Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Sound and Music. A Non-Mathematical Treatise on the Physical Constitution of Musical Sounds and Harmony
Taylor, Sedley
pianoforte something might be done, by having it, 
when intended to be used only in assisting vocal 
practice, put into perfect tune in one single key, and 
using that key only. 
The services of such an instrument would, no 
doubt, be comparatively very restricted, but this 
might not be without a corresponding advantage, if 
the vocalist were thereby compelled to rely a little 
more on his own unaided ear, lay aside his corks, and 
swim out boldly into the ocean of Sound. 
113. The musical notation in ordinary use evi¬ 
dently takes for granted a scale consisting of a 
limited number of fixed sounds. Moreover, it indi¬ 
cates, directly, absolute pitch, and, only indirectly, 
relative pitch. In order to ascertain the interval 
between any two notes on the stave, we must 
go through a little calculation, involving the clef, 
the key-signature, and, perhaps, in addition, ‘acci¬ 
dental’ sharps or flats. Now these are complica¬ 
tions, which, if necessary for pianoforte music, are 
perfectly gratuitous in the case of vocal music. The 
voice wants only to be told on what note to begin, 
and what intervals to sing afterwards, i.e. it is con- 
string having been tuned in unison with a common tonic of both 
systems, it was found that the intervals played by the eminent 
violinist agreed with those of the natural, not with those of the 
tempered, scale.


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