Bach's schematic, as it appears on the page, © Bradley Lehman, 2005-22, all rights reserved.
All musical/historical analysis here on the web site is the personal opinion of the author,
as a researcher of historical temperaments and a performer of Bach's music.

Responses to other people's published articles and books about this tuning

November 2006: I have prepared detailed responses to articles in the November issue of Early Music. Each response has its own page.

Duffin book November 2006: Ross W Duffin's new book, How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony, And Why You Should Care gives a good presentation of this temperament, along with broader musical issues for non-keyboard instruments. W W Norton, ISBN 10: 0-393-06227-9, ISBN 13: 978-0-393-06227-4.

See also Duffin's web letter to readers of the book offering listening examples: comparing this Bach temperament with equal temperament, in music by Wagner/Liszt, Brahms, Debussy, and Gershwin.

  • December 2007: My response to Miklos Spanyi's article "Kirnberger's Temperament and its Use in Today's Musical Praxis" (May 2007) is on the Bach temperaments page. It does take a gratuitous shot at my temperament, in an outrageously funny and meaningless endnote (that it's like being stuck in economy class, cramped next to a fat person!), but my main objections to the article are both musical and historical.... There is also a YouTube video where I demonstrate how this Kirnberger temperament sounds in Bach's music in C major.
  • July 2008: My response to Peter Williams's newest book, J. S. Bach: A Life in Music (Cambridge, 2007), is on the Bach temperaments page. He makes some thin (and untenable) assertions about retuning the instrument from piece to piece when studying the WTC, and about this "not requiring great skill". But, it doesn't address the fact that most of the preludes and fugues in the WTC go beyond 12 different notes, each, in their enharmonic requirements!
  • August 2008: Response to Bernhard Billeter's article "Zur 'Wohltemperirten' Stimmung von Johann Sebastian Bach: Wie hat Bach seine Cembali gestimmt?" (Ars Organi, March 2008, pp 18-21).
  • November 2009: Response to Claudio Di Veroli's e-book Unequal Temperaments: Theory, History and Practice (2008-9).
  • January 2010: "Unequal Temperaments", The Viola da Gamba Society Journal vol 3 part 2 (2009), 137-163. This is my fuller response to di Veroli's book. I also address some recent argumentation about Bach keyboard temperament, and debunk the 1979 analytical methodology of John Barnes. [PDF]
  • January 2011 - "Unequal Temperaments: Revisited" (correspondence section of the journal), Claudio di Veroli, The Viola da Gamba Society Journal vol 4 (2010), 164-182. I reviewed di Veroli's book more than a year ago, at his invitation, assessing it at face value as a stand-alone resource in this field. I took five months to read the book closely, and in doing that, I found the book weak or misleading in all the ways that I described in my review. It was not a personal attack against di Veroli, in any way; I merely pointed out the serious problems that I found with the writing, the reasoning, and the way sources were used (or important ones omitted). My review was published in January 2010; see above. Di Veroli has evidently misunderstood both my review and my intent, profoundly.

    This new piece is di Veroli's 19-page rejection of my 27-page review. He puts up a defense of his book. He defends things he didn't put into his book, yet expects that reviewers ought to have known, somehow: about himself, his private library, his own earlier but out-of-print writing, and his personal abilities. He also launches variously fallacious and misleading criticism against me and my reviewing style, as if that somehow validates his book. (Since when is it appropriate, or meaningful, to attack a reviewer as personally unworthy, and then pass that off as a defense against the objective points that were made in the review?) [PDF of the whole issue] [PDF of di Veroli's correspondence alone]

    Some handy resources for seeing through di Veroli's fallacies of argumentation, both in the Unequal Temperaments book and in his rebuttal to my criticism: [Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies at] [Michael Shermer's list of 25 frequently-encountered fallacies (originally from his book Why People Believe Weird Things, 1997)]

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