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Encyclopedia > Microtonal music
19 scale piano
19 scale piano

Microtonal music is music using microtonesintervals of less than an equally spaced semitone, or as Charles Ives put it, the "notes between the cracks" of the piano. A looser definition includes anything not in 12-tone equal temperament, while a stricter definition distinguishes between microtonal music (which can take 12-tone equal temperament as an audible basis), and xenharmonic music (which does not). Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 305 pixelsFull resolution (1968 × 751 pixel, file size: 174 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 305 pixelsFull resolution (1968 × 751 pixel, file size: 174 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... In music theory, an interval is the difference (a ratio or logarithmic measure) in pitch between two notes and often refers to those two notes themselves (otherwise known as a dyad). ... An equal temperament is a musical temperament — that is, a system of tuning intended to approximate some form of just intonation — in which an interval, usually the octave, is divided into a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios). ... A semitone (also known in the USA as a half step) is a musical interval. ... Charles Edward Ives (October 20, 1874 – May 19, 1954) was an American composer of classical music. ... Xenharmonic music describes all tuning systems, and music using those systems, that do not use or approximate the common European twelve-tone equal temperament. ...

Contents

Terminology

The term microtonal music may refer only to music which sounds audibly different from conventional Western music. According to this definition, five-limit diatonic just intonation and meantone temperament may not qualify as microtonal, while Indonesian music does, but not Indian classical music. In Music theory, the diatonic major scale (also known as the Guido scale), from the Greek diatonikos or to stretch out, is a fundamental building block of the European-influenced musical tradition. ... In music, just intonation, also called rational intonation, is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by ratios of whole numbers. ... Meantone temperament is a system of musical tuning. ...


By another definition, microtonal music may refer to all music which contains intervals smaller than the conventional semitone. The idea here is that the music contains microtones, i.e., very small intervals. By this definition, the following systems are not microtonal: a diatonic scale in any meantone tuning; much Indonesian gamelan music; and Thai, Burmese, and African music which use 7 approximately equally spaced tones in each (approximate) octave. A semitone (also known in the USA as a half step) is a musical interval. ... Gamelan - Indonesian Embassy in Canberra A gamelan is a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and vocalists may also be included. ...


An alternative term is xenharmonic music, saying that microtonal music should refer only to music which departs in any way from the conventional 12 exactly equal pitches of current theoretical Western usage. Xenharmonic music would tend to include essentially all of the world's non-western music. From the point of this view the term microtonal music may exclude quarter-tone and sixth- and eighth-tone music from consideration as microtonal, since it is based wholly on the 12 equal pitches of contemporary Western tuning. However, this definition is seldom used, and several very active schools of "microtonal music", such as those in Boston, Den Haag, Salzburg, and the spectral school in France are based on exactly such subdivisions of the conventional semitone. Xenharmonic is fairly recent broad musical term used to refer to tuning systems or music using those systems not using the common twelve-tone equal temperament. ... Spectral music (or spectralism) is a musical genre or movement originating in France in the 1970s and characterized by the use of computer analysis of sound wave components as the basis for composition. ...


Usage

One reason microtonalists explore alternate tunings is that each unique even or uneven division of the octave or non-octave or octave+fifth etc. gives a new world of intervallic connections and herewith musical content. Just intonation scales like Partch's 43 tone unequal scale start with the diatonic Western scale, and many of them extend it, in Partch's case up to the 11th partial. Some like the 19 tone or 31 tone equal scales may be used close to diatonic scales, but extend them considerably. Other divisions of the octave do not support the diatonic basis for Western musical notation and tonal theory, but have other equally viable intervallic relationships. The 43-tone scale is a just intonation scale with 43 pitches in each octave invented and used by Harry Partch. ... An overtone is a sinusoidal component of a waveform, of greater frequency than its fundamental frequency. ... In music, 19 equal temperament, called 19-tet, 19-edo, or 19-et, is the scale derived by dividing the octave into 19 equally large steps. ... In music, 31 equal temperament, called 31-tet, 31-edo, or 31-et, is the scale derived by dividing the octave into 31 equally large steps. ...


History

The earliest music of which a written record exists anywhere on earth appears to be the Hurrian Hymn. This music was probably microtonal, though interpretation of the Hurrian records has been disputed. The word Hurrian may refer to: An ancient people of the Near East, the Hurrians. ...


