#1
Has anyone ever though how the fairly recent system of equal temperament has changed the sound of music from what the original composer intended and how this has changed the face of the tunes.
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#2
Quote by sinan90
Has anyone ever though how the fairly recent system of equal temperament has changed the sound of music from what the original composer intended and how this has changed the face of the tunes.
Without knowing what you mean by "fairly recent", we can say with authority that "the history of equal temperament can be traced back at least to 1518..." (Harvard Dictionary of Music). J.S. Bach was certainly aware of E.T.

Although the system was not universally adopted in Germany until around 1800, Beethoven's free use of modulation to virtually any key would seem to imply that he used E.T. almost exclusively.

I, and possibly you, have heard pieces played in so-called "authentic" tunings. They sound terrible to my ears, but some people love the weird dissonances and rigid modulations. For my money, though, equal temperament is the only way to go.
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#3
I can accept equal temperment. It'd get annoying, having each key sound different relatively.

Funny, I just read an article on this in a local paper a few days ago.
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#4
I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it makes everything a hell of a lot easier, but I'd be interested to hear the pieces as they were intended to be played rather than what we play them as now.
Founder of Jaco society

[22:08:23] <Confusius> I wish I was a bassist
[22:08:26] <Confusius> you fuckers look cool


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#5
Quote by sinan90
I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it makes everything a hell of a lot easier, but I'd be interested to hear the pieces as they were intended to be played rather than what we play them as now.
That was actually the point of my post. Going back to Beethoven, and possibly as far back as to Bach, we are hearing them the way they were intended to be played. The modulations you hear in the works of Beethoven, Lizst, Chopin, Wagner, etc. are simply not feasible using a tuning scheme other than E.T. One of the primary reasons early music (pre-Bach) is so predictable is that the mean-tone and other tuning schemes used back then made distant keys sound horrible.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#6
Bach made use of well-temperament (ie the Well Tempered Clavier) and so did Beethoven. Composers from the 19th century used the current equal temperament system as it made their key modulation seasier and it suited the tuning system of modern keyboard instruments.
Founder of Jaco society

[22:08:23] <Confusius> I wish I was a bassist
[22:08:26] <Confusius> you fuckers look cool


Want to know how to play bass in jazz? Read this.