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date: 26 January 2020

Meckenheuser, Johann Georg locked

  • Cecil Adkins


(b Goslar, 1666; d after 1726). German organist and theoretician . He was educated at the monastery at Hamersleben, where he was later organist. In 1727 he is known to have been the organist at the church of St Wiperti in Quedlinburg.

Meckenheuser’s one known work, Die sogenannte: Allerneueste, musicalische Temperatur (Quedlinburg, 1727), expounds a temperament based on an arithmetical division of the ditonic (Pythagorean) comma. Although seven of the 12 notes of the octave are slightly sharp, the division produces an adequate equal temperament. Meckenheuser, however, encountered difficulties in the practical application of his temperament. Adlung recounted a disastrous episode experienced by Meckenheuser when he tried to tune the organ at Goslar to his monochord: a fault not of the temperament, but of technique. The treatise was directed with considerable bitterness at Mattheson, who Meckenheuser claimed knew nothing of calculation and even less of musical temperament.

J. Adlung...

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