The Hellenic civilizations of ancient Greece also left fragmentary records of their music—c.f., the Delphic Hymns. Of the tuning of ancient Greek music we have a comprehensive record, courtesy of Aristoxenos' surviving text on music. The ancient Greeks divided the octave into two sets of tetrachords—that is to say, four-note scales placed one above the other. The placement of individual pitches within these two stacked tetrachords determined the seven notes of the Greek tuning within the octave. Greeks recognized three genera of tetrachords: the enharmonic, the chromatic, and the diatonic. According to Archytas, all employed unequal pitches to the octave. Each of these 3 genera used what we today would call just intonation, i.e., they are defined by ratios of integers. On the other hand, Aristoxenos asserted a primacy of the ear's perception over intervals resulting from abstract calculation. Aristoxenos abandoned the description of intervals as the ratios of integers, describing the division of the tetrachord in terms of unit divisions, which some scholars have identified as a protype for an equal temperament, but were more likely not to have been understood by Aristoxenos as units with precise values but rather as units describing a small but audibly perceptable distance in pitch space as realized on a monochord. While the chromatic and the diatonic genera sound very similar to the contemporary Western tuning used today, the Greek enharmonic genus made prominent use of an approximate quartertone. Thus the Greek enharmonic genus qualifies as a distinctively microtonal tuning whichever way we define microtonality. The Delphic Hymns are two musical compositions from Ancient Greece, which survive in substantial fragments. ... Aristoxenus of Tarentum (4th century BC) was a Greek peripatetic philosopher, and writer on music and rhythm. ... The tetrachord is a concept of music theory borrowed from ancient Greece. ... Archytas Archytas (428 BC - 347 BC) was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, strategist and commander-in-chief. ... In music, just intonation, also called rational intonation, is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by ratios of whole numbers. ... The integers are commonly denoted by the above symbol. ... The enharmonic genus has historically been the most mysterious and controversial of the three Greek genera. ... A quarter tone is an interval half as wide (aurally, or logarithmically) as a semitone, which is half a whole tone. ...


As Joel Mandelbaum has pointed out in his PhD thesis "Multiple Division Of the Octave and the Tonal Resources of the 19 Tone Temperament" (1960), scholarship done on the Montpellier Codex suggests that it records microtonal tunings, probably the Greek enharmonic. Thus the evidence appears to show that microtonal tunings survived and were commonly used late into the medieval period. Joel Mandelbaum (born in 1932) is an american composer and a teacher. ... The Montpellier Codex (Montpellier, Bibliothèque Inter-Universitaire, Section Médecine, H196) is an important source of 13th century French polyphony. ...


Meantone tunings date from the early 1490s, as scholars such as Richard Taruskin and Patrizio Barbieri have pointed out. Since Pietro Aron meantone tuning became extremely common and was considered to represent "correct" tuning throughout Europe until 1750 and in England and Spain until 1850. Such meantone tunings sound similar to, but more harmonious than, conventional Western tunings of 12 equal pitches per octave, when performed on an instrument limited to 12 pitches per octave, as long as the composer restricts his/herself to a narrow compass of musical keys close to the root note of the tuning (i.e., if the meantone tuning is tuned starting with C, the keys close to C major will sound like a more harmonious take on conventional Western music; distant keys, however, like Eb minor, will contain highly audibly exotic and sometimes discordant musical intervals.) Some early composers, however, deliberately wandered far afield from the root note of meantone tunings, producing highly microtonal effects in typical renditions of their music. One prominent example is "Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La" by the British virginal composer John Bull (composed sometime between the 1580s and 1610, and included in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book). Such extensive modulation in meantone tuning on a 12-note-per octave instrument sounds "wolf" fifths and other exotic musical intervals not found in contemporary Western music using 12 equal pitches per octave, and probably qualifies as "microtonal" music (depending on the specific definition of microtonality). Richard Taruskin is an American musicologist and music historian specializing in theory of performance, Russian music, fifteenth-century music, twentieth-century music, nationalism, theory of modernism, and analysis. ... Pietro Aron (also Pietro Aaron), c. ... John Bull (1562 or 1563–March 15, 1628) was an Welsh composer, musician, and organ builder. ...


