Musical Temperament

• Nov 16, 2013 - 17:16

For pieces that don't change key and that use few accidentals, if any, it might be fun to play them -- in MIDI -- in Just Intonation, so the chords ring true. I guess this would require a plug-in.

For this to work well, I'd have to tell the plug-in the key of the piece. It would be even cooler if I could switch temperaments during the performance. For example, Just Intonation might work for many bars, then maybe I'd need to switch to equal temperament for a few bars, then change to Just Intonation in a different key, and so on.

I looked over the list of plug-ins. I don't understand all of them, but as far as I can tell, no such plug-in exists. Am I correct?

It's possible I could manually adjust pitches with an existing plug-in. I'm not sure how laborious this would be.

I'm new to MuseScore and not a very skilled musician, so I'm getting out of my depth here. Any comments? Is this feature on anyone's wish list?


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you, JoJo. I read the article about the old plug-in. It does allow user-defined temperament, so I guess that's a start.

I couldn't find the plug-in, that was a little confusing, but I don't know how to user-define temperament in any case. The plug-in appears to work on up to three notes on one staff. I'm wondering about a temperament plug-in that has already defined note frequencies in Just Intonation for all possible keys, for all notes in use.

Does anyone else wish for this?

In reply to by Timborino

Long ago I wrote a plug-in for dealing with temperaments, which can be (possibly? probably?) found here . It was working with ver. 1.1; i have no idea if it works with 1.2 and/or 1.3

In any case, development of this plug-in is suspended, as I'm reworking it for next version (2.0).

Thanks for your interest,


You can create your own historically authentic videoscores (e.g. using Bach/Lehman "Well-Tempered Clavier" Temperament) using Pianoteq (i.e. software-modelled piano). Find the portable version below) and loading a .scl (scala file) i.e. a file that contains the intervallic cent values from the first note of the scale. The .scl file containing the 12-note equal Temperament chromatic scale would look something like this: (This .scl file is JUST a plain text file with .scl extension)

! Equal Temperament.scl
Equal Temperament

so this means: 100 cents (i.e. one E.Tempered semitone) for the second note counting from the first note of the scale or tonic, 200 cents for the third note -counting from the first note, 300 cents for the fourth note -counting from the first note, etc.

The FINALLY CORRECTED Bach/Lehman WTC temperament .scl file is this (It contains the interval values in cents for the second to the upper octave, in the same fashion as the Equal emperament example bove) I have worked it out reading a lot from Lehamn. More on that later).

! Lehman 1722-Bach.scl
Bach/Lehman 1722, WTC temperament after Bach's signet
Download Pianoteq:

Download Pianoteq (Portable version): for when you're "out and about"

What is Scala (software programme)

Melodyne (Portable version):

Load a wav 16 bit WAV file and change the pitch of individual notes, change the tuning system to a different temperament, then save it as a midi:

You can choose from over 4000 scales including many historical temperaments just:

1) Download this zip file

2) and uncompress it.

3) Open Pianoteq and Click on the Tuning panel, click on "equal" under scale and select "load form computer" to load the scale (.scl file)

See the pictures to clarify these instructions:
Select Pianoteq and click trial


Close Welcome window.
PianoteqCloese Welcome window.jpg

click on Tuning panel on the left
It will open this options. - Next to "diapason" click on the small icon Mu.jpg Greek letter for "Micro-" click on equal unde scale and select load from file



Here is a short description of these 4000+ scales

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