Modern Masters of Meantone

One may well claim that composing in meantone is not much of a trick, since meantone music is music in standard musical notation, performed without recourse to enharmonic equivalencies. Simply take a piece exactly as notated in a standard score, perform it in a meantone tuning, and a master of meantone is born. However, such a procedure is more justified for some scores than for others. Not only may a composer insist, as Schoenberg seems to have been the first to do, that a piece must be played in equal temperament, a piece may also make use of enharmonic equivalencies in an essential way, a technique pioneered by Beethoven. Such a piece may require careful adaptation and some compromise to move neatly to a meantone tuning.

However, up until the nineteenth century common practice music was all of the sort which can in a natural way be given a meantone tuning, albeit sometimes one requiring more than twelve meantone notes to an octave. And such music continues to be written--not only in popular music, where it can be found everywhere, but in modern art music. Until recently such music went unheard, because the conservative harmonic language involved was deemed unworthy, by the people in charge of deeming, of being heard. The Internet has changed that; the only difficulty is that the people who go to concerts and complain that no one writes real music any more don't know this. Below I links to pages of some modern musical conservatives; tuned as conservative music ought to be in the harmonic language of Renaissance and early Modern period of common practice European music. Because of complaints about my use of the ogg compression format, these files are mp3 encoded. This means to get the same high fidelity the files must be even larger, but such is the price of regress.

Wayne Peppercorn Shawn Beard