On Wed, 23 Nov 1994, D. Kelzenberg wrote:
> Just as an aside, can you imagine Louis Couperin's Pavanne in f-minor?
> Or, Beethoven's 5th Symphony in b-minor?
Beethoven's 5th Symphony in b-minor is better-known as the piano sonata,
Op. 5, by Richard Strauss.
A few days ago you cited the famous bit about CPE learning from his father
to tune all thirds wide. I want to emphasize what you said along with
that, that it doesn't necessarily mean all the major thirds are uniformly
wide. And it doesn't necessarily mean that Bach tuned directly by thirds
instead of primarily by fifths; perhaps the thirds were only checks of
notes already obtained, or the primary criterion by which one judged
whether the keys have pleasing differences of quality/color. And it
doesn't necessarily mean that even the intervals C-E, F-A, or G-B were
wide, because they might not have been tuned as thirds. And it doesn't
necessarily say anything about diminished fourths such as G#-C, which
perhaps were not tuned as thirds anyway. And it doesn't say anything
about there not being a wolf, either.
So the CPE quote can't be used to "prove" anything incontrovertible. The
only thing it seems to argue for is that by the time CPE was old enough to
learn these things, his father didn't use regular 1/4 comma meantone or
1/3 comma meantone, which would have pure or smaller major thirds. That
doesn't tell us much that we weren't already convinced of.
Speaking of 1/3 comma meantone, the first time I heard the beatless
diminished-seventh chord in the first track of Parmentier's 17th-Century
French CD (produced by Joseph Spencer), I had to back up the laser and
hear that chord a few more times just by itself. Yep, that's what you get
when you stack up three pure 6:5 minor thirds, all right.
|\ _,,,--,,_ ,) Bradley Lehman, [log in to unmask]
/,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
|,4- ) )-,_ ) /\ The 7:6 ratio minor third hath charms
'---''(_/--' (_/-' to soothe the savage breast...and put hair