A system of compromises in the tuning of organs, pianofortes, and the like, whereby the tones generated with the vibrations of a ground tone are mutually modified and in part canceled, until their number reduced to the actual practicable scale of twelve tones to the octave. This scale, although in so far artificial, is yet closely suggestive of its origin in nature, and this system of tuning, although not mathematically true, yet satisfies the ear, while it has the convenience that the same twelve fixed tones answer for every key or scale, C# becoming identical with Dþ, and so on.
The tuning scheme according to which the intervals between half-tones are adjusted to permit a variety of chords to be played on a keyboard instrument. Various temperaments have developed over the years some of which favor some chords at the expense of others. The most common is 'equal temperament' with each half- tone of equal size.
an adjustment of the intervals (as in tuning a keyboard instrument) so that the scale can be used to play in different keys
a modification of a tuning which requires radical numbers to express some or all of the ratios between notes
a set of chord relationships that provides this determination
a specific way of dividing the Pythagorean comma among the intervals of the octave
a way of breaking up the octave into its individual notes
(H.E.): a method of tuning that defines a closed system of a finite set of tones (such as twelve), some or all of which are tuned in a prescribed deviation from their pure ratios (in contradiction to just intonation, q.v.). In equal temperament (q.v.) all tones except the octave are tuned impure.
A way of tuning a diatonic scale to produce particular effects. See the entries for equal and meantone temperaments and just tuning.
A system of tuning where intervals are altered from those that are acoustically pure.