UNEQUAL TEMPERAMENTS - A very peculiar book review

A review by Dr. Bradley Lehman of the 2nd edition of the UNEQUAL TEMPERAMENTS eBook (UT2) was published on The Viola da Gamba Society Journal (2009), Volume Three Part Two, in Dec. 2009. A detailed response of mine, "Unequal Temperaments: Revisited", was published in the same Journal, Volume Four, issued in January 2011. The complete issues can be downloaded from the VdGS Journal website. A much smaller download includes only the Unequal Temperaments: Revisited article, which explains the fundamental flaws of Lehman's review.

Lehman entitled his main paper (2005) "Bach's Extraordinary Temperament: Our Rosetta Stone" : there he proposed his "Bach's temperament". Later on Lehman fully rejected a thorough rebuttal of his methods and conclusions, published by highly respected scholars Mark Lindley and Ibo Ortgies (2006). Other well-known musicologists have also pinpointed basic flaws in Lehman's ideas: John O'Donnell in 2006, Peter Williams in 2007 and Rudolf Rasch in 2008.

In 2009 Lehman was upset—as he candidly acknowledged in his review of UT2—at my lack of endorsement for his "Bach temperament", and wrote the review as a frontal—and futile—attack against the UT2 book. In the process, Lehman employed a plethora of arguments contrary to well-established acoustic principles and current musicology. Now fully debunked in my response, but still unrepentant, in a webpage of his (at the end of the section entitled "Di Veroli 2008-9") Lehman has retorted stating (among other assertions easy to disprove) that I have misrepresented both his review and my own book! Thus Lehman has boldly moved, from the foggy battlefield of Bach's musical practice, into a controversy about the exact words in recently-published writings. Now anybody can collate UT2 book, review and rebuttal, and easily tell right from wrong. I wish Dr. Lehman good luck, for he will need it.

Claudio Di Veroli
Bray, Rep. Ireland, March 2011

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