarithmic curve. This is true of harpsichords as well as pianos. You will see vestiges of different tuning in organ pipe lengths, and sometimes in fretted clavichords.

    If you want to read primary source materials about tuning, you need to be capable of reading Italian, French, German, and possibly Latin. There are some that have been translated, but not not that many. If you have a specific area of interest, I could point you in a direction. Eg., Germany, 1700-1750 or France, 1650-1700. A very thorough text, generally quite reliable (though one can argue with some of the details and interpretations) is Claudio Di Veroli's Unequal Temperaments (e-book). It gives a pretty good account of the major source materials, and has important excerpts in original and/or translation. http://temper.braybaroque.ie/

    -------------------------------------------
    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    http://fredsturm.net
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein
    -------------------------------------------








  • 14.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-21-2013 11:47
    I'll just add that my own series of articles on temperament history was based entirely on primary sources, always read in the original language. I consulted a number of secondary sources, but mostly as a way to find access to original materials. I focused on actual tuning instructions, as opposed to theoretical works. Lots of people wrote all sorts of things about how tuning ought to be set up, but this was largely an impractical conversation by people who weren't involved in the actual process of tuning organ pipes or turning tuning pins on harpsichords. And most of the secondary sources focus mostly on those theoretical works.

    Before publishing, I sent my articles to two of the most prominent and reliable temperament scholars of today, Patrizio Barbieri and Claudio Di Veroli. They offered occasional suggestions, but mostly they said that my interpretation was very sound, that I had got it right.

    I am at odds with much of the "commonly accepted wisdom" within the piano tuning community in the United States, because they take Jorgensen as their authority. Jorgensen, unfortunately, read no language besides English, and his sources were very limited. He read Barbour's book - originally a dissertation on the development of the theoretical basis of equal temperament, which touched on all sorts of theoretical writings - and that was the basis of his first books, published in the late 1970s, essentially coming up with aural methods to tune all those strange theoretical tunings by aural means (Barbour had given them in cents). Jorgensen's later book, in 1991, was based on research in English sources, and was very much reliant on Alexander Ellis' translator's appendix to Helmholtz' On the Sensations of Tone. He cobbled together a fantasy about how musicians tuned in the 18th and 19th centuries based on these sources and his own belief that temperament was connected to functional harmony, with Vallotti being more or less the ideal expression of this.

    You can read more about these things in my series of articles. I'll also be happy to send you a paper I delivered at a conference in 2010, analyzing Jorgensen's 1991 book, and a number of reviews of his books by various temperament experts. I think you will find that I am a reliable authority on the subject.

    -------------------------------------------
    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    http://fredsturm.net
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein
    -------------------------------------------








  • 15.  Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-15-2013 09:55



  • 16.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-15-2013 10:46

    Hi Ed -
    Clearly, you've had more experience with this than I have. My understanding of history is that E.T. was arrived at in order to "even out" the various keys by making them all, essentially, equal (as desired by musicians of the time). Any other temperament must have, by the nature of things, unequal intervals. So that the key of "C" with have different characteristics than the key of "D" for example.
    I'll accept your word that you've tuned for musicians who prefer W.T.  Nonetheless, I find it perplexing. Are the varying interval widths so small as to not be bothersome to the musician? If some of the thirds are slower than ET don't some of them end up being faster?
    If a concert includes a couple of Scarlatti Sonatas, a Brahms piece and ends with some Ravel do they all work?
    I'm not arguing with you about this - but it doesn't seem to make sense to me as a musician or as a technician.  
    -------------------------------------------
    Gerry Johnston
    Haverhill MA
    978-372-2250
    -------------------------------------------








  • 17.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-15-2013 11:02
    Hi Ed -
    Just a follow up on my previous post. As a guitarist I frequently retune one or two strings in order for a particular key to sound better.. This is not exactly the same thing as altering the temperament, but it is a very common practice, at least among classical guitarists. So, I can understand how a temperament other than ET may be preferred in certain circumstances - certain musical period, etc. But since our tunings generally need to work for 90% of the music being performed this is where my own skepticism comes in to play. I am always willing to learn and try something new... 

