Author Topic: BBC programme including unequal temperament  (Read 378 times)

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revtonynewnham

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BBC programme including unequal temperament
« on: May 18, 2017, 09:37:48 AM »
Hi

BBC Radio 3 "Late Junction"  Noticed this the other day, and currently listening on iPlayer.  Not sure how much it will say about different temperaments, but should be worth a listen.  Programme info reads:- "Marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Lou Harrison, Verity plays a mix of music that uses unequal temperaments, or alternative tuning systems."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08q2rxv

The segment starts after the opening track.

Every Blessing

Tony

David Pinnegar

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Re: BBC programme including unequal temperament
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2017, 12:13:54 PM »
Thanks so much for this - I have been away and have not visited the forum in the past week.

Last year I had the opportunity to acquire two historic pianos from the Finchcocks musical museum in Kent.

One is an 1859 Broadwood concert grand - the one hired to Sir Charles Hallé for the Hallé Orchestra and which was purchased by a Manchester businessman for 250gns as it was the most amazing instrument he had ever heard, and the other, a grand of 1802 by Stodart. This can be head on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJonwRwgaeo

For the past decade I have been using the Kellner "Bach" temperament, a temperament based upon 7 perfect fifths and a variant of Werckmeister III

Both these pre-1870s instruments have something significant in common - the Quint harmonic is the principal and prominent harmonic and the tierce is completely absent. In subsequent pianos of the 1880s the Tierce comes forward in the sound often more strongly than the Quint.

The prominence of the Quint in both these and other earlier instruments is suggestive of its importance, and getting as many perfect fifths in the scale tuned spot onto the harmonics of the strings both increases resonance and provides key colour as the keys open doors to different sounds on the vibration spectrum, key colour in "chromatic" music, "chromatic" being not semitonal but related to the Greek word for "colour".

The nomenclature as well as the evidence of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert being particular about which keys they used for what leads to a certainty that such tuning is what they expected.

It's for these reasons that I'm now starting to talk not about Tnequal Temperament but "Classical Tuning" as these instruments and the change of instrument construction with the adoption of Equal Temperament make the nomenclature of "Classical Temperament" a certainty.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

revtonynewnham

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Re: BBC programme including unequal temperament
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2017, 08:07:17 AM »
Hi David

Hope you haf a good break (or was it work?)  I guessed you'd been away since you hadn't spotted my post.
The ex-Finchcocks instruments look interesting - if I get back down to Sussex again, it would be good to see them, if that's possible.

Every Blessing

Tony

 


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