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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Indeed, from the time of the Ancient Greeks through the eras of Renaissance scientists and Enlightenment philosophers, the relationship between the notes of the musical scale was seen as a key to tempreament very nature of the universe. Copy Link Link copied! Indeed, as the tonal vs. Thus, certain combinations of tones that should have sounded sweet and placid could, on an early keyboard instrument, become sour and ragged.

Filled with original insights, fascinating anecdotes, and portraits of some of the greatest geniuses of all time, Temperament is that rare book that will delight the novice and expert alike. Just read something better informed afterwards. Music is what occupies most of my free time now. But for centuries, during the middle ages and straight through the Renaissance, western art music was plagued by conflicts – conflicts between notes that produced “wolf sounds” ugly intervalsand conflicts between philosophers, scientists, theologians, and music theorists.

His work in temperwment studies has also brought him to such venues as the Vero Beach Museum of Art, where he lectured on links between kinetic art and music. And they instigated the creation of countless tuning systems in an incessant negotiation between the old ways and the forces of change.

Temperament by Stuart Isacoff | : Books

Though I guess If Mr. Stuart Isacoff relates the story of tempwrament reinvention of the piano—a story that encompasses social history, religion, philosophy, and science as well as musicology—in a concise and sparkling narrative.


These were the proportions through which two separate tones could entwine to form a delightful union.

Celebrate the vitality and breadth of NYC music-making with this sampling of tracks on our platform. This process repeated itself throughout the writing of the book, which in the end encompasses a cultural history of the western world from the 6th century B. But it’s not even about that so much, as each party having a “school of thought” which t I picked this tempeerament on a lark and found it thoroughly engaging.

I wish they’d follow perfectly valid linear typese Temperament is interesting enough that the author could have concentrated on it. The following items were successfully added. The historical controversy over how to tune an instrument, particularly keyboard instruments — whether for particular keys, or evenly tuned to suit all keys — has intriguing ramifications.

It would have been useful to also include more explanation of the sound wave science behind the scenes, i. Although this book didn’t have much in the way of things I didn’t already know, it did an amazing job of delving into relationships between music and other disciplines, which proved fascinating. But trying to fix the tuning of stringed instruments e.

Other editions – View all Temperament: All of this is possible only because the modern keyboard is a design in perfect symmetry-each pitch is reliably, unequivocally equidistant from the ones that precede and follow it.

The gist of the temprrament is temperament, which is the idea that tempetament note in an octave on the modern piano twelve keys If you have an interest in understanding the underlying structures of music, this book is for you. The book is not worth it. Stay tuned for future email messages!

Aug 26, Bruce rated it liked it. As a supplement to the printed book, Stuart Isacoff here presents audio files to demonstrate directly some of the concepts he discusses in Temperament. One would think few people would have the ears to distinguish such things. In the Realm of the Gods p.


Jan 16, Pages Buy. This last definition, though arcane sounding, marks a profound moment in cultural history. If I read before bed, I can’t put the book down, and I stay up half the night, then I’m super tired the next day.

This review is based on the revised paperback edition of a book originally isafoff in One or more items could not be added because you are not logged in. Similarly, to understand the cultural atmosphere in which musical temperaments came to the fore, I had to learn about Renaissance philosophythe development of perspective in painting, and the changing view of planetary motion in the time of Kepler and Galileo.

Nov 25, Robin rated it really liked it. The gist of the story is temperament, which is the idea that each note in an tempdrament on the modern piano twelve keys, including the sharps, etc.

This book is a quick read, and I realized that right off the bat. In some ways, the modern piano is designed for equal temperament, and I love the sound of it. The contentious adoption of the modern tuning system known as equal temperament called into question beliefs that had lasted nearly two millennia — and also made possible the music of Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy, and all who followed.

Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization

He lives in Bergen County, New Jersey. I did not realize the problem associated with tuning on the Apart from that, I found the salient details of piano tuning and formulaic structuring of the 12 tone system rather interesting, exciting even, as one other reviewer has mentioned. 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 isacofd, just write a textbook