However, if more than 12 pitches per octave are allowed, meantone tuning can be extended to sound harmonious (and possibly not microtonal) in more and more keys, eventually distinguishing keys that sound identical in 12-equal (like F# major and Gb major). It was quite common in the heyday of meantone tuning to find keyboards with "split" keys or special organ stops, often allowing 13-16 pitches per octave of meantone tuning. In this way music by Handel and many other composers could be played in meantone tuning, maintaining smooth harmony and conventional-sounding melody even as the music modulated to distant keys. Teachers of string instruments, including Leopold Mozart, and of wind instruments, including Quantz, expected their students to distinguish all enharmonic pairs of pitches (like F# and Gb) in their playing, with the sharpened version of one diatonic tone being played lower than the flattened version of the next diatonic tone up. So composers in the meantone era who restricted their harmonic compass were doing so largely because they were writing for keyboard or an ensemble that included a keyboard. HANDEL was the code-name for the UKs National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. ... Leopold Mozart Johann Georg Leopold Mozart (November 14, 1719 – May 28, 1787) was a composer, music teacher and violinist. ... Johann Joachim Quantz (January 30, 1697–July 12, 1773) was a German flutist, flute maker and composer. ...


Many tunings of meantone temperament can be made to close in a manageable number of notes per octave (12-tone equal temperament is one example). The 1/3-comma and 1/4-comma meantones close very nearly in 19 and 31 tones per octave, respectively, with better approximations to the 5-limit thirds and sixths of the diatonic scale than can be found on modern 12-tone instruments. Several French composers of the 17th century made use of this fact by designing keyboards for 19 equal intervals to the octave, which could be played in all keys with no "wolf" intervals. 17th-century scientist and musician Christiaan Huygens promoted the use of 31-equal, which also allows meantone in all keys without "wolves", but with better approximations of 7-limit intervals than in 19-equal. Huygens advocated the use of the just seventh, with pitch ratio 7/4. This interval is very well approximated in 31-equal. In the 20th century, a Dutch school of microtonalists arose around Adriaan Fokker, which sought to use the novel resources of Huygens' 31-tone system as fundamental features of new musical forms, and not merely according to their established functions in common-practice tonality. Many Dutch composers were associated with this school, including Fokker himself under a pseudonym; the best-known was probably Henk Badings. Equal temperament is a scheme of musical tuning in which an interval, usually the octave, is divided into a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios), forming an equal division of the octave. ... Just intonation tunings and scales can be described by giving an upper bound on the complexity of the harmonies admitted by the tuning or scale. ... Christiaan Huygens (pronounced in English (IPA): ; in Dutch: ) (April 14, 1629 – July 8, 1695), was a Dutch mathematician, astronomer and physicist; born in The Hague as the son of Constantijn Huygens. ... Just intonation tunings and scales can be described by giving an upper bound on the complexity of the harmonies admitted by the tuning or scale. ... Adriaan Daniël Fokker (Buitenzorg, Dutch East Indies (now Bogor, Indonesia), August 17, 1887–Beekbergen (near Apeldoorn), September 24, 1972) was a Dutch physicist and musician. ... Henk Badings (January 17, 1907 - June 26, 1987) was a Dutch composer. ...


Guillaume Costeley's "Chromatic Chanson", "Seigneur Dieu ta pitié" of 1558 used 1/3 comma meantone and explored the full compass of 19 equal pitches in the octave, making use of audibly microtonal intervals like the 63-cent interval of 1/19 of an octave. Guillaume Costeley (ca. ...


The Italian Renaissance composer and theorist Nicola Vicentino (1511-1576) [1] experimented with microintervals and built for example a keyboard with 36 keys to the octave, known as the archicembalo. However Vicentino's experiments were primarily motivated by his research (as he saw it) on the ancient Greek genera, and by his desire to have beatless intervals (when played with near-harmonic-series timbres) available within chromatic compositions. Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance, approximately 1400 to 1600. ... Nicola Vicentino (Vicenza, 1511 – Milan, 1575 or 1576) was an Italian music theorist and composer of the Renaissance. ... Year 1511 (MDXI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. ... Events May 5 - Peace of Beaulieu or Peace of Monsieur (after Monsieur, the Duc dAnjou, brother of the King, who negotiated it). ... The archicembalo of Nicola Vicentino is a kind of harpsichord of 36 notes to the octave which Vicentino constructed in 1555. ... In ancient Greek music there were three genera (singular: genus) for classifying musical scales: diatonic chromatic enharmonic, diatonic being the simplest and enharmonic the most complex. ...


