# Meantone

**Meantone** is a familiar historical temperament based on a chain of fifths (or fourths). The more technical part is discussed in meantone family in the context of the associated family of temperaments.

## History

Meantone was the dominant tuning used in Europe from around late 15th century to around early 18th century, after which various well temperaments and eventually 12-tone equal temperament won in popularity.

## Theory and classification

Meantone temperaments are based on two generating intervals; the octave and the fifth, from which all pitches are composed. This qualifies it as a rank-2 temperament. The octave is typically pure or close to pure, and the fifth is a few cents narrower than pure. The rationale for narrowing the fifth is to temper out the syntonic comma. This means that stacking four fifths (such as C-G-D-A-E) results in a major third (C-E) that is close to just.

Intervals in meantone have standard names based on the number of steps of the diatonic scale they span (this corresponds to the val ⟨7 11 16]), with a modifier {…"double diminished", "diminished", "minor", "major", "augmented", "double augmented"…} that tells you the specific interval in increments of a chromatic semitone. Note that in a general meantone system, all of these intervals are distinct. For example, a diminished fourth is a different interval from a major third.

### Septimal meantone

**Septimal meantone** or **7-limit meantone** is a natural extension of meantone which also addresses septimal intervals including but not limited to 7/4, 7/5, and 7/6. By extending the circle of fifths, consonant septimal intervals start to appear. For example, 7/4 is represented by an augmented sixth and is notably present in the augmented sixth chord.

See meantone vs meanpop for a comparison of undecimal (11-limit) extensions.

## Chords

Meantone induces didymic chords, the essentially tempered chords and associated progressions which are not found in other temperaments. Notably, the roots of the common chord progression vi-ii-V-I make up such a tetrad. Moreover, the dominant seventh chord and the half-diminished seventh chord can be seen as essentially tempered by septimal meantone.

## Scales

- EDO tunings

- Meantone5 – pentic scale in 31edo
- Meantone7 – diatonic scale in 19edo and 31edo
- Meantone12 – chromatic scale in 31edo

- Eigenmonzo tunings

- Meanwoo12 – chromatic scale in {5/4, 7/1}-eigenmonzo tuning
- Meanwoo19 – enharmonic scale in {5/4, 7/1}-eigenmonzo tuning
- Ratwolf – chromatic scale with 20/13 wolf fifth

- Others

- Meaneb471a – chromatic scale in equal beating tuning

## Tunings

Common meantone tunings can be classified into eigenmonzo tunings, EDO tunings, prime-optimized tunings and others. In eigenmonzo tunings such as the quarter-comma meantone, a certain interval is tuned pure and certain others are equally off. EDO tunings like 31edo have rational size relationship between steps, and happen to send an additional comma to unison. Prime-optimized tunings include TE, POTE, CTE, etc. For a more complete list, see the table below. These different tunings are referred to as "temperaments" in traditional terms.

- Eigenmonzo tunings

- 1/2 syntonic comma meantone – with eigenmonzo 10/9
- 1/3 syntonic comma meantone – with eigenmonzo 5/3
- 2/7 syntonic comma meantone – with eigenmonzo 25/24
- 1/4 syntonic comma meantone – with eigenmonzo 5/4
- 1/5 syntonic comma meantone – with eigenmonzo 15/8
- 1/6 syntonic comma meantone – with eigenmonzo 45/32
- Ratwolf tuning

- Prime-optimized tunings

- ~3/2 = 696.2387¢ – 5-limit POTE tuning
- ~3/2 = 697.2143¢ – 5-limit CTE tuning
- ~3/2 = 696.4949¢ – 7-limit POTE tuning
- ~3/2 = 696.9521¢ – 7-limit CTE tuning

- Other optimized tunings

- Golden meantone
- Tungsten meantone
- Mercury meantone
- Lucy tuning
- Equal beating tuning

### Tuning spectrum

Edo Generator |
Eigenmonzo (unchanged interval) |
Generator (¢) |
Comments |
---|---|---|---|

567/512 | 688.323 | 1/2 septimal comma | |

[16 -10⟩ | 690.225 | 1/2 Pythagorean comma, treating the eigenmonzo as a M2 | |

51/38 | 690.603 | ||

[-19 9 0 2⟩ | 691.049 | 2/5 septimal comma | |

10/9 | 691.202 | 1/2 comma | |

15\26 | 692.308 | ||

[31 -19⟩ | 692.571 | 2/5 Pythagorean comma, treating the eigenmonzo as a m2 | |

2048/1701 | 692.867 | 1/3 septimal comma | |

26\45 | 693.333 | ||

27/25 | 693.352 | 2/5 comma | |

19683/16384 | 694.135 | 1/3 Pythagorean comma, treating the eigenmonzo as a m3 | |

