Saturday, April 10, 2010

In the course of this past week I have had in-depth conversations with four colleagues, none of them personal friends, on the subject of temperament--not the diva-tantrum variety, but the tuning variety, as in equal temperament. These included a musicologist, professional keyboard player, singer, and composer. Each expressed malaise with equal temperament. Each had devised a way of dealing with it -- some by opting out of it altogether. These latter choose a diet of early music tuned to some kind of mean tone or just intonation--the way I used to tune my harpsichord in the days when I played harpsichord.

I love the sound of the piano though I am deeply sensitive to the differences in tuning. That's why I keep up my a cappella singing--teaching sight singing by teaching tuning and singing with advanced musicians just for the fun of it.

I do believe one can have it both ways. But it definitely takes thought and discipline.