Johann Kuhnau's composition "Der Kampf zwischen David und Goliath," composed around 1700 in meantone, makes prominent and aggressive use of the exotic intervals available in meantone—specifically, the "wolf" fifth. Such a composition probably qualifies as microtonal, depending on the definition of microtonality. Johann Kuhnau, (born 1660) was a German composer, organist and harpsichordist. ...


Composers such as Beethoven and Schubert made extensive use of the enharmonic modulation cycles possible only in a closed tuning of 12 pitches per octave, and not open-ended tunings like meantone. This led to the demise of meantone thinking in most of Europe by the outset of the Romantic period. Microtonality was not completely lost, however, as some string teachers began to advocate "expressive intonation" in which the enharmonic distinctions of meantone were often reversed, i.e., the sharpened version of one diatonic tone often played higher than the flattened version of the next diatonic tone up. Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer of Classical music, the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. ... For the crater on the moon, see Schubert (crater) Franz Schubert Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828), was an Austrian composer. ... In music, an enharmonic is a note which is the equivalent of some other note, but spelled differently. ... In music, an enharmonic is a note which is the equivalent of some other note, but spelled differently. ...


Jacques Fromental Halévy composed a quarter-tone work for soli, choir and orchestra "Prométhée enchaîné" in 1849, and European composers produced an ever-increasing number of microtonal compositions as the 19th century waned and the 20th century began. Jacques Fromental Halévy Jacques-François-Fromental-Élie Halévy (27 May 1799 - 17 March 1862) was a French composer. ...


By the 1910s and 1920s, a fad emerged for quarter tones (24 equal pitches per octave), inspiring composers as Charles Ives, Julián Carrillo, Alois Hába, Ivan Wyschnegradsky, and Mildred Couper. Such was the popularity of 24 equal during the late teens and 1920s, for example, that Erwin Schulhoff gave classes in quarter-tone composition at the Prague Conservatory. Béla Bartók came late, and only sporadic, to quartertones (e.g. in his Sonata for violin solo, which uses quarter tones in an essential manner). Charles Edward Ives (October 20, 1874 – May 19, 1954) was an American composer of classical music. ... Julián Carrillo, 1945. ... Alois Hába (June 21, 1893 - November 18, 1973) was a Czech composer primarily known for his microtonal compositions, especially using the quarter tone scale, though he used others such as sixth-tones and twelfth-tones. ... Ivan Alexandrovich Vïshnegradsky (1893-1979, also Wyschnegradsky) was a Russian composer primarily known for his microtonal compositions, including the quarter tone scale, though he used scales of up to 71 divisions. ... Mildred Couper (1887–1974), prominent American composer and pianist, was one of the first musicians to experiment with quarter-tone music. ... Erwin Schulhoff (Prague, June 8, 1894; Wülzburg concentration camp, near Weißenburg, Bavaria, August 18, 1942) was a Czech composer and pianist of German-Jewish origin. ... Nickname: Motto: Praga Caput Rei publicae Location within the Czech Republic Coordinates: , Country Czech Republic Region Capital City of Prague Founded 9th century Government  - Mayor Pavel Bém Area  - City 496 km²  (191. ... A university school of music or college of music, or academy of music or conservatoire (British English) — also known as a conservatory (American English) or a conservatorium (Australian English) — is a higher education institution dedicated to teaching the art of music, including the playing of musical instruments, musical composition, musicianship... Béla Bartók in 1927 Béla Viktor János Bartók (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist and collector of Eastern European and Middle Eastern folk music. ...


Alexander John Ellis, who in the 1880s produced a translation with extensive footnotes and appendices to Helmholtz's On the Sensations of Tone, proposed an elaborate set of exotic just intonation tunings. Ellis also studied the tunings of non-Western cultures and, in a report to the Royal Society, determined that they did not use either equal divisions of the octave or just intonation intervals. Ellis inspired Harry Partch immensely. Alexander John Ellis (or Alexander Sharpe) (1814 - 1890) was an English philologist. ... Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974) was an American composer. ...


During the Exposition Universelle of 1889, Claude Debussy heard a Balinese gamelan performance and was exposed to their non-Western tunings and rhythms. Some scholars have ascribed Debussy's subsequent innovative used of the whole-tone (6 equal pitches per octave) tuning in such compositions as "Voiles" and Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune to his exposure to the Balinese gamelan at the Paris exposition.[citation needed][Gary Don's article in Music Theory Spectrum would do nicely.] Berliner's introduction of the phonograph in the 1890s allowed much non-Western music to be recorded and heard by Western composers, further spurring the use of non-12-equal tunings. Claude Debussy, photo by Félix Nadar, 1908. ...


