1. Term denoting a system of tuning in which the various intervals are tempered or adjusted. The errors inherent in the chromatic scale of twelve half-steps are distributed among the intervals in such a way that each interval has a small error but none sounds offensive. 2. Loosely, that group of 13 or more notes in a piano, organ, or tuned percussion instrument which is first tempered during the tuning procedure. From this group of notes all other notes are tuned, directly or indirectly.