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What temperament are most pipe organs tuned in today?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by voet View Post

    This is a great suggestion. You will be amazed at what a difference temperament can make in a piece. While Bach developed the concept of a "well temperament," he also exploited temperaments to create dramatic tension in his music. In a New Yorker article (December 26, 2016) Alex Ross wrote:

    More than a few of [Bach's] works begin with gestures that inspire awe and fear. Several pieces from his years as an organ virtuoso practice a kind of sonic terrorism. The Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor feasts on dissonance with almost diabolical glee, perpetrating one of the most violent harmonies of the pre-Wagnerian era: a chord in which a D clashes with both a C-sharp and an E-flat, resulting in a full-throated acoustical scream.

    In fact, the Fantasia (BWV 542) would be an excellent work to explore how Bach used temperament to great effect. I suggest using one of the seven "well" temperaments available in Hauptwerk for this experiment. It will sound like a different work.
    Imagine if some clever inventor could design a pipe organ that could magically change temperaments with the flick of a lever!

    In short, there seems to be no "perfect temperament" that fits all different kinds of western music like a glove. What might Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor sound like in equal temperament? Uneventful? Boring even?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by jonmyrlebailey View Post

      Imagine if some clever inventor could design a pipe organ that could magically change temperaments with the flick of a lever!
      It has already been done, Jon. Check out this video:


      Bill

      My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

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      • #18
        Originally posted by jonmyrlebailey View Post
        It has been said that with equal temperament, key colors have been lost. I think all keyboard instruments for Baroque performances should be in Bach's well temperament still today.
        [snip]
        You need to have those cool "rolling" beats in certain intervals and keys. Well temperament is the most DIVINE tuning.

        Why not have even well temperament also for jazz and popular music today?
        Originally posted by jonmyrlebailey
        I don't know and I don't care.
        Jon,

        I've noticed you have posted several questions/statements regarding various organ topics from time-to-time. Some of them are quite interesting, while others lead me to wonder your intent in posting on a topic at all. Above is an example of the latter.

        If you don't know and don't care about the temperaments available or in use in Bach's time, why bring up the topic? What is your end goal? Are you trying to learn more about the topic, apply what you know in a new way, or satisfy an intellectual curiosity?

        The Forum is a vastly varied group of people interested in organs. Our members range from concert artists, professors, technicians, and builders, to those who simply appreciate organ music, or repair organs for others to benefit. Many of the Forum's members have very little spare time, yet they selflessly share their expertise here as they are able.

        Recently, I stated in another thread on another subject, that the quality of the answer you receive is directly proportionate to the quality of the question you ask or statement you make. I'm not really sure of your goal in posting this topic, but would like to make sure your needs/interests are being met. You've received some great quality responses, but here's my reason for making this post:
        It is never a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you!
        Please try to be more considerate and responsive to people attempting to help you.

        Michael

        P.S. I considered sending this in a private message, but perhaps I'm all wet on this, so I thought it should be posted in the open Forum. I'm tired–I just finished 4,000+ miles in 5 days, and am catching up on posts. However, it appears Voet (Bill) has given you an excellent resource–did it meet your needs from your initial request?
        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

        Comment


        • tbeck
          tbeck commented
          Editing a comment
          Spot on, Michael.
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