How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (Hardcover)

And Why You Should Care

By Ross W. Duffin

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393062274, 196pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2006

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (10/1/2008)

List Price: 25.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


For nearly a century, equal temperament--the practice of dividing an octave into twelve equally proportioned half-steps--has held a virtual monopoly on the way in which instruments are tuned and played. In his new book, Duffin explains how we came to rely exclusively on equal temperament by charting the fascinating evolution of tuning through the ages. Along the way, he challenges the widely held belief that equal temperament is a perfect, "naturally selected" musical system, and proposes a radical reevaluation of how we play and hear music.