Musicology Seminar (a)


Week 10: Temperaments

Essay Title

  1. The forty-eight preludes and fugues of the Well Tempered Clavier ‘exploit [the] availability of all twenty-four keys made possible by [the] recently developed tuning method called “Equal Temperament”‘
    (, accessed 16-11-18). Discuss.


  1. Thomas Donahue, A Guide to Musical Temperament (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2005) (library)

  2. Stuart Isacoff, Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilisation (London: Faber, 2002) (library)

  3. Ross Duffin, How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care) (New York: Norton, 2007) (library)

  4. Bradley Lehman, ‘Bach’s Extraordinary Temperament: Our Rosetta Stone’, Early Music, 33 (2005), 3–24, 211–32 (jstor)

  5. John Barnes, ‘Bach’s Keyboard Temperament: Internal Evidence from the Well-Tempered Clavier’ in Baroque Music, ed. Peter Walls (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011) (library)

  6. John Koster, ‘Questions of Keyboard Temperament in the Sixteenth Century’ in Interpreting Historical Keyboard Music: Sources, Contexts and Performance, ed. Andrew Woolley and John Kitchen (Abingdon: Routlege, 2016) (library)