Saturday, June 14, 2014

Equal Temperament Induces Oversleeping

Ever since the push to equal temperament (which established its firm Western European grip only in the early 20th century!)* musicians have been been trained to save time by playing the notes without listening to them.  It saves time.  It is importable and exportable.  No problem.

No passion.  No inherent interest.  Why bother?

Left to their own devices musicians will find ways to bend notes back into life-evoking shapes, whether electronically or acoustically, as many jazz musicians and other free spirits continually do in the off-center clubs and garages around the country.

I recall vividly trying to tune a cappella vocal intervals with a fine musician who simply cannot help but tune every notated pitch into an equally tempered piano pitch.  So why sing a cappella?

*I recommend Ross Duffin's How Equal Temperament Ruined Music and Why You Should Care