Acoustics & Sound For Musicians - Online Book

The Theory Of Sound Which Constitutes The Physical Basis Of The Art Of Music.

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•206                   EQUAL TEMPERAMENT.            [X. 111.
intervals were also shown to be generally very closely bounded by harsh discords. Now since, in the system of equal temperament, no interval except that of the Octave is accurately in tune, it follows that every representative of a concord must be less smooth than it would be were the tuning perfect. One of the greatest charms of Music, and especially of modern Music, lies in the vivid contrast presented by consonant and dissonant chords in close juxta­position. Temperament, by impairing, even though but slightly, the perfection of the concords, necessarily somewhat weakens this contrast, and takes the edge off the musical pleasure which, in the hands of a great composer, it is capable of giving us. A fact already once adverted to (p. 175) may be again adduced here, as illustrating the effect of temperament in blurring distinctions of consonance and dissonance, viz. that on the key-board of the pianoforte the same two
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