While experimenting with his violin in 1895, Julian Carrillo(1875-1965)[2] discovered the sixteenths of tone, i.e., sixteen clearly different sounds between the pitches of G and A emitted by the fourth violin string. He named his discovery Sonido 13 (the thirteenth sound). Julian Carrillo reformed theories of music and physics of music. He invented a simple numerical musical notation that can represent scales based on any division of the octave, like thirds, fourths, quarters, fifths, sixths, sevenths, and so on (even if Carrillo wrote, most of the time, for quarters, eights, and sixteenths combined, the notation is able to represent any imaginable subdivision). He invented new musical instruments, and adapted others to produce microintervals. He composed a large amount of microtonal music and recorded about 30 of his compositions. Julián Carrillo, 1945. ... 1875 (MDCCCLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... Sonido 13 is a microtonal music system developed in 1895 by the Mexican composer Julián Carrillo while he was experimenting with his violin. ...


Major microtonal composers of the 1920s and 1930s include Alois Hába (quarter tones, or 24 equal pitches per octave, and sixth tones), Julian Carillo (24 equal, 36, 48, 60, 72, and 96 equal pitches to the octave embodied in a series of specially custom-built pianos) and the early works of Harry Partch (just intonation using frequencies at ratios of prime integers 3, 5, 7, and 11, their powers, and products of those numbers, from a central frequency of G-196). Alois Hába (June 21, 1893 - November 18, 1973) was a Czech composer primarily known for his microtonal compositions, especially using the quarter tone scale, though he used others such as sixth-tones and twelfth-tones. ... Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974) was an American composer. ...


Prominent microtonal composers or researchers of the 1940s and 1950s include Adriaan Daniel Fokker (31 equal tones per octave), Partch again (continuing to build his handcrafted orchestra of microtonal just intonation instruments) and Ivor Darreg (who built the first fully retunable electronic synthesizer capable of any division of the octave, just or equal or non-just non-equal). Adriaan Daniël Fokker (Buitenzorg, Dutch East Indies (now Bogor, Indonesia), August 17, 1887–Beekbergen (near Apeldoorn), September 24, 1972) was a Dutch physicist and musician. ...


Prominent microtonal composers of the 1960s and 1970s include John Eaton (who created his own microtonal synthesizer, the Syn Ket, to produce microtonal intervals), Ivor Darreg again (who augmented his home-built orchestra of instruments to include guitars refretted in equal temperaments 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, and 31, as well as the magalyra series of sub-contrabass steel guitar instruments), Harry Partch, Easley Blackwood (who composed and performed the well-known Twelve Microtonal Etudes for Electronic Music Media with compositions in every equal division of the octave from 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 equal pitches per octave) and Augusto Novaro, the Mexican microtonal theorist who composed studies in 15 equal, among others. Barbara Benary also formed Gamelan Son of Lion around this period, and Lou Harrison was instrumental (all puns intended) in creating American gamelan orchestras at Mills College. In Europe, the "Spectralists" in Paris created their first works from 1973 on with an extensive use of microtonal harmony. The main composers were Hugues Dufourt, Gérard Grisey, Tristan Murail and Michael Levinas; see also the parisian ensemble "L'itinéraire". György Ligeti in Hamburg strongly promoted microtonality and used it in several of his works. John Henry Eaton (June 18, 1790–November 17, 1856) was an American politician from Tennessee. ... Easley Blackwood, (b. ... Lou Silver Harrison (May 14, 1917 - February 2, 2003) was an American composer. ... Founded in 1852 and established in Oakland, California, in 1871, Mills College is an independent liberal arts womans college, with graduate programs for women and men. ... Hugues Dufourt is a French composer and philosopher associated with the Spectral school of composition. ... Gérard Grisey (born 1946; died November 11, 1998) was a French composer of contemporary music. ... Tristan Murail (b. ... György Sándor Ligeti (May 28, 1923 – June 12, 2006) was a Jewish Hungarian composer born in Romania who later became an Austrian citizen. ...


Since the 1980s, microtonal composers have proliferated to such an extent that a list of composers who have produced at least one microtonal composition nearly subsumes the entire list of practicing composers. Digital synthesizers from the Yamaha TX81Z (1987) on and inexpensive software support this development.


