On Wed, 1 Oct 2003 05:18:44 -0400, Paul Poletti wrote:
> RE: books about the history of tuning/temperament in the Isacoff vein,
> historically accurate or not. Whatís the point? The story of temperament is
> pretty dull, actually. I donít see any need to sex it up by pretending it is
> some great story of intellectual progress, or a battleground reflecting
> great currents in the history of western civilization.
To a certian extent of course it was. the vienna Neutoenerschule is
not thinkable without this dort of "progress." At the same time
(1880-1910), other camps were looking to modes and other would-be
"ancient" tonal systems.
Thus, even Isacoff's so-called intellectual progress was very isolated.
> The interesting bit is that it tells us that composers used certain keys for
> certain effects, but even so, it wasnít all that important, and the piece
> was still a valid piece when played with other harmonic flavors.
In a letter to Maffei, Cristofori writes, "...good composers use the
wolffifth for the expression of il falso e l'disgustoso..."
and Huygens writes when referring to the use of eflat in e minor
(meantone normality): "...quelque chose de plus tendre et plus
plaintif, que e-d#-e..."