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How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care) Hardcover – November 17, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
The great challenge here is writing about something that really must be heard. I frankly agree with Duffin that unequal temperament makes music from the 17th - 19th centuries more interesting to hear. I was hoping he would find words to describe why.
The difficulty with dividing up the scale is one of physics and aesthetics. Scales divided into octaves don't quite contain perfectly the fifths (Duffin explains all this) and one solution is to narrow (in musical terms, to "temper") each of the twelve fifths by one twelfth of the missing fit. That is an equal temperament (ET).Read more ›
"Images in this book are not displayed owing to permissive issues."
(This Review applies to the digital (Kindle) edition of this book, as of August 2011.)
Indeed, no diagrams, drawings or other images, often referred to in the text, almost all which would be necessary for a proper comprehension of the subject, are included in the digital edition.
This is a highly disturbing matter for the readers of the digital books. I wish the publisher will take the steps to make amends, as soon as possible, the least of which would be updating the file by including the missing images, and sending an update to those who have already bought the "image-missing edition", at no additional cost.
In any case, this is a practice which should be strongly discouraged by the growing population of eBook readers. Amazon is advised to remind publishers to make such differences emphatically clear in their Book Descriptions, and if at all possible, avoid altogether discriminating against the eBook audience by producing such unnecessary discrepancies between the digital versus the printed copies of the same work.
As for the text, it's well-informed and lively, with a penchant to explain a complex issue such as intonation in a most plain and comprehensible language. The subject is further brought to life by the author's subtle sense of humor. It's an enjoyable read, for anyone interested in the subject, even as one could reasonably take issues with some of the positions taken by the author against the widely adopted Equal-Temperament, or his quick dismissal of another author's position on this (Stuart Isacoff) early in the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a lover, and player of fretless stringed instruments, this book does a wonderful job explaining the versatility of such instruments. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joe
A must read for anyone who likes to play or listen to music seriously. It will rock your world, and its written and illustrated in a very witty, lighthearded but scholarly way... Read morePublished 5 months ago by TheProfessor
I place this book in the category of accessible "leisure musicology"— it is written in a very familiar style, but full of information you will not find elsewhere. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Cembalista
Exhausting to read. As a musician, you already understand that string players are using expressive intonation and the piano is a compromise. You want to know what to do about it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by AmzLuv
I'm becoming a convert to non-tempered tuning. It gives music so much more characterPublished 7 months ago by Music, Math, Languages person
Excellent book, my second one I bought, this time as a gift.Published 8 months ago by University professor
Okay, this book definitely appeals to a certain limited audience, but those who are interested in the topic will appreciate this book. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer in Raleigh, NC
Excellent eye opening book. Unless a musician is completely versed in temperament, this is an excellent book. Veyr western centric, Europe and orchestras. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ronald A. Bracale