[-23 11 0 2⟩ | 694.165 | 2/7 septimal comma | |

56/45 | 694.651 | ||

28/27 | 694.709 | ||

81/70 | 694.732 | ||

11\19 | 694.737 | Lower bound of 7- and 9-odd-limit diamond monotone | |

6/5 | 694.786 | 1/3 comma | |

5103/4095 | 695.139 | 1/4 septimal comma | |

[27 -17⟩ | 695.252 | 2/7 Pythagorean comma, treating the eigenmonzo as an A1 | |

35/27 | 695.389 | ||

51\88 | 695.455 | ||

1\2 + 1\(4π) | 695.493 | Lucy tuning | |

9/7 | 695.614 | ||

[math]f^4 = 2f + 2[/math] | 695.630 | Wilson fifth | |

40\69 | 695.652 | ||

25/24 | 695.810 | 2/7 comma | |

36/35 | 695.936 | ||

54/49 | 695.987 | ||

29\50 | 696.000 | ||

8192/6561 | 696.090 | 1/4 Pythagorean comma, treating the eigenmonzo as a M3 | |

15/14 | 696.111 | ||

78125/73728 | 696.165 | 5-odd-limit least squares, 7/26 comma | |

(8 - φ)\11 | 696.214 | Golden meantone | |

49/45 | 696.245 | ||

19/17 | 696.279 | Classical meantone | |

47\81 | 696.296 | ||

7/6 | 696.319 | ||

19/16 | 696.340 | Meanpop mapping | |

17/16 | 696.344 | Meanpop mapping | |

48/35 | 696.399 | ||

[19 9 -1 -11⟩ | 696.436 | 9-odd-limit least squares | |

16384/15309 | 696.502 | 1/5 septimal comma | |

5/4 | 696.578 | 5-, 7-, and 9-odd-limit minimax, 1/4 comma | |

49/48 | 696.616 | ||

60/49 | 696.626 | ||

[-55 -11 1 25⟩ | 696.648 | 7-odd-limit least squares | |

18\31 | 696.774 | ||

35/32 | 696.796 | ||

8/7 | 696.883 | ||

49/40 | 696.959 | ||

7/5 | 697.085 | ||

75/64 | 697.176 | 2/9 comma | |

2187/2048 | 697.263 | 1/5 Pythagorean comma, treating the eigenmonzo as a m2 | |

43\74 | 697.297 | ||

21/16 | 697.344 | ||

(sqrt (10) - 2)\2 | 697.367 | Tungsten meantone | |

45927/32768 | 697.411 | 1/6 septimal comma | |

16/15 | 697.654 | 1/5 comma | |

25\43 | 697.674 | ||

64/63 | 697.728 | ||

21/20 | 697.781 | ||

20/17 | 697.929 | Treating the eigenmonzo as an A2 | |

1024/729 | 698.045 | 1/6 Pythagorean comma, treating the eigenmonzo as an A4 | |

[-17 9 0 1⟩ | 698.060 | 1/7 septimal comma | |

28/25 | 698.099 | ||

32\55 | 698.182 | ||

80/63 | 698.303 | ||

17/15 | 698.331 | Treating the eigenmonzo as a d3 | |

45/32 | 698.371 | 1/6 comma | |

39\67 | 698.507 | ||

256/243 | 698.604 | 1/7 Pythagorean comma, treating the eigenmonzo as an A1 | |

45/34 | 698.661 | Treating the eigenmonzo as an A3 | |

46\79 | 698.734 | ||

135/128 | 698.883 | 1/7 comma | |

17/16 | 699.009 | Treating the eigenmonzo as a m2 | |

25/21 | 699.384 | ||

24/17 | 699.500 | Treating the eigenmonzo as an A4 | |

18/17 | 699.851 | Treating the eigenmonzo as an A1 | |

7\12 | 700.000 | Upper bound of 7- and 9-odd-limit diamond monotone | |

18/17 | 700.209 | Treating the eigenmonzo as a m2 | |

19/16 | 700.829 | Treating the eigenmonzo as a m3 | |

31\53 | 701.887 | ||

3/2 | 701.955 | Pythagorean tuning | |

64/63 | 702.272 | ||

256/189 | 702.301 |