Microtonalism in rock music

The American hardcore punk band Black Flag (1976-86) made vernacular use of microtonal intervals, via guitarist Greg Ginn, a free jazz aficionado also familiar with modern classical. (During their peak in the late '70s and early '80s, long before American punk was mainstream, the band was considered, not unwarrantedly, a thuggish and hostile street unit, although time has given their work a considerable measure of musical acclaim.) A worthwhile song is "Damaged II," from 1981's Damaged LP — a live-in-studio recording in which intentional (and surprisingly scale-aware) use of quarter- and eighth-steps suggests a guitar in danger of detonation. Another is "Police Story," most versions of which end in a cadence played a quarter-tone sharp, to similar effect. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Black Flag was a hardcore punk band formed in 1976 in southern California, largely as the brainchild of Greg Ginn: the guitarist, primary songwriter and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes. ... Gregory Regis Ginn (born June 8, 1954) is a guitarist, songwriter and singer. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ...


Elliott Sharp's groups Carbon, Tectonics and Terraplen make extensive use of just intonation microtonality to intensely dissonant and vibrant effect. Los Angeles guitarist Rod Poole has produced a number of rock-oriented xenharmonic CDs.


The band Crash Worship made use of Ivor Darreg's megalyra subcontrabass microtonal instrument for both xenharmonic and industrial noise purposes.


The Japanese band [3] Syzygys (Hitomi Shimizu and Hiromi Nishida) have released two albums utilizing the 43-tone scale of Harry Partch, using a modified reed organ. Elaine Walker of Zia [4] has released several albums making use of the Bohlen-Pierce scale and other equal temperaments such as the 19tet and 10tet. Zia performs on electronic instruments that specifically do not reference the standard 12 tone tuning. The Bohlen-Pierce scale (BP scale) is a musical scale that offers an alternative to the octave-repeating scales typical in Western music. ... In music, 19 equal temperament, called 19-tet, 19-edo, or 19-et, is the scale derived by dividing the octave into 19 equally large steps. ...


Jonny Greenwood, of the alternative rock band Radiohead, has experimented with microtonal music in both his solo material and his work with the band; for instance, the song Climbing Up the Walls, from the band's 1997 album OK Computer, includes a recording of sixteen violins playing quarter tones apart from each other to create a droning, atonal 'white noise' effect. Jonathan Jonny Richard Guy Greenwood (born November 5, 1971 in Oxford, England) is a musician and a member of Radiohead. ... Radiohead are an English rock band that formed in Oxfordshire in 1986. ... Climbing Up the Walls is a song from the 1997 Radiohead album OK Computer. ... OK Computer is the third album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in summer 1997. ... A quarter tone is an interval about half as wide (aurally, or logarithmically) as a semitone, which is half a whole tone. ...


Other rock artists using microtonality in their work include Glenn Branca (who has created a number of symphonic works for ensembles of microtonally tuned electric guitars) and Jon and Brad Catler (who play microtonal electric guitar and electric bass guitar). Glenn Branca (born October 6, 1948 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is an avant-garde composer and guitarist. ...


Experimental luthier Yuri Landman built a custom made string instrument called the Moodswinger for Aaron Hemphill of the Liars with a special microtonal overtone-scale for resonating stringpositions. An engravers impression of Antonio Stradivari examining an instrument. ... Yuri Landman (born 1-2-1973) is a dutch multi disciplined artist most well known for his work as an experimental luthier, but also active as a comic artist, illustrator, musician, singer, graphic designer and furniture designer. ... A custom made instrument is a musical instrument that is considered to be of ones own design or a modification or extension of a defined guideline of a certain instrument. ... In 2006 luthier Yuri Landman built the Moodswinger, a 12 string overtone zither for Aaron Hemphill of the noiseband Liars The Moodswinger is a custom made string instrument made by Yuri Landman. ... Liars can refer to: The album by Todd Rundgren The indie rock band. ...


