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The Temperament of Keyboard Music, by A.C.N. Mackenzie of Ord, (MLitt 1980)

4 January 2012

This new book is a radical reappraisal of the whole science of keyboard tuning. Its fundamental feature is a complete revision of the terminology currently in use, since this is frequently not only confusing but also can be conflicting, as well as being inaccurate.

This new book is a radical reappraisal of the whole science of keyboard tuning. Its fundamental feature is a complete revision of the terminology currently in use, since this is frequently not only confusing but also can be conflicting, as well as being inaccurate.

From this essential foundation, the individual construction of the different tunings and temperaments can be clearly understood, and their essential contribution to the interpretation and enjoyment of keyboard music the better appreciated. Their historical development is also outlined, much invaluable detail being filled in by various contemporaneous comments and remarks of the period concerned, without which this study would not only become relatively tedious, but also far less interesting and valuable. The author's debt of gratitude to these generally unheard voices of the past is thus immeasurable.

It is sincerely hoped that, collectively, the matters here covered will furnish readers with all the necessary information which will enable them to come to their own conclusions about this most vital, but unusually obscure, component of the great art of music.

The book is available from the author, at 24 Kingsdown Parade, Bristol, BS6 5UF, at £75