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Thread: Pitch, Well-Tempered Clavier, Key, Phytagoeran theory - need help putting them togeth

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    Default Pitch, Well-Tempered Clavier, Key, Phytagoeran theory - need help putting them togeth

    Hi,

    Could anyone please help me understand this?
    I've read some explanation about the history behind well-tempered clavier, that keyboard instrument before mid 18th century had problem with sonority as matching the 9/8 ratio for each note poses problem, it ends up having a higher note for an octave and so compromise has to be made.

    Now the question that I want to ask,
    I myself have an absolute pitch, and I notice though, while transposing a song from a key to another produce the seemingly same interval of notes, the feeling/atmosphere is however different.
    I read somewhere that Beethoven wrote Eroica symphony in Eb not for random reason, but for a certain reason, and I think I have to agree, symphony Eroica in, let say, G major, would lose its majestic feeling. That's why certain key is assigned to particular role, F and D for march, Bb for calmness, etc. This might sound subjective, but don't you think there's any scientifically reasonable explanation behind it (because of the compromise made between each note to accommodate the 2:1 ratio for an octave)?
    I wonder, what if, let say, the compromise of the ratio between notes is arranged in such a way, that the scale of, let say, G major, now is set based on the previous ratio between note applied for C major (and the compromise applied), would a Symphony Eroica in B flat, produce the same 'atmosphere' or 'feeling' as a Symphony Eroica in E flat in previous tuning?

    I'm sorry if my wording is confusing.
    Thanks

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    Junior Member drfaustus's Avatar
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    There are several opinions about that. If you talk about with a traditional music singer, He will say, It is the same. I up and down the songs as far as my voice reach.

    Why all requiems are in Dm? Tradition? It is according to Ethos theory to the ancient greeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drfaustus View Post
    There are several opinions about that. If you talk about with a traditional music singer, He will say, It is the same. I up and down the songs as far as my voice reach.

    Why all requiems are in Dm? Tradition? It is according to Ethos theory to the ancient greeks.
    If you forgive my laziness to search through literature available online, could you please explain further the ethos theory and its relation to that most requiem are in Dm? (I've never realized it before, but it's interesting that you point it out!)
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by drfaustus View Post
    I've tried accessing the link above from two different access point, unfortunately neither seem to work. Nevertheless, thank you for giving me a clue that perhaps later with in depth searching I'll eventually be able to unlock the answer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Limanjaya View Post
    Hi,

    Could anyone please help me understand this?
    I've read some explanation about the history behind well-tempered clavier, that keyboard instrument before mid 18th century had problem with sonority as matching the 9/8 ratio for each note poses problem, it ends up having a higher note for an octave and so compromise has to be made.

    Now the question that I want to ask,
    I myself have an absolute pitch, and I notice though, while transposing a song from a key to another produce the seemingly same interval of notes, the feeling/atmosphere is however different.
    I read somewhere that Beethoven wrote Eroica symphony in Eb not for random reason, but for a certain reason, and I think I have to agree, symphony Eroica in, let say, G major, would lose its majestic feeling. That's why certain key is assigned to particular role, F and D for march, Bb for calmness, etc. This might sound subjective, but don't you think there's any scientifically reasonable explanation behind it (because of the compromise made between each note to accommodate the 2:1 ratio for an octave)?
    I wonder, what if, let say, the compromise of the ratio between notes is arranged in such a way, that the scale of, let say, G major, now is set based on the previous ratio between note applied for C major (and the compromise applied), would a Symphony Eroica in B flat, produce the same 'atmosphere' or 'feeling' as a Symphony Eroica in E flat in previous tuning?

    I'm sorry if my wording is confusing.
    Thanks
    I think what you are getting at is "affekt," or differences unique to each key, which gives that key a particular "color" or feel. This was eliminated when equal temperament was finally achieved in the early 20th century.

    "Affekt" is only possible due to differences in INTERNAL RELATIONS within a scales, and as I am using the term, does not apply to absolute pitch. ET does away with differences within scales, making all internal relations the same.

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    Junior Member drfaustus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post

    "Affekt" is only possible due to differences in INTERNAL RELATIONS within a scales, and as I am using the term, does not apply to absolute pitch. ET does away with differences within scales, making all internal relations the same.
    “Affekt” is only possible in the Tonal World. In the Contemporary Music (Art Music) that uses absolute pitch, doesn’t exist this.

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    Junior Member JohnTozer's Avatar
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    After fifty years of studying, playing, singing and composing Western Classical, Romantic and Modern (20th & 21st) music I started learning Arabic music and playing an Oud. My arrogance and narrow attitudes changed over time and I opened up to more traditions and cultures. I realise that:
    "perfect pitch" is possession of an excellent memory for pitch conditioned by culture and experience
    "affekt" is tradition and culturally conditioned emotional response - there are good fMRI based research on this.
    Western tonalities - its scales and intervalic standards - are more melodically more limited than most other cultures, especially by the "even tempering" and "diatonic" tradition. Other traditions of quarter (or less) intervalic traditions are richer in melodic expression but less "big" in chordal constructions. This has also led to Western traditions being more limited rhythmically because chordal music demands a "movement or dance based" approach whereas other (say indian and Arabic) traditions tend more toward the Poetry and Text based music. For example most western songs of any genre are in dance rhythms (duple and triple), whereas in Arabic music for example based on poetry or story will employ a large variety of metres
    This is a massive subject and there are some great books written on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnTozer View Post
    After fifty years of studying, playing, singing and composing Western Classical, Romantic and Modern (20th & 21st) music I started learning Arabic music and playing an Oud. My arrogance and narrow attitudes changed over time and I opened up to more traditions and cultures. I realise that:
    "perfect pitch" is possession of an excellent memory for pitch conditioned by culture and experience
    "affekt" is tradition and culturally conditioned emotional response - there are good fMRI based research on this.
    Western tonalities - its scales and intervalic standards - are more melodically more limited than most other cultures, especially by the "even tempering" and "diatonic" tradition. Other traditions of quarter (or less) intervalic traditions are richer in melodic expression but less "big" in chordal constructions. This has also led to Western traditions being more limited rhythmically because chordal music demands a "movement or dance based" approach whereas other (say indian and Arabic) traditions tend more toward the Poetry and Text based music. For example most western songs of any genre are in dance rhythms (duple and triple), whereas in Arabic music for example based on poetry or story will employ a large variety of metres
    This is a massive subject and there are some great books written on it.
    I think "affekt" or differences in keys is due to tuning. Dr. Bradley Lehman (see site Larips.com) discovered Bach's personal "well" tuning, and I surmise that this tuning, due to the differences it creates between different key signatures, may have influenced the composition process. Examples of what I mean are differences in certain intervals within keys. C, G, and D major might all have really consonant fifths, some keys may have better minor or major thirds. Thus, a key which does not "sit" well on a major chord might influence an approach with more "runs" in it, and less stress on stationary or resting sonorities. Some keys might have better V chords, others might have better minor chords.

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