Equal temperament nearest possible to the just intonation?

Asked by: Kent Groll

Is equal temperament just intonation?

Just intonation requires tuning your instrument for a specific key. With standard equal temperament, you can play further down the neck in another key and not end up with different sound quality intervals between notes.

What is the difference between equal and just temperament?

Just tuning is often used by ensembles (such as for choral or orchestra works) as the players match pitch with each other “by ear.” The “equal tempered scale” was developed for keyboard instruments, such as the piano, so that they could be played equally well (or badly) in any key. It is a compromise tuning scheme.

What did equal temperament make possible?

Because it enables keyboard instruments to play in all keys with minimal flaws in intonation, equal temperament replaced earlier tuning systems that were based on acoustically pure intervals, that is, intervals that occur naturally in the overtone series.

Is equal temperament the same as well tempered?

The various well temperaments used in Bach’s time are distinct from our equal temperament. Well temperament represented a departure from the various meantone tunings that were used in earlier music.

Do we use equal temperament?

12-tone equal temperament, which divides the octave into twelve equally-sized intervals, is the most common musical system used today, especially in Western music.

How do you use just intonation?

For example the minor second of any note is a note one semitone higher the major second of any note is the note two semitones higher etc.

How far off is equal temperament?

Twelve-tone equal temperament is the musical system that divides the octave into 12 parts, all of which are equally tempered (equally spaced) on a logarithmic scale, with a ratio equal to the 12th root of 2 ( 12√2 ≈ 1.05946).

Who uses just intonation?

Non-Western music, particularly that built on pentatonic scales, is largely tuned using just intonation. In China, the guqin has a musical scale based on harmonic overtone positions. The dots on its soundboard indicate the harmonic positions: 1⁄8, 1⁄6, 1⁄5, 1⁄4, 1⁄3, 2⁄5, 1⁄2, 3⁄5, 2⁄3, 3⁄4, 4⁄5, 5⁄6, 7⁄8.

Who made equal temperament?

Two people are generally credited with the calculation of equal temperament: Zhu Zaiyu (in 1584) and Simon Stevin (in 1585).

What came before equal temperament?

Before Meantone temperament became widely used in the Renaissance, the most commonly used tuning system was Pythagorean tuning. Pythagorean tuning was a system of just intonation that tuned every note in a scale from a progression of pure perfect fifths.

Did Mozart use equal temperament?


Bach didn’t use equal temperament. Neither did Mozart nor Beethoven or any of their contemporaries. They used unequal temperaments — also known as, you guessed it, Well-tempered. In the Well-Tempered Clavier, Bach celebrated unequal tempered tuning, not today’s equal tempered tuning.