DIMENSIONS: FORM / Guide
Characteristic or Habitual Inclination or Mode of Emotional Response . . . . A characteristic Cast of Mind or State of Feeling: Disposition . . . . Calmness of mind: Composure, Equanimity, Character . . . . Characteristic tone: Trend, Tendency . . . . High quality of mind or spirit: Courage, Mettle . . . . Extremely high Sensibility . . . .
State of feeling or frame of mind at a particular time usu. dominated by a single strong emotion . . . . Heat of Mind or Emotion: proness to anger: Passion . . . . Excessive Sensitiveness . . . . Irritability . . . . Impulsive changes of Mood . . . . Unpredictable in Behavior or Performance . . . .
Adjustment, Modification, Compromise . . . . Middle Course, Mean . . . . To Moderate, Mix, Dilute, Qualify, Soften . . . . Exercise control over . . . . Govern, Restrain, Mollify - Soften, Harden, Anneal, Toughen, Make Stronger and more Resilient . . . . Put in Tune with something . . . . Attune
C O N S I D E R A T I O N S
The adjustment of the imperfect sounds of the scale, by transferring a part of the defects to the more perfect ones, in order to remedy, in some degree, the false intervals of the organ, pianoforte, and similar instruments, whose sounds are fixed; that equalization of the intervals, in tuning, which brings their whole system as near as possible to that of the diatonic scale. That equalization, or tempering of the twelve sounds included in an octave, which renders all the scales equally in tune; the imperfection being divided equally amongst the whole. The division of the octave into twelve equal semi-tones, in defiance of the law of nature, which demands a different proportion. The introduction of equal temperament was a modification of the scale of nature that alone made music on keyed instruments practicable. The scale of true intonation, with its varying intervals, beautiful in progressions and harmonies, and eminently fitted for the vocalist, or violinist, could only be employed on the organ when modulation was absent, and the work remained entirely [or nearly so] in one key. By the simple device of dividing the octave into twelve equal semitones, Willaert [about 1550] solved a problem that, although not of vast importance in his day, when modulations were but sparingly used, became each century of greater dimensions. This reform, because of the reason stated, was but slowly adopted by the world. As the field of music began to enlarge, a system of partial temperament was adopted which allowed the organist to play in a few keys closely related to F and C, without getting discordantly out of tune, but such keys as F# major, Db major, etc., were deemed altogether unnecessary, and were not used until a much later epoch. The tuning which is at present employed by all civilized nations is a compromise. The octave which must always be taken as a true interval, its upper note vibrating twice as fast as its lower, is divided into twelve equal semi-tones, all a trifle out of tune but none distressingly so, and this tempered scale as it is called, admits of the use of all the twenty-four major and minor keys with equal facility. This system of equal temperament was advocated as early as the sixteenth c. by Willaert, Zarlino, and others; but it was not thoroughly adopted until J. S. Bach, in his noble collections of preludes and fugues entitle: "The Well-tempered Clavichord," proved the practicability of the system, by writing compositions in all of the different keys, where before only a very limited number had been employed. The "Well-tempered Clavichcord," Part I, was given to the world in 1722, and Part II, in 1742, and settled the matter of the division of the scale forever, for from this epoch dates the beginning of freedom of modulation...... [English Musical Terms of Tempo or Expression, with their Italian Equivalents [pp. 302-306]. [Elson, Louis C. Professor of Theory of Music at the New England Conservatory of Music. Elson's Music Dictionary. Boston: Oliver Ditson Co. MCMV. p. 257]
R E F E R E N C E S
Temperament n [ME, fr. L temperamentum, fr. temperare to mix, temper] [15c] 1 obs a: constitution of a substance, body, or organism with respect to the mixture or balance of its elments, qualities, or parts: Makeup b: complexion 2 obs A: Climate b: Temperature 2 3a: the peculiar or distinguishing mental or physical character determined by the relative proportions of the humors according to medieval physiology b: characteristic or habitual inclination or mode of emotional response [a nervous __ ] c: extremely high sensibility: esp: excessive sensitiveness or irritability 4a: the act or process of tempering or modifying: Adjustment, compromise b: middle course: mean 5: the process of slightly modifying the musical intervals of the pure scale to produce a set of 12 equally spaced tones to the octave which enables a keyboard instrument to play in all keys
-syn See Disposition
Temperamental adj  1: of, relating to or arising from temperament: Constitutional [__ peculiarities] 2a: marked by excessive sensitivity and impulsive changes of mood [a __ child] b: unpredictable in behavior or performance.
1 Temper vt tempered; tempering [ME, fr. OE & OF; Oe temprian & OF temprer, fr. L temperare to moderate, mix, temper; prob. akin to L tempor-, tempus time] [bef. 12c] 1: to dilute, qualify, or soften by the addition or influence of something else: Moderate [__ justice with mercy] 2 archaic a: to exercise control over: Govern, Restain b: to cause to be well disposed: Mollify [ --ed and reconciled them both -Richard Steele] 3: to bring to a suitable state by mixing in or adding a usu. liquid ingredient: as a: to mix [clay] with water or a modifier [as grog] and knead to a uniform texture b: to mix oil with [colors] in making paint ready for use 4a (1): to soften (as hardened steel or cast iron) by reheating at a lower temperature (2): to harden [as steel] by reheating and cooling in oil b: to anneal or toughen [glass] by a process of gradually heating and cooling 5: to make stronger and more resilient though hardship: Toughen [troops --ed in battle] 6a: to put in tune with something: Attune b: to adjust the pitch of [a note, chord, or instrument] to a temperament
2 Temper n 1a archaic: a suitable proportion or balance of qualities: a middle state between extremes: Mean, Medium [virtue is ... a just __ between propensities -T.B. Macaulay] b archaic: Character, Quality [the __ of the land you design to sow -John Mortimer] c: characteristic tone: Trend, Tendency [the __ of the times] d: high quality of mind or spirit: Courage, Mettle 2a: the state of a substance with respect to certain desired qualities [as hardness, elasticity, or workability]: esp: the degree of hardness or resiliency given steel by tempering b: the feel and relative solidity of leather 3a: a characteristic cast of mind or state of feeling: Disposition b: calmness of mind: Composure Equanimity c: state of feeling or frame of mind at a particular time usu. dominated by a single strong emotion d: heat of mind or emotion: proness to anger: Passion 4: a substance [as a metal] added to or mixed with something else [as another metal] to modify the properties of the latter thing else [as another metal] to modify the properties of the latter
-Syn See Disposition
Temperate adj [ME termperat, F. L temperatus, fr. pp. of Temperare] [14c] 1: marked by moderation: as a: keeping or held within limits: not extreme or excessive: Mild b: moderate in indulgence of appetite or desire c: moderate in the use of intoxicating liquors d: marked by an absence or avoidance of extravagance, violence, or extreme partisanship: Restrained 2a: having a moderate climate b: found in or associated with a moderate climate [ __ insects] 3: exiting as a prophage in infected cells and rarely causng lysis [ __ bacteriophages....
[Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition. Springfield, MA, USA: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1995.]
The contents of this site, including all images and text, are for personal, educational, non-commercial use only. The contents of this site may not be reproduced in any form without proper reference to Text, Author, Publisher, and Date of Publication [and page #s when suitable].