Sunday, December 6, 2015

Choirs need electronic temperament keyboard

Choirs which perform early music need, for rehearsal purposes, an electronic keyboard capable of playing in various temperaments. All these temperaments should be adjustable by a simple slider bar, so that the choir's listening experience will fall at a point which lies anywhere (at the director's discretion) from hearing each temperament fully, to hearing merely a barely-detectable taste of the "flavor" of that temperament. This slider bar must range from 100% (for full engagement of the selected temperament) to 0% (for Equal Temperament).

This aspect of the keyboard would thus follow the advice of the best experts on temperament, who generally believe that, in history, always and actually, practice has been to use no temperament only in its pure form: but instead, that the timeline of historical practice constitutes a gradual drift from one temperament to another. Further, they believe it is historically accurate for us to duplicate today these same practices from the past, by means of any degree of alteration from Equal Temperament which we desire, using our own good taste.

Since the last century represents the triumph of Equal Temperament, perhaps our use of other temperaments should remain fairly close to it. The slider would enable this.

In order to perform early music, choirs need these temperaments:
  • Bradley Lehman/J.S. Bach
  • Equal Temperament
  • Meantone
  • Pythagorean
  • Valotti
  • Victorian
Some facility to load in new temperaments would be desirable as well.

Copyright (c) 2015 Mark D. Blackwell.