Well temperament tuning
The octave is divided into 12 units of unequal size. In well temperament some keys have more purity than others, providing a different character to each key.
- Unrestrictive, meaning that one can modulate freely throughout all the keys, yet maintaining the “charming and essential Variety Of Character, between the different keys” Lord Stanhope 1753-1816
- New research indicates that well temperament was the leading harpsichord and pianoforte tuning of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Composers of the period used these key characters or “colors” to great advantage; some of this is lost in modern day equal temperament.