> Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 02:39:21 -0500
> From: Paul Poletti <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Affekt from unequal tunings
> BTW, better than always saying Chorton/Cammerton, I think it would be
> clearer to say highpitch/low pitch. The two terms switch their meaning
> sometime mid-18th century, but not everywhere, and not at the same time. If
> you read a lot of the old works, you get a confusing and frustrating picture
> of the two. The only thing clear is they are a whole tone apart. One could
> also use Cornetton for high pitch, 'cause it never moved.
I agree, that it would be favorable to have a more clear terminology.
Bruce Hayne stated 1995 in his monumental dissertation on pitch:
"In northern Germany, the two principal standards were 'Chorton'
('choir-pitch') and 'Cammerton' ('chamber.pitch'). These terms express a
relationship: whatever Cammerton was, Chorton would be a whole-tone or
minor third higher. Chorton was usually the pitch of organs and brass
instruments, while Cammerton was associated with the woodwinds and other
The picture in the German countries in the 17th and 18th centuries seems
rather simple: two types of Chorton and two types of Cammerton:
(High) Chorton ca. 492 Hz
(Common) Chorton, Cornett-Ton ca 465 Hz
(common) Cammerton ca. 415 Hz
(low, french) Cammerton ca. 392 Hz
These are the main late 17th - 18th century pitches in northern Germany.
Of course the actual local pitch could vary around these figures. An
organ in 497 Hz or in 487 Hz would be in "high Chorton", etc. (the high
Chorton was not infrequent in organs).
I think, that it would be much more confusing, when we had to use only
two categories like "high pitch" and "low pitch", having four standard
pitches to deal with.
Seems therefore easier to me, to stay with the historical appropriate
terminology of each time, and to make always clear what one is talking
about. Any better solution?