    -------------------------------------------
    Gerry Johnston
    Haverhill MA
    978-372-2250
    -------------------------------------------








  • 18.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 05-13-2013 20:22

    All,

    Pitch considerations are of significant import in this entire discussion, perhaps more than ET vs. UT vs. WT vs. MT vs. IT themselves. Maybe we should remonstrate against the notion of establishing an absolute standard of pitch much as an absolute standard of tuning.

    Gerry Johnston observes:
    "My understanding of history is that E.T. was arrived at in order to 'even out' the various keys by making them all, essentially, equal (as desired by musicians of the time). Any other temperament must have, by the nature of things, unequal intervals. So that the key of "C" with have different characteristics than the key of "D" for example."

    Actually, this discussion may have neglected to unequivocally observe that this may or may not have anything to do with non-equal temperament.

    An elusive interview of the late great Earl Wilde-though his pedagogical history and lineage leads to Liszt, not Brahms-can be retrieved by googling "Earl Wilde Interview". Click on the link to the you tube video "Earl Wilde Interview - IKIF 2005 - Part 1 of 3 - You Tube" and scroll down to part 2 and 3 of the same under you tube "Suggestions." He had a reputation for telling dirty jokes; prepare to be offended. At the end of part 2 and the beginning of part 3 he talks about his habit of transposing historical piano literature into lower keys due to the propensity of pianists and piano technicians to demand 440 and above in the 21st century. Actually, he blamed the Boston Symphony, and string players.  

    One of the things about ETD's that became apparent when I started experimenting with them is that pitch itself is transformed into a gargantuan obligation of the piano technician as opposed to just using a fork; it is the inclination of those using a fork to think pitch is less important than it is, those using an ETD, that pitch is more important than it is. The trade-off is that you are more likely to lose a client in a region like this, where the most reputable technicians swear by ETD's, for not tuning at pitch, than not tuning ET. 

    Have ETD's well served us by spoiling musicians so much that instrumentalists are incapable of adjusting to pitch, particularly when considering the destabilizing aspect of pitch adjustment which does not serve our clients well, perhaps, more so, within a reasonable range?

    The plate certainly reinforced the structure of the modern piano. Period instruments are considerably more sensitive to the tension created by tuning sharper.  

    Another suggested you tube search: "Brahms speaking." He did record on the Edison wax cylinder. Perhaps what remains to be determined-assuming like with more modern recording devices, the wax cylinder rises in pitch when driven faster, lowers, when slower-is the correct speed that the cylinder should be run, and an evaluation of pitch, not temperament, develop from the recording.

    Respectfully,


    -------------------------------------------
    Benjamin Sloane
    Cincinnati OH
    513-257-8480
    -------------------------------------------








  • 19.  Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-15-2013 14:05
    Ed Foote RPT http://www.piano-tuners.org/edfoote/well_tempered_piano.html


  • 20.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 04-15-2013 14:29
    Thanks for your perspective Ed. What you have said makes sense logically. Just because many texts imply the use of equal temperament, does not mean that everyone was using it. Personally I have always wondered why equal temperament became so popular. It seems to lean more in the direction of science than art, and focuses more on quantity than quality. Maybe the scientific revolution had an influence. I can hardly listen to most contemporary recordings, because every temperament sounds the same and I get bored. It would be interesting to analyze 78 recordings from the early 1900s and attempt to determine whether or not ET (as we know it today) was being practiced. Thanks again for your input. ------------------------------------------- Jason Leininger Las Vegas NM 412-874-6992 -------------------------------------------


  • 21.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-15-2013 14:41
    O.K. My curiosity has been peaked. I will read up on and perhaps experiment with WT. Still skeptical, but willing to experiment and find out first hand... 

    -------------------------------------------
    Gerry Johnston
    Haverhill MA
    978-372-2250
    -------------------------------------------








  • 22.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-17-2013 10:57
    Something to bear in mind: how much do the descriptive words influence your perception? Colorful versus monochrome, for instance, who would choose monochrome? But then the question is what do you actually hear, and at what point of difference from ET can you actually hear a difference - not by examining it interval by interval, but by playing music. 

