A Guide to Musical Temperament
- Publish Date: 2005-10-13
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Thomas Donahue
On keyboard instruments, tuning pure fifth intervals causes octaves to be out-of-tune. A temperament is a system of tuning in which the tuning of the fifths is altered to keep the octaves in-tune, and to allow all notes of the musical scale to be usable. A Guide to Musical Temperament is an introduction to the subject of how the twelve notes of the musical scale are tuned on keyboard instruments such as the harpsichord, clavichord, piano, and organ.
This book covers all the various aspects of temperament, including a progressive discussion of the theoretical basis for temperament, the musical implications of a temperament's characteristics, and the relationship of the theoretical with the practical. Giving procedures and techniques for tuning keyboard instruments, along with descriptions and step-by-step instructions for setting temperaments, the book also includes supplementary notes such as advanced calculations and references. Author Thomas Donahue assembles new information as well as material from previous sources, giving a comprehensive outline of theories and a historical overview. Taking a complex subject that is often presented in either confusing or ambiguous terms, Donahue presents it in a straightforward manner, filling a neglected niche in music and keyboard reference.