Friday, April 06, 2012

Systems of tuning

Equal tempered: a scale where each note is an identical frequency ratio step from the previous one.

Syntonic tempered: the frequency ratio of each musical interval is a product of powers of an octave and a tempered perfect fifth.

Meantone tempered: A system of syntonic tuning with a flattened fifth.

Well tempered: An attempt to create a tuning scale where any chord can be transposed to a new key without "wolf" notes that cause disharmony to the ears.

Evil tempered: Banjo tuning.

That is all ;).

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


  1. My slide has no frets.

    I can play out of tune in any system.


    1. JzB, have you ever considered taking up the banjo? You'd be a natural, and nobody would ever wonder why you're out of tune, because the banjo player is *always* out of tune ;).

      - Badtux the Music Snark Penguin

  2. I actually knew that, bearsense. But you know how us guitar players are about banjo players, always making fun of the fact they spend more time tuning than playing, heh.

    What in the hell would you know about tuning anything other than what you have read being as you spend 24/7 on the internut?

  3. ...and until now I thought Bach was just being poetic.

    1. Nope, Nan, the "Well Tempered Clavier" contained works in every key, and thus required a pianoforte or harpsichord system of tuning that was well tempered to sound good without having to stop in the middle of the performance to re-tune the instrument to sound good in a different key. Unfortunately Bach didn't exactly tell us what system of tuning he used so we can't exactly duplicate the way he intended the work to sound. The "Well Tempered Clavier" is more a requirements document than a design document for a system of tuning -- any system of tuning used must meet the requirements imposed by the music therein, but various tuning schemes have been used successfully to meet those requirements.

      - Badtux the Helpful Music Geek Penguin


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