    The most "colorful" historic temperament is probably the one described by Rousseau and d'Alembert, "French Ordinaire." Try it, see what it sounds like. Does it enhance or take away from the music you play. Then dial back to something less extreme, say to Vallotti. Try it, see if it enhances or the opposite. Move to something subtle, and the real question becomes whether you can, in fact, being perfectly honest with yourself (uninfluenced by preconceptions), hear any difference.

    We hired a new music theory prof a few years back. He was delighted to know that I was willing to tune his piano in other than ET, and requested mean tone. I suggested that would probably not work very well (as he needs to use his piano for theory students, ear training stuff, functional harmony sequences), and that Vallotti would probably be the most extreme temperament that would be acceptable. So I tuned it to Vallotti, and a couple weeks later got an email asking me to tune it to ET next time, as he had discovered that the differences were more distracting than enhancing, that he used the more extreme intervals more than he had thought, that he preferred "less bad" for everything than better for some and worse for others. It was, of course, more "colorful," but that wasn't a good thing for him.

    I have offered non-ET to customers for over 30 years. I have only a couple harpsichordists who want it. I don't try to sell people on it, like many enthusiasts, and I have little doubt that if I did I would probably "convert" some customers, whether they actually heard a difference or were psychologically influenced. I did a bit of experimentation at the university, and found that none of the profs could hear the difference, even when I pointed it out, when I used moderate variants from ET - but they could hear that slightly quavering unison just fine and would complain.

    Bottom line, go into this sort of thing with open mind and open ears. Come to your own conclusions, but try not to simply swallow the rhetoric whole.

    -------------------------------------------
    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    http://fredsturm.net
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein
    -------------------------------------------








  • 23.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 04-17-2013 17:47
    Great input Fred. What I tend to notice is the plain uniformity of "true ET", and of course unisons and octaves that are out. Using ET for everything seems to be a "one size fits all" approach, and while it does work, it may not be desirable for some people who have had experience with other temperaments. Unequal temperaments may be just a convincing placebo, or they may not. Maybe there are some unknown objective influences that different temperaments have on the brain, it would be an interesting study. I appreciate your opinion and experience as I do Ed's. Thanks again. ------------------------------------------- Jason Leininger Las Vegas NM 412-874-6992 -------------------------------------------


  • 24.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 04-18-2013 08:02
    For many years (over a quarter of a century - that makes it sound good!) I tuned the Harpsichords and Production (what you hear from the Pit or Stage) pianos at Glyndebourne. I used Vallotti for Harpsichords, but it was a waste of time tuning the pianos thus as they were used only in rehearsals. Fortepianos, yes, and they too got the O.T. treatment. But it was not necessarily A=440 though. 415 and 430 came into it as well for certain composers. Now I am happily retired from the Fun Factory - and 'good luck' to my successor!  Michael(UK)

    -------------------------------------------
    Michael Gamble
    semi retired
    Brighton
    01273813612
    -------------------------------------------








  • 25.  Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-17-2013 21:39
    Fred writes: " We hired a new music theory prof a few years back. He was delighted to know that I was willing to tune his piano in other than ET, and requested mean tone. I suggested that would probably not work very well (as he needs to use his piano for theory students, ear training stuff, functional harmony sequences), and that Vallotti would probably be the most extreme temperament that would be acceptable. So I tuned it to Vallotti, and a couple weeks later got an email asking me to tune it to ET next time, as he had discovered that the differences were more distracting than enhancing, that he used the more extreme intervals more than he had thought, that he preferred "less bad" for everything than better for some and worse for others. "' Greetings, This often happens when dealing with ignorant people. A music theory professor that would request meantone tuning on an instrument destined to play 'functional harmony' is obviously, (* to me), in the dark about what the different tunings are. I have also found that the Young and Vallotti tunings are too strong for the uninitiated. There is a 21 cent third at the top of the circle for these two, and a full comma is too alien for ET only people to accept. In fact, 21 cents was the absolute maximum for almost any circulating temperament I am aware of and today's ears begin having trouble accepting thirds wider than 17 or so cents. This is why I begin newbie's trips with the mildest, ( a Victorian era "ET"), and let them tell me if they like it. About 90% feel a difference that they like. About half of those go deeper at the next tunings, gradually finding their comfort level. I have two customers,(professionals) that went all the way to Bradley Lehman's version of the Bach tuning. One of these guys did all the musical arranging for ZZ Top! Many of the piano teachers at Vanderbilt are using Coleman 11's (max is 17 cents), and nobody has every noticed that the stage pianos are slightly "colored" with a palette of thirds. Sergei Kvitko recently played here. Program included Prelude in C Major by J.S. Bach, Sonata No. 3 “Ballade” by Ysaÿe, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. He mentioned to one of the faculty that the piano on stage might have been the best one he has played on this tour and mentioned how well in tune it was. 1995 D, original hammers with loads of lacquer in them (that I have been crunching needles into before almost every performance). Moore and Co. temperament. To quote Marshal McCluhan. "Meaning is the product of a message being received, it is not a unique property of the message, itself" To a tuner, a 20 cent third means out of tune; to a music lover, it often carries a different meaning, entirely. Those 14 cent thirds don't mean anything particular when they are all the same, i,e., same "message" in every key. However, if you hear one of them in a modulation in the key of C on a WT, it carries a lot more information than simply a change of pitch. Our experience has a huge influence on how we perceive things, and the ET only experience is most often broadened by small steps. regards, Ed Foote RPT http://www.piano-tuners.org/edfoote/well_tempered_piano.html


