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TEMPERAMENT.
247
fixed tones, as to produce, on the whole, the least possible departure from true intonation.
The limited number of fixed tones just referred to is almost always twelve to the Octave.
The systems of Temperament, which have been most extensively used in Modern Music are Equal Temperament and Mean Tone Temperament.
Mean Tone Temperament. Chief features:
(1)  The Major Thirds are true.
(2)  The Fifths are comma flat.
(3)  There is no distinction between the Greater and Smaller Tone.
When there are but 12 tones to the Octave, however, (1) and (2) are true in only half-a-dozen keys.
The great disadvantage of this temperament is, that only music in a limited number of keys can be performed on instruments tuned according to this system.
Equal Temperament. Chief features:
The above facts are true in all keys.
The chief advantage of this temperament is, that music in all keys can be performed on instruments tuned according to this system ; that is to say, all keys are equally good or equally bad.
Though it is impossible to obtain true intonation from instruments with but twelve fixed tones to the Octave, yet in the case of the Voice, Violin, and other instruments which may be made to produce tones of any desired pitch, it seems self-evident that true intonation should be the thing aimed at; inasmuch as it is just as easy with these instruments to make the intervals true as to make them false, provided the ear of the performer has not been already vitiated by the tempered intervals.