Oakham and Pythagorean tuning

nigelsdtaylor nigeltaylor at k...
Fri Jun 11 13:52:09 BST 2004

Cyril Johnston tended to cut heavily into the corner of the shoulder 
as this is the most responsive area for flattening the 2nd partial 
(Cyril called it the "strike"). Unfortunately, he sometimes made this 
area too thin.
At Oakham, he tuned the ring flat of Eb to 609Hz. The tenor cast with 
a sharp "strike" and the fact that he left it 2.5Hz. sharp suggests 
he was concerned with the shoulder thickness. The original tenor cast 
at 22-3-8 (49") and finished at 20-3-6, and the 7th 15-2-19 (43 
7/16") and 14-1-3. The new tenor and 7th cast at 27-0-24 (50 7/8") 
and 18-3-6 (44 3/4" and finished at 24-2-9 and 16-2-19 respectively. 
When I last rang there, the only weight chart to be seen was the 
On Pythagorean tuning, I would say that it is not a good system, 
mainly because the popular keys such as "C" major have the widest 
major 3rds, 6ths and leading notes. That said the intervals are only 
slightly worse than E.T. and there are 4 keys that have major 3rds 
slightly flat of just (by 2 cents). For all its limitations, 1/4 
comma mean-tone gives far better results than either Pythagorean or 
E.T. in the 6 good major keys.

Nigel Taylor

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