[Dixielandjazz] What a difference a key makes

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 6 11:54:01 PDT 2006

Hello Paul and the rest of youse guys -

Interesting post you made here.

If you click on this URL you'll find a pretty clear discussion of this 
practice (equal temperment).


Respectfully submitted,

Bill "My hero is J.S.B." Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com

>From: "Edgerton, Paul A" <paul.edgerton at eds.com>
>To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>CC: Dan Augustine <ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu>
>Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] What a difference a key makes
>Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2006 13:40:41 -0500
>Dan Augustine wrote:
> >>
>      I was under the impression that J. S. Bach wrote for the
>"well-tempered" clavier (or a keyboard instrument), and well-tempering
>was an attempt to make all the keys more in tune with each other and
>less discordant in the keys with a lot of flats or sharps.  It was
>definitely NOT the same as equal-temperament, in which the octave is
>divided into twelve exactly equal semitones, so that (theoretically, at
>least) all keys are equally in (or slightly out of) tune.
>      Is this not true?
>Actually, Bach's "well-tempered" tuning WAS equal temperament -- or as
>close to it as they could get.  The whole point was that now all keys
>were possible, if not "perfect," and Bach commemorated this by composing
>pieces in every key.
>Of course, even-temperament took awhile to catch on, as did that other
>innovation, the pianoforte.  Through most of the 18th century there were
>many different tunings in use: just intonation, meantone tuning, and
>several others, so that as one traveled around Europe, one might be
>called upon to perform on instruments having completely different
>tunings.  It's no wonder Bach championed the new standard.
>-- Paul Edgerton, who studied music history in Texas.
>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

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