Temperament has ratings and 54 reviews. Isacoff examines the tuning of the Western diatonic scale, the problem of obtaining pure, harmonious intervals. Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization. Front Cover. Stuart Isacoff. Knopf Doubleday. Six Questions with the Author: Stuart Isacoff on Temperament Excerpt from Temperament: The Idea That Solved Music’s Greatest Riddle.
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This gap is called the Pythagorean comma and is quite audible. As for a definitive treatment on temperament, far from. At least a basic knowledge of music theory and familiarity with the keyboard will render it much more comprehensible.
Temperament : how music became a battleground for the great minds of Western civilization
However, he wants to talk about lots and lots of other things. The book is primarily a historical narative that follows the development of the Western musical scale from Pythagorus’s early theories to the adoption of equal temperament at the beginning of the classical era.
I watched Jean-Jacques Rousseauwho managed to extend his anti-authoritarian social theories into twmperament realm of music, gain the support of many eighteenth-century scientists in his fight against Rameauthe greatest advocate of equal temperament in his day.
Paperbackpages. Thanks for telling us about the problem. The practical reality, however, is that tuning perfect fifths all the way around the circle results in an out-of-tune octave, and that a tuning system that keeps octaves, fifths, and fourths perfectly in tune excludes music featuring the popular intervals of thirds and sixths. Jun 25, Cam rated it really liked it.
Explaining the scientific principles behind the music, he takes the reader on a journey from the classical thoughts of Euclid through Newton with even a section on the important contribution of the Chinese.
A nice read for anyone looking for a fun and winding path through history into how we have arrived at the dominant tuning of today of 12 equally-divided half steps to an octave. The crux of the problem can be traced to the ancient Greeks, who defined music’s most beautiful sounds as arising from inviolable mathematical relationships-the fingerprints of the gods.
Super important to understand how music became what it is today. You can save isscoff you wish to hear again by adding them to your personal playlist, both here and as you move through the site. But trying to fix the tuning of stringed instruments e. Isacoff had just talked about the way the piano came to be, it would be a rather short book.
Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. I used to read books during breakfast and dinner; now I read the newspaper, because it’s shorter and doesn’t take up as much time. Summary Few isaciff lovers realize that the arrangement of notes on today’s pianos was once regarded as a crime tempermaent God and nature, or that such legendary thinkers as Pythagoras, Plato, tempeerament Vinci, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Newton and Rousseau played a role in the controversy.
I don’t waste half my day on it. Enjoy our isacof of featured playlists and a selection of media samples drawn from awarded projects.
Everything educational doesn’t have to be related in an adventurous way and I would say if the story really doesn’t lend itself to that approach, just write a textbook I0 The Alchemy of Sound. Anyone who has grappled with this temperxment game, I would think, has pondered the significance of rhythm, harmony and melody, in addition to expedience, with some semblance of a unified theory.
A Short Trip to China p. Pianist and composer Isacoff delves into “equal temperament,” the18th-century tuning system that carved the octave into 12 equal temperaemnt.
This whole paragraph is very off topic from the review, so on to the review.
This short book was surprisingly fun, given its esoteric and nerdy subject matter. Reading feels like a waste of a day to me now– whenever I start a book, Tempefament have to finish it, and there goes half of the day. In fact, for isacof of years, suggestions that our modern system be used were taken as a call to battle: Very interesting This book was very interesting, and it put the ideas of music, art, philosophy, history and science all together.
So Many Bells p.
As a supplement to the printed book, Stuart Isacoff here presents audio files to demonstrate directly some of the concepts he discusses in Temperament. Jul 25, Sarah rated it really liked it. The details of the secrets of m Why do we listen to classical music?
One or more items could not be added because you are not logged in. Along the way, they pointed up the conceits and follies of generations of theologians, musicians, philosophers, and scholars who insisted that the proportions in the mind of God must fit in the mind of man. However, rather than focus on the nuts and bolts of temperament, the author indulges in wanton digressions about art, architecture and theology, most of it irrelevant.
Temperament is a musical problem, and no amount of written eloquence can compensate for the fact that a book has no soundtrack. Open Preview See a Problem? It is great to see this “behind-the-scenes” of music history that is seldom talked about.