Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 00:02 -0700
From: Jonathan Lee
Subject: NOOO!! NOT FRESCOBALDI!!! (a.k.a. temperament question)
> A quote from Robin Stowell and Colin Lawson's 1999 book, _The Historical
> Performance of Music: an Introduction_:
> "Equal temperament was adopted by players of fretted Renaissance
> instruments and was subsequently endorsed for keyboard music by
> Frescobaldi in the late 1630s.
This is based on a anecdote by Doni who wrote 1638 to Mersenne, that
Frescobaldi didn't even know what a minor or major semitone was and
hardly ever would play on the black keys. 1647 he "added" that an old
ragged sicilian man managed to convince Frescobaldi to praise equal
temperament against his ear - by spending him many free drinks.
Does that sound reasonable to anyone?
Doni seems to be what is called "Rufmörder" in German ("reputation murderer").
> Anyone ha ve comment on the veracity of these remarks?
Frescobaldi was a pupil of Luzzaschi, known as a virtuoso on enharmonic
instruments. Frescobaldi had certainly instruments with split keys
around and available (the Blasi-organ of San Giovanni in Laterano, Roma,
has been restored!). His music boasts of typical meantone fetaures ...
Until it is without doubt proven that Frescobaldi used and promoted
equal temperament (12-ET), he must be regarded as innocent (meantone).
Has anyone produced such a proof until now.