The Name of the Blog

I’ve been asked about the name of this blog. Why “The Well-Tempered Spreadsheet?”

The name alludes to Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, which illustrated the versatility of a newer tuning system with keyboard pieces in all major and minor keys. It is “generally regarded as one of the most influential works in the history of Western Classical Music.”

I may have been inspired by all the Bach we play in our house, or by the fact that my uncle, Jack Treynor, has been called the “Bach of Finance.”

Musical keyboards and spreadsheets have some similarities. Their arrays of keys or cells can be manipulated to create either junk or magic. It’s easy to jump right in and pound away, but what does it mean to do it well? I’ve confronted that question for many years, in both cases.

This blog is about financial modeling and math. It will not be confined to spreadsheets: more powerful tools will also be discussed. But “The Well-Tempered MATLAB” doesn’t have much of a ring to it, and “The Well-Tempered Model” sounds like a rarity in Milan.

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