After making my way home for a short break between Work A (the museum) and Work B (Sondheim's Assassins) I took a brief interlude to noodle on the piano as I often do. I opened up the first book of music that caught my eye, ever so carefully positioned my hands, and proceeded to strike out a few sonorous chords as one often does. This time, however, the chords struck back, with a harsh vengeance. I was awestruck. I could not believe what was happening—or at least, what I thought was happening—and immediately froze.
Don't worry, I was not physically injured by some manner of finger-chomping keys, but the implications of what happened might actually be far worse for my long-term health. Some time, some how—between working on tuning a piano this afternoon, and playing one this evening—a spiteful switch was inadvertently flipped somewhere in my subconscious that has rendered equal temperament entirely unbearable to my musical ear.
If so, why did it happen so suddenly, and with such an unfortunately-timed delay? Will it go away? What am I going to hear tomorrow if I sit down at the Wolf and try to play Beethoven? Will I be just as horrified listening to someone else plink out chords as I found myself? I am, at the same time, frightened and fascinated; what is the next step here? Short of buying some manner of complicated, enharmonic, micro-tonal control surface (or perhaps an archicembalo....) I suppose only time will reveal the extent and nature of this unsettling development. I still have a lot of equal temperament related work to finish, but for now I sit here consequentially frustrated with the fact that I cannot bring myself to do the one thing I do most often at home—play the piano.