>I have been extremely pleased with an electronic tuner made by Widener
>Engineering, in Austin Texas (203 Westbrook Drive, Austin, TX 78746).
>Every imaginable temperament is available - each is on a standard IBM
>card - at modern or baroque pitch (the device allows further pitch
>Alfred O. Berg, MD, MPH
Thanks for your communication, Dr Berg.
The Wideners have been around for a long time, and are commendable for
their flexibility and "custom temperament" potential.
Please don't mistake me, electronic aids are a boon to thousands of
players and performers, and their use is infinitely preferable to bad
tuning by ear. I have a small Korg that I use when tuning my Steinway
(Don't tell anyone about the Korg... or the Steinway!) because after
years and years and thousands of Steinways, I loath the experience of
tuning one. I am permanently burned out on that one!
When it comes to my harpsichords, however, it's a different matter. I
enjoy tuning them immensely (I also care for all of Alan Curtis'
instruments), because I can hear precisely what is going on inside each
temperament, I can vary it, control it, contour it to fit exactly the
requirements of the music.
This also means that I hear the music in a different way than most
people, especially music from before c.1730, when the spicier meantone
variants were phased out. How do I know that? It's in the music. You
cannot play later music on WErckmeister I, for example; the dissonance
is nearly random and excruciating. But Bach toccatas? Partitas? Oh boy!
The reason I rant so is the same reason I constantly encourage
harpsichordists, especially amateurs, to engage witht he struggle to
gain some mastery over setting their own temperaments. The rewards are
End of sermon.
With best regards,