PipeChat Digest #1405 - Friday, May 19, 2000
 
Death to Equal Temperament Society
  by "Bruce Behnke" <behnke@lvcm.com>
Re: Death to Equal Temperament Society
  by <PipeLuvr@aol.com>
Re: bringing another perspective to the debate
  by <CdyVanpool@aol.com>
Re: The 4 organs of the Minster Cathedral
  by "Stanley E Yoder" <syoder+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Re: Death to Equal Temperament Society
  by "Dave G." <dave_hat@hotmail.com>
Re: bringing another perspective to the debate
  by "Dave G." <dave_hat@hotmail.com>
Re: I have no clue what this subject line should be.
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Franck on meantone, Buxtehude on E.M. Skinner, etc. etc. etc.
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Bach and Equal Temperament
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: temperaments
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Death to Equal Temperament Society
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: direct electric vs. electro-pneumatic vs...
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Syracuse Holtkamp
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: direct electric vs. electro-pneumatic vs...
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
 


(back) Subject: Death to Equal Temperament Society From: "Bruce Behnke" <behnke@lvcm.com> Date: Thu, 18 May 00 19:09:40 -0700   Worshiping at the alter of Equal temperament comes with a very high cost. Some complain that certain unequal temperaments have some notes that very "interesting" but refuse to admit that equal tuning, by definition, requires that all notes are out of tune. Granted the ear can become acclimated to the harshness of ET, but ET is not a superior temperament. Like all temperaments it is a compromise. Yes indeed, one can play in all of the keys, but what is the big deal because they all sound the same. Meantone is somewhat limiting, but what it does well it does gloriously. Well tempered tunings like, Kellner, Velloti and Young can still play all of the keys, yet each key has its own distinct flavor. Bach and Handel chose the keys of their pieces specifically to enhance the musical ideas that they were trying to convey. To negate this effect by playing the music in ET is the same as looking at all Baroque paintings is black and white and all baroque sculpture as two dimensional photographs. The notes that you criticize give a bite of tension to the music that can't exist in ET and one can never have the exuberant joyful climax of a D major cadence as it would occur in Kellner or Volloti. There is absolutely nothing that has to be done in a church that can not be played on a well tempered organ. There might be things that you might want to play but feel that you can't. That is your problem not the fault of the instrument. If you have never heard a fine instrument like the PLU Fritts in Kellner you really shouldn't be complaining about unequal tunings. If you have heard one and say you don't understand what's so great about it, that explains a lot.   I am not saying that all organs should be tracker action, and not all organs should be unequal temperament. If you like the instrument that you play on and make wonderful music on it, that is fantastic. But on the other hand don't criticize someone who does something different if they are accomplishing the same goals.   With the idea that it has to be American Classic, bigger, bigger bigger with all of the couplers and bells and whistles and have midi to boot, I feel like I am living in Redneck Organville.   Bruce Founder and sole member of the Death to Equal Temperament Society  
(back) Subject: Re: Death to Equal Temperament Society From: <PipeLuvr@aol.com> Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 22:32:52 EDT   In a message dated 5/18/00 9:09:15 PM Central Daylight Time, = behnke@lvcm.com writes:   > Granted the ear can become > acclimated to the harshness of ET, but ET is not a superior = temperament.   This entire discussion has made me very greatful that my ear neither recognizes or cues in on the instruments "temperament" ! ! ! Makes listening to the MUSIC so enjoyable . . . :)   Bob  
(back) Subject: Re: bringing another perspective to the debate From: <CdyVanpool@aol.com> Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 23:22:25 EDT   You know, I may be missing the point here, but the organ itself is only a part of the whole experience of organ music. I think it would be great, if I said, " Today I will play Bach, so I = will only play that organ and then Widor tomorrow on that organ." Get real.... =   most of us don't even own most of the organs we play, nor did we even contribute to that organ fund to help purchase it........We, as organists play in the real world. We are asked to play some of the most awful = excuses for insturments and make them sound good.... and you know what? Most of = us do it... week after week. My point... if you have sound knowlege of the principals of organ sound, some creativity and a decent organ to play, = it's up to you to make it sound as close to what the composer wrote for. As we =   all know, no two organs are alike (Thank God... that's what makes it = fun....) so, are we limited to only playing one era of music? God, I hope not = !!!!!!! How dull !!!!!!! I have heard some really crapy organs that have sounded =   wonderful in the right hands....and some wonderful organs really sound = crapy in the wrong hands......any organ is only as good as the mind behind it, = the ten fingers and two feet playing it....... I certainly don't mind hearing =   Bach on a Skinner, if the person playing it knows what it is supposed to sound like, how to register it to make it sound that way ( or as close as possible)...and convey it to the audience. ( My opinion only... <G>) Yes, it would be nice if we could have it our own way...but we = ain't playing at " Burger King "......<G> Van Vanpool... :{)  
(back) Subject: Re: The 4 organs of the Minster Cathedral From: "Stanley E Yoder" <syoder+@andrew.cmu.edu> Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 00:15:36 -0400 (EDT)   Excerpts from mail: 17-May-100 Re: The 4 organs of the M=3D?.. by Alan Freed@earthlink.net > > From: DudelK@aol.com > > Reply-To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> > > Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 08:11:07 EDT > > To: pipechat@pipechat.org > > Subject: Re: The 4 organs of the Munster Cathedral > >=3D20 > > I believe Munster means cathedral > > Gee, I don't think so. > Not sure about the continental meaning of Munster, but a book on the British cathedrals which I have has this glossary entry for "Minster":   "misleading term originally meaning a monastic church, later applied to any collegiate church. York and Beverly are both correctly referred to as Minsters, but by usage only." (Johnson, British Cathedrals, London, 1980, ISBN 0-688-03672-4.)   York is a cathedral, Beverly is not (although once a pro-cathedral.)   At least one other Brit church comes to mind that is known as a Minster: Southwell. Of course, Westminster has the word integral. There are probably others. Seems to me I've heard Lincoln sometimes referred to as a minster. Anglophiles, over to you. Stan Yoder Pittsburgh  
