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News 2015: (US) Unquiet Thoughts Blog: Saturday morning quotes 5.29: Tempo and pitch I

Contributed by admin on Dec 06, 2015

"Once upon a time, early music was distinguished by two factors: 1) instruments are tuned to A=415, and 2) it must be played as fast as possible. In fact the two phenomena are somewhat related. When strings are slackened a bit they ...

do not project quite as well to the ears of those who were first trained on modern instruments, nor do they produce ringing, sustaining tones that we like to hear bouncing about a large and live acoustic. The apparent solution is to play faster in order to cover the endless lull between notes, and also to add excitement to a performance by pushing the tempo beyond the limits of historical accuracy, musical sense and good taste.

Reviewers and publicists advance the silliness by calling such performances ..."

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