Eddy Mul The ‘Defect’ of Werckmeister
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 1, 29-32 [summary]

It is possible to discern three periods in the development of Andreas Werckmeister’s attitude toward temperament. In the first period (1681-1691), Werckmeister describes unequally tempered tuning systems. In the second period (1697-1698), he mentions the possibility of equal temperament. In the third period (1702-1707), Werckmeister prefers equal temperament, because it offers the possibility of modulating and transposing without bounds. Werckmeister interprets equal temperament as an example of the way devout and well-tempered humans can live with God in eternal harmony. The Pythagorean comma (the ‘defect’ in Werckmeister’s terms) has thus not only physical but also theological significance. This vision may have influenced Johann Sebastian Bach.