Temperament: Werckmeister 3 vs Bach/Lehman, part 1





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Uploaded on May 6, 2008

A comparison of two possible temperaments for Bach's organ accompaniments in Leipzig. One is Andreas Werckmeister's most famous layout from a 1691 publication, and the other is a temperament I believe was Bach's own.

The organ was tuned a whole step higher than the rest of Bach's ensemble, and therefore the organist for cantatas and passions always had to read from a part transposed a step lower. This put him into keys with two more flats, or two fewer sharps, than the other players. (For example, in the F-sharp minor "Buss und Reu" heard here, the organist played in E minor.) What character comes into the music from the keyboard temperament?

Recording method: I played all the Werckmeister examples first, then spent about 10 minutes retuning the harpsichord (and changed shirts), then played everything again. The results are edited together here with commentary.

More resources: http://www.larips.com

Part 2 is here:

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