Challenging equal temperament : perceived differences between twelve-tone equal temperament and twelve fifth-tones tuning
DisciplineMusic, Mind and Technology (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Music, Mind and Technology
A listening experiment was arranged to evaluate perceptual preferences between two musical tuning systems: twelve-tone equal temperament (i.e. the current international standard) and twelve fifth-tones tuning. The latter being a system that, according to its author Maria Renold, provides a more accurate and aurally genuine reproduction of musical harmonics. Hence, it is considered a superior tuning method compared to the equal temperament tuning. 34 participants (mainly experienced musicians) evaluated realistic musical stimuli consisting of intervals, chords and simple musical sequences using a grand piano timbre. Results showed that the standard twelve-tone equal temperament system was found overall more in-tune, with ca. 68% of the participants preferred it over the twelve fifth-tones tuning. This is considered to be most likely due to enculturation affects, i.e. people have preferred the tonality that is more familiar to them. No evidence for the supposed aural genuineness of the Renold’s tuning systems was found. Instead, it may be concluded that intonation preferences in perceptual context are subject to high amounts of individual variation and clear definition of tonality preferences is often a difficult task. ...
Alternative titlePerceived differences between twelve-tone equal temperament and twelve fifth-tones tuning
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