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Re: [earlyflute] Re: Enharmonic key

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  • Philippe Allain-Dupré
    Dear Clinton I am glad that you found it useful! I have translated this article to French with Bruce s permission before he died. Au-delà du tempérament,
    Message 1 of 53 , Dec 1, 2011
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      Dear Clinton
      I am glad that you found it useful!
      I have translated this article to French with Bruce's permission before he died.
      I have added a few comments of my own, because this article was written in 1991, before the explosion of the computer world.
      They are several new tools to check the tuning, as Barbara Kallaur pointed out about Ross Duffin.
      I like also very much the Zarlino software, http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/zarlino/logiciel/index.html which enables to listen to the syntonic comma correction of the third in the Pythagorean scale, a subject which was recently explained by Ron.
      Regards
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 2:06 AM
      Subject: [earlyflute] Re: Enharmonic key

       

      Philippe says: "We owe a great reward to this great Oboist Bruce Haynes who...wrote in 1991 "Beyond temperament" His study shows all the problems of singers, violinists and wind players against the keyboard temperament."

      Dear Philippe, thank you for pointing the way to this information! It was very instructive reading. I must say that my current personal musical challenge is playing with relatively inexperienced string players. It really puts a poor traversist's ear to the test trying to determine on the fly whether those sour notes between the strings and flutes are the result of poor flute technique or sloppy string fingering! Either way, it is a good workout struggling to chart a path between the Scylla of playing "to the tune as written" and the Charybdis of trying to actually sound good as an ensemble.

      Regards,

      Clinton

    • Ron
      ... I reckon it is deeper than that. For example, the dorian mode crops up in traditional Irish music so much more often. They reckon that this is to do with
      Message 53 of 53 , Jan 20, 2012
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        --- In earlyflute@yahoogroups.com, "Rick at CIT" <rmw@...> wrote:
        >
        > Ron wrote:
        >
        > >A peculiarity of the baroque period was a preference for just major thirds;
        > >this was the holy grail of temperament. There is also such thing as a just
        > >minor third, considerably adrift from the usual variety of tunings. To
        > >discover a practical acknlowlegement of this you would have to look to
        > >certain sorts of traditional folk music, or to classical forms from a part
        > >of the world where polyphony was not the vogue.
        >
        > I'm sure that many theorists and practical musicians
        > thought about just minor thirds in the baroque period,
        > even though the major third might appear to get more attention.
        > Lowering the fifth in a regular tuning improves
        > the minor thirds as well as the major thirds, so there was
        > no need to call much attention to them. Actually, when the fifths
        > are lowered 1/4 comma so that the major thirds are just,
        > the minor thirds are still a few cents flat, so to make them just,
        > one needs to temper the fifth by a bit more than 1/4 comma.
        > E.g. as in Zarlino's 2/7 comma meantone from the late 16th C.
        >
        > Robert Smith, a Cambridge astronomer and organist, published
        > a treatise "Harmonics" in 1749 that I once slogged through.
        > He sought to determine the optimal quantity to temper the fifth by,
        > in a regular tuning where all fifths have the same size, so that
        > "as many concords as possible are as harmonious as possible".
        > This would include both types of thirds, sixths, 10ths, etc.
        > After 200 pages of diagrams and calculations and charts and
        > unjustified reasoning, he comes up with his answer of 5/18 comma
        > (slightly more than 1/4 comma).
        >
        > Rick
        >


        I reckon it is deeper than that.

        For example, the dorian mode crops up in traditional Irish music so much more often. They reckon that this is to do with the language, the minor third built into the Irish lilt. While the English way is to habitually employ the major third, you would recognise the difference with nothing but a transcribed musical score of a conversation to go on.

        R.H.
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