Microtonality often appears to occur in popular rock music in contexts where it is not notated or explicitly described as microtonal, but is nonetheless quite audible. Obvious examples include the guitar introduction to the The Doors' song "The End", the extremely and unmistakably microtonal vocal line in Sinead O'Connor's songs -- most notably on "Nothing Compares 2 U," -- and in the microtonal bass lines in songs like Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Israel." The November 2004 WSES Official Newsletter for Acoustics, Science, and Technology of Music mentions that "bands from Sonic Youth to Art Rock Circus have written music with non-standard and microtonal guitar tunings." This page is about the rock band. ... The End is a song by The Doors from their self-titled album. ... Sinéad OConnor (born December 8, 1966) is an Irish pop singer and songwriter. ... Nothing Compares 2 U is a song written around 1984 or 1985 by Prince for The Family. ... Siouxsie and the Banshees are a British gothic rock band. ... Sonic Youth is a seminal American alternative rock group formed in New York City in 1981. ... // John Miner (Guitar, Vocals) Nolan Stolz (Drums) Kelton Manning (Bass) Milo (Keyboards, Moog) Art Rock Circus has been the brainchild of composer John Miner. ...


Explicitly microtonal jazz has also made a niche for itself as, for example, in the playing of trumpeter Don Ellis, who used a quartertone trumpet built to his specifications, woodwind player Joe Maneri, who has mapped what he calls the "virtual pitch continuum" onto the intervals of 72-tone equal temperament, and in albums released by percussionist Emil Richards, Lothar and the Hand People, the xenharmonic intonational inflexions of John Coltrane, and many others. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Joseph Gabriel Esther Maneri (born February 9, 1927, Brooklyn) is an American jazz composer, saxophone and clarinet player. ... Emil Richards is a percussionist who plays a variety of different percussive instruments. ... Xenharmonic music includes all tuning systems and music using those systems not using the common European twelve-tone equal temperament. ...


Microtonalism in Electronica

1986's Beauty In the Beast saw Wendy Carlos experimenting with many microtonal systems including just intonation, using alternate tuning scales she invented for the album. Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... Wendy Carlos (November 14, 1939 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island) is an American composer and electronic musician. ... In music, just intonation, also called rational intonation, is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by ratios of whole numbers. ...


Advances in software synthesis have facilitated alternate tunings. Software emulations of classic hardware synthesizers such as the Roland TB-303 and Yamaha DX7, as well as emulations of traditional instruments such as sitars and guitars can be heard tuned to several different types of scales designed by music theorist Erv Wilson on Marcus Satellite's 1998 album From On High. Synthesis (from the ancient Greek σύν (with) and θεσις (placing), is commonly understood to be an integration of two or more pre-existing elements which results in a new creation. ... The Roland TB-303 Bass Line is a synthesizer with built-in sequencer manufactured by the Roland corporation in 1982 and 1983 that had a defining role in the development of contemporary electronic music. ... The Yamaha DX7 was a synthesizer manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation from 1983 to 1986, based on FM synthesis developed by John Chowning. ... The classical guitar typically has nylon strings. ... Music theory is a set of systems for analyzing, classifying, and composing music and the elements of music. ... Ervin Wilson is an American music theorist whose work, outside of the academic community, is noted for the variety and originality of its ideas. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ...


See also

In 2006 luthier Yuri Landman built the Moodswinger, a 12 string overtone guitar for Aaron Hemphill of the noiseband Liars The 3rd bridge guitar is an electric prepared guitar with an additional 3rd bridge. ... The modern Arab tone system, or system of musical tuning, is based upon the theoretical division of the octave into twenty-four equal divisions or 24-tone equal temperament, the distance between each successive note being a quarter tone (50 cents). ... In Arabic music a maqaam (Arabic: ‎, Hebrew: ) is, a technique of improvisation that defines the pitches, patterns, and development of a piece of music and which is unique to Arabian art music. ... The 43-tone scale is a just intonation scale with 43 pitches in each octave invented and used by Harry Partch. ... Fokker periodicity blocks refer to a technique for constructing musical scales. ... The Bohlen-Pierce scale (BP scale) is a musical scale that offers an alternative to the octave-repeating scales typical in Western music. ... In ancient Greek music there were three genera (singular: genus) for classifying musical scales: diatonic chromatic enharmonic, diatonic being the simplest and enharmonic the most complex. ... Harmony is the use and study of pitch simultaneity, and therefore chords, actual or implied, in music. ... In music, just intonation, also called rational intonation, is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by ratios of whole numbers. ... A Microtuner or microtonal tuner is an electronic device or software program designed to modify and test the tuning of musical instruments (in particular synthesizers) with microtonal precision, allowing for the design and construction of microtonal scales and just intonation scales, and for tuning intervals that differ (or not) from... In 2006 luthier Yuri Landman built the Moodswinger, a 12 string overtone zither for Aaron Hemphill of the noiseband Liars The Moodswinger is a custom made string instrument made by Yuri Landman. ... LucyTuning is a form of meantone temperament, in which the fifth is of size 600+300/π (= approximately 695. ... A quarter tone is an interval half as wide (aurally, or logarithmically) as a semitone, which is half a whole tone. ... Raga (rāg /राग (Hindi), raga (anglicised from rāgaḥ/रागः (Sanskrit)) or rāgam /ராகம் (Tamil)) are the melodic modes used in Indian classical music. ... Look up scala in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Western microtonal pioneers

