Musical Temperaments


Musical Temperaments
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Preface What you are now reading is the written version of an electronic document that explains the mathematical principles for different musical temperaments. The electronic version contains many music examples that you can listen to while you are working with this document at a computer. The written version obviously cannot offer this possibility. It serves therefore merely as a parallel study aid and guide and cannot replace actually working with the electronic text. Musical Temperaments Contents V II Contents Introduction and Fundamental Properties 1 Pitch and Frequency 1 Preliminary Remarks 1 Frequencies and Intervals 2 Tuning Systems and Frequencies 5 Musical Scales in Different Tunings 5 Pure Tuning 5 Intervals and Triads in Pure Tuning 12 Pythagorean Tuning 23 Intervals and Triads in Pythagorean Tuning 31 Meantone Tuning 34 Intervals and Triads in Meantone Tuning 39 Equal Temperament (Tuning) 42 Intervals and Triads in Equal Temperament (Tuning) 47 Summary 50 Appendices 53 Pictorial explanations 53 Tables of Frequencies and Intervals 54 Operating Instructions 62 Glossary 67 Musical Temperaments Introduction and Fundamental Properties 1 Introduction and Fundamental Properties Pitch and Frequency Preliminary Remarks It is well known that tones consist of periodically recurring phenomena, that is, beats repeating in a regular pattern. The number of repetitions of beats per second is measured in Hertz: 440 Hertz mean 440 beats per second. This number is also called the frequency of a beat.

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