How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony: And Why You Should Care

How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony: And Why You Should Care

by Ross W. Duffin

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Overview

How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony: And Why You Should Care by Ross W. Duffin

A captivating look at how musical temperament evolved, and how we could (and perhaps should) be tuning differently today.
Ross W. Duffin presents an engaging and elegantly reasoned exposé of musical temperament and its impact on the way in which we experience music. A historical narrative, a music theory lesson, and, above all, an impassioned letter to musicians and listeners everywhere, How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony possesses the power to redefine the very nature of our interactions with music today.
For nearly a century, equal temperament—the practice of dividing an octave into twelve equally proportioned half-steps—has held a virtual monopoly on the way in which instruments are tuned and played. In his new book, Duffin explains how we came to rely exclusively on equal temperament by charting the fascinating evolution of tuning through the ages. Along the way, he challenges the widely held belief that equal temperament is a perfect, “naturally selected” musical system, and proposes a radical reevaluation of how we play and hear music.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393062274
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 11/27/2006
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

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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How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony: And Why You Should Care 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book. Anyone that has a need or a desire to know more about intonation should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A short but very informative book which covers the history of tuning practices in Western music. I admit I was surprised by just how recent true equal temperament is. May not be accessible to non-musicians. Especially recommended for players of keyboard and fixed-pitch instruments.