Western Music Temperament?



Asked by: Shanon Pochmara

Is Western music 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.

What is Western music tuned to?

equal temperament system

Most modern Western musical instruments are tuned in the equal temperament system. Tempering is the process of altering the size of an interval by making it narrower or wider than pure.

Why is equal temperament important to Western music?

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.

What is well temperament in music?





As used in the 17th century, the term “well tempered” meant that the twelve notes per octave of the standard keyboard were tuned in such a way that it was possible to play music in all major or minor keys that were commonly in use, without sounding perceptibly out of tune.

What temperament did Bach use?

UNEQUAL 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.

Are guitars equal tempered?

Guitars are tuned to ‘equal temperament’. The basic way to understand this is that the 12 musical notes are evenly split up, which allows us to use straight frets on a guitar. The problem is that equal temperament isn’t perfect and depending on how you have trained your ears, you may notice it when you play guitar.

Do orchestras play in equal temperament?

Meanwhile, an orchestra is made of a bunch of instruments, some of which tune naturally by ear—strings, woodwinds, brass—but also instruments in fixed, equal temperament: harp, marimbas and xylophones, harpsichord and piano, etc.

How many musical temperaments are there?

All temperaments fall into three groups: Open temperaments, closed unequal temperaments and one equal temperament that dominates now. Historically earlier open temperaments use perfect intervals (fifth, forth, etc.) in basic music scales such as C.



Are electronic tuners equal temperament?

It offers astonishing functionality, including eight different historical temperaments as well as equal temperament, in an extremely compact package and at a fraction of the price of its predecessor.

Are piano tuning to equal temperament?

Pianos today are tuned in “equal temperament,” which means that each note is the same distance in pitch from its neighbours.

What is an irregular temperament?

Irregular Temperaments. Irregular temperament is usually used as a synonym for well-tempered temperament or unequal temperaments. They are based on a closed circle of fifths, but intervals with the same name can have slightly different sizes.



Are pianos equally tempered?

Fine piano tuning requires an assessment of the vibration interaction among notes, which is different for every piano, thus in practice requiring slightly different pitches from any theoretical standard. Pianos are usually tuned to a modified version of the system called equal temperament.

What tuning system did Mozart use?

Mozart used the same process as given above, but extended it to a cycle of 21 meantone “5ths”, an elegantly symmetrical system from implied 310 = Ebb to implied 310 = A#. He then destroyed the symmetry of the scale by limiting himself to 20 notes and eliminating the implied 37 = Cb.

What tuning did Beethoven use?

Tests have shown that Beethoven’s tuning fork resonates at 455.4 Hertz, over half a semitone higher than today’s standard ‘A’ pitch of 440 Hertz. Click on the image to hear what it sounds like when it is struck.

Is equal temperament good?

Equal temperament is appropriate for some music of the 20th century, especially atonal music, and music based on the whole tone scale, but not for the works of the 18th and 19th centuries. Equal temperament, the modern and usually inappropriate system of tuning used in western music, is based on the twelfth root of 2.



Should I tune to equal or just temperament?

For the purposes of this chart, it is assumed that C4 = 261.63 Hz is used for both (this gives A4 = 440 Hz for the equal tempered scale).
Just vs Equal Temperament (and related topics)

Interval Ratio to Fundamental Just Scale Ratio to Fundamental Equal Temperament
Major Third 5/4 = 1.2500 1.25992

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).

Why does piano use equal temperament?

One of the advantages of the equal tempered scale is that it is the same in any musical “key”, so that compositions may be freely transposed up or down without changing the musical intervals.