(back) Subject: Re: Death to Equal Temperament Society From: "Dave G." <dave_hat@hotmail.com> Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 21:30:43 PDT     Thnaks Bruce! Couldn't have said it better myself.   Were you wearing a traffic cone hat? You can take it off now. :-)   DG ________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com    
(back) Subject: Re: bringing another perspective to the debate From: "Dave G." <dave_hat@hotmail.com> Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 21:36:27 PDT     > Yes, it would be nice if we could have it our own way...but we >ain't >playing at " Burger King "......   Well, if we can develop the kind of small hybrid organs for public venues I've been talking about, maybe someday you will play Buxtehude at Burger King. You're making me hungry.   DG   ________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com    
(back) Subject: Re: I have no clue what this subject line should be. From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 01:06:58 EDT   In a message dated 5/18/00 1:02:42 PM Eastern Daylight Time, = lmelby@prtel.com writes:   > If you are confused, how about greenhorns like me?????   If you are confused, open a book and read about it. OHS has several very good, inexpensive books on tuning. There is also a tape from AGO = educational materials on tuning and temperament (recorded at Stamford University on = the Fisk). There are also recordings of instruments with various tuning = systems by Bedient, Gober, Noack and others. Experience is the best teacher. Go =   hear and play MANY organs of different types. Don't take anyone's word = that something is the RIGHT way; You must experience it for yourself.   Happy learning.   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Franck on meantone, Buxtehude on E.M. Skinner, etc. etc. etc. From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 01:07:09 EDT   In a message dated 5/18/00 8:40:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time, elmsr@albanyis.com.au writes:   > However, the best organs are being built in the United States. Sorry.... should read many of the best....   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Bach and Equal Temperament From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 01:07:02 EDT   In a message dated 5/18/00 1:05:37 PM Eastern Daylight Time, desertbob@rglobal.net writes:   > "Is is easy to see how, with the rapid expansion of musical art during = the > 17th and 18th centuries, the demand for something more widely useful = than a > Mean-Tone Temperament soon became irresistible. Sebastian Bach began = to > tune his clavichords in EQUAL TEMPERAMENT so that his pupils might be = able > to play in all tonalities without frequent retunings. The celebrated = Well > Tempered Clavier, 48 Preludes and Fugues in each of the twelve major = and > minor tonalities, was the first fruit of this famous experiment in > Intonation." > > ---William Braid White, Mus.D., "Piano Tuning and Allied Arts", 5th = Ed., > 15th printing, Tuners Supply, Boston, 1972, pg. 243   With all due respect to William Braid, he is wrong! Just as much of the early information taught as gospel in the organ reform movement was erroneous, so is the above. He speaks of Equal Temperament and Well-Temperament as though they are one. They are not. The gentleman = is a victim of his age! Another example is a former "expert" on organ stops, =   Stevens Irwin.   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: temperaments From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 01:07:08 EDT   In a message dated 5/18/00 2:12:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Quilisma@socal.rr.com writes:   > For good or for ill, we probably CAN'T retreat from A=3D440 and equal > temperament, except in academic situations and/or churches that = practice a > very pure historical version of their liturgy and music (some LCMS > congregations that don't play or sing anything after Bach, maybe), but > those situations are a TINY minority.   Rubbish! I've heard and have used unequal temperaments in Presbyterian, Methodist, Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches, with excellent results = and no complaints from choir or parishoners.   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Death to Equal Temperament Society From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 01:07:14 EDT   In a message dated 5/18/00 10:35:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time, PipeLuvr@aol.com writes:   > This entire discussion has made me very greatful that my ear neither > recognizes or cues in on the instruments "temperament" ! ! ! Makes > listening to the MUSIC so enjoyable . . . :) Poor baby! You're missing so much beauty!   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: direct electric vs. electro-pneumatic vs... From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 01:07:10 EDT   In a message dated 5/18/00 8:44:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time, elmsr@albanyis.com.au writes:   > Bruce, conisder this; I could send you a recording of, say, six organs, = one > of > which is electronic, and if you picked correctly which one was a = "toaster" > as > you call them, > I would say that you were fortunate enough to have fluked the 1 in 6 chance > of > getting it right anyway! Whatever you may think of "them" they are now = very > good indeed!   Not to offend.... but please keep your recordings. Regardless of the initial source, they are all reproduced electronically, digitally, = whatever. I don't even like to listen to CDs for this reason, although I do occasionally. This kind of comparison proves nothing important.   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Syracuse Holtkamp From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 01:07:12 EDT   In a message dated 5/18/00 9:00:37 PM Eastern Daylight Time, jdoney@email.msn.com writes:   > As one of the many Poister students, I can verify that the Syracuse = Holtkamp > was an organ that could play anything.   A pedal piano can "play anything." Can the Syracuse Holtkamp play = anything AUTHENTICALLY??? I think not!   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: direct electric vs. electro-pneumatic vs... From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 01:07:11 EDT   Rebekah Ingram wrote: > Bruce said:> growth among organists. Being narrow minded is so > unproductive. > > ???!!! Am I missing something here?! I thought -you- were the one = being > narrow-minded! Somebody, pull me outta the water here, I'm -really- > confused....   I don't think I'm being narrow minded. I would like to see organs of = various styles in churches, schools, etc., representing various classic and = national styles, which includes American classic/equal temperament.   You folks are proposing that everying by the utilitarian, eclectic, American-classic/equal tempered variety. To me, THAT is narrow-minded.     Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502