  • 26.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-17-2013 23:14
    I certainly agree the theory prof was in the dark, ill-informed (although I gave him a great deal of information, letting him know exactly what Vallotti consisted of, for instance). But he had a notion of "wanting color," not wanting ET, based on various things he had read and heard. And here is where it becomes very interesting how words are used. We talk about a non-ET being colorful, right? And that color is what is so much better than that machine-like monochrome. Ah, but if there is too much "color" it will be objectionable. And if there is too little color, it becomes indistinguishable from monochrome. So where does color lie? If nobody notices "color," is it there? (Actually, there are many things I would call color in piano music, from "colorful" harmony to voicing "color," so a focus on interval size is a fairly artificial one).

    With respect to my theory prof, he is quite sharp, not anyone's fool. I asked if he wanted to try something more subtle, and he was clear that he did not. He had had the experience, and had decided that, in fact, the best compromise was the one that made all keys equally bad or equally good, that having some intervals "sound worse" was a bad payment for having others "sound better."

    Your comment that "nobody has noticed" concerning your milder tunings is very much the same as my experience. If nobody notices, is it significantly different? At what point is the difference significant? I have experimented with all sorts of different things, from altered temperaments to stretch, and have been very interested to find just how little difference it seems to make to my customers. What they notice is unisons.

    Personally, I am agnostic with respect to this whole subject. I have simply never found that any customer responded, favorably or not, to mild variants of "WT" and can't say honestly that I notice a difference myself - though I thought I did when I first tried them. Trying to get inside my own brain and perceptions was an interesting process: did I really hear a difference, or was it an illusion? Eventually I decided it was an illusion, for myself.

    A clincher came when I made use of recordings I had done, ET and Moore, some with the very same pieces done in both temperaments, some with half a CD done in one and half in the other, and full CDs done in either one or the other, and gave large samples to many people (I believe I sent some to you, Ed), asking if they could hear a difference. I was able to elicit very few responses. Those who responded, saying they could hear a difference (there were two, and both were quite experienced in temperament affairs), were, in fact, actually unable to distinguish (wrong as often as right). And so I ended up becoming that more agnostic, and convinced that the subtle differences, if perceptible to any, are not worth the trouble in my own work. If they mattered to any of my customers, I'd be happy to oblige.

    -------------------------------------------
    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    http://fredsturm.net
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein
    -------------------------------------------








  • 27.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Posted 04-18-2013 08:15
    One piece of music to listen to in order to tangibly get to grips with the ET/OT/WT scenario is Ben Britten's 'Serenade for Tenor, Natural Horn and Strings'. That Horn can be awesome. Colour ain't in it! Even I can't spell colour right - so maybe that's also a part of it. 'Different' might be the way to describe it - - or 'Interesting' - - or 'Colourful' Michael(UK)

    -------------------------------------------
    Michael Gamble
    semi retired
    Brighton
    01273813612
    -------------------------------------------








  • 28.  RE:Brahms Temperament

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-18-2013 11:27