> On 8 Feb 2018, at 10:39, David Kastrup <d...@gnu.org> wrote:
> "N. Andrew Walsh" <n.andrew.wa...@gmail.com> writes:
>> It is entirely acceptable to be a music hobbyist who enjoys a passing
>> familiarity with the classical tradition and is largely uninterested
>> in more … esoteric discussions of theory. It is absolutely *not* all
>> right to be spreading historical inaccuracies of this sort. The WTC is
>> extensively researched and discussed in musicological and historical
>> circles, sometimes heatedly, but the idea that Bach wrote it to prove
>> that Well Temperament sounded "awful" (or the much worse assertion,
>> that he wrote it to demonstrate *equal* temperament, a technological
>> and historical impossibility in the 18th century)
> Don't be silly.  Equal temperament most certainly is not
> "technologically impossible".  Tuners of organs and accordions versed in
> their art work by tuning a circle of fifths in a reference octave by
> getting the proper sequence of beatings corresponding to the desired
> temperament, then tune the other octaves in reference.

The first effective E12 tunings for piano arrived in the early 1900s—the idea 
was present in Ancient Greece, and something like it was used on lutes. A lot 
of tunings were studied using monochords, but they are too crude for the 
required fine tuning. So if equal temperament was technologically possible 
earlier, perhaps they did not see any point in it: a method to play equally 
harmonically bad in all keys.

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