skip to content

Faculty of Music


Commas, Split Keys, and other Delights of Unequal Keyboard Tuning

The comma has caused considerable grief over the centuries because it’s the reason that keyboards can’t use pure intervals. The modern piano actually has no pure intervals. Efforts to deal with the comma have created sometimes ingenious, sometimes comical designs for keyboards and for tuning systems within the limits of our twelve-note octave. This talk explains the choices that were made to find a system that balanced competing demands of serviceability and beauty, and puts the choice of temperament for Cambridge’s newest organ into a musical and historical context.

Monday, 10 February, 2014 - 17:00 to 18:30
Event location: 
5.00pm, Cudworth Room, Faculty of Music