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The Use of Meantone Temperament in the Performance of Keyboard Music by Johann Jacob Froberger

Yamamoto, Masumi (2015) The Use of Meantone Temperament in the Performance of Keyboard Music by Johann Jacob Froberger. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The music of Johann Jacob Froberger (1616-1667) poses challenges for the performer when selecting an appropriate tuning system. Froberger lived at a time when meantone temperaments were commonly used on keyboard instruments, but many scholars today consider it appropriate to play his music in temperaments that appeared later, because certain notes found in his works do not fit the traditional meantone framework. In meantone temperaments, only 12 notes are available per octave because some enharmonic notes and intervals are so far from pure that they are unusable. Composers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries understood the limitations of prevalent temperaments but some chose to expand those limits either by using notes that lie beyond the normal disposition of meantone, or by making use of the ‘harsh’-sounding intervals. This study examines the music of Froberger and investigates how best to tune the harpsichord for selected works. The works chosen for the purpose of this study contain notes beyond the 12 that are typically available in meantone temperament. The study suggests effective ways to tune the harpsichord in order to give convincing performances. The dissertation is divided into three chapters. It contains information on historical temperaments; instruments from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries particularly those with divided keys and the music written for them; instruments that may have been known to Froberger; internal evidence in Froberger's works that might identify features of the instruments he had in mind; and case studies of Froberger's music discussing intervals and notes in context, and suggestions on tuning and interpretation. This study will be of assistance to performers exploring the music of Froberger, by highlighting issues to consider when choosing a particular way to tune the harpsichord, and how this may affect interpretation and performance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Froberger, Harpsichord, Organ, Temperament, Meantone, Early Music, Keyboard Music, Split-Key
Academic Units: The University of York > Music (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.680954
Depositing User: Ms Masumi Yamamoto
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 16:03
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12055

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