Pioneers of modern Western microtonal music include:

Henry Ward Poole (1825-1890) // Biography Born 13 September, 1825 in Salem, Massachusetts (divided to Salem, Danvers and South Danvers 1855; S. Danvers renamed Peabody 1868). ... Charles Edward Ives (October 20, 1874 – May 19, 1954) was an American composer of classical music. ... Julián Carrillo, 1945. ... Béla Bartók in 1927 Béla Viktor János Bartók (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist and collector of Eastern European and Middle Eastern folk music. ... George Enescu George Enescu (pronunciation in Romanian: ; known in France as Georges Enesco) (August 19, 1881, Liveni – May 4, 1955, Paris) was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher, preeminent Romanian musician of the 20th century, and one of the greatest performers of his time. ... Oedipus and the Sphinx, from an 1879 illustration from Stories from the Greek Tragedians by Alfred Church Oedipus (Greek , Oidipous, swollen-foot; rarely ; Latin Oedipus) or Å’dipus was the mythical king of Thebes, son of Laius and Jocasta, who, unknowingly, killed his father and married his mother. ... The enharmonic genus has historically been the most mysterious and controversial of the three Greek genera. ... The Music of Ancient Greece is almost completely lost. ... Percy Aldridge Grainger (8 July 1882 – 20 February 1961) was an Australian-born pianist, composer, and champion of the saxophone and the Concert band. ... Mildred Couper (1887–1974), prominent American composer and pianist, was one of the first musicians to experiment with quarter-tone music. ... Alois Hába (June 21, 1893 - November 18, 1973) was a Czech composer primarily known for his microtonal compositions, especially using the quarter tone scale, though he used others such as sixth-tones and twelfth-tones. ... Ivan Alexandrovich Vïshnegradsky (1893-1979, also Wyschnegradsky) was a Russian composer primarily known for his microtonal compositions, including the quarter tone scale, though he used scales of up to 71 divisions. ... Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974) was an American composer. ... Eivind Groven (October 8, 1901–February 8, 1977) was a Norwegian microtonal composer and music-theorist. ... Henk Badings (January 17, 1907 - June 26, 1987) was a Dutch composer. ... Maurice Ohana (died June 12, 1914 in Casablanca, Morocco; died November 13, 1992 in Paris) was a French composer of Spanish origin. ... It has been suggested that List of works by Giacinto Scelsi be merged into this article or section. ... Lou Silver Harrison (May 14, 1917 - February 2, 2003) was an American composer. ... Ivor Darreg (May 5, 1917 - 1994) was a leading proponent of and composer of microtonal or xenharmonic music. ... Jean-Etienne Marie (1917- 1989) was a french composer of contemporary music. ... Iannis Xenakis Iannis Xenakis (Ιάννης Ξενάκης) (May 29, 1922 Brăila – February 4, 2001 Paris) was a Greek composer and architect who spent much of his life in Paris. ... György Sándor Ligeti (May 28, 1923 – June 12, 2006) was a Jewish Hungarian composer born in Romania who later became an Austrian citizen. ... Tui St. ... Pierre Boulez Pierre Boulez (IPA: /pjɛʁ.buˈlÉ›z/) (born March 26, 1925) is a conductor and composer of classical music. ... Serialism is a rigorous system of composing music in which various elements of the piece are ordered according to a pre-determined ordered set or sets, and variations on them. ... Karlheinz Stockhausen (born August 22, 1928) is a German composer, and one of the most important and controversial composers of the 20th century. ... Ben Johnston Benjamin Burwell Johnston, Junior (born March 15, 1926 in Macon, Georgia) is a composer of contemporary music in the just intonation system. ... Ezra Sims (born January 16, 1928 in Birmingham, Alabama) is one of the pioneers in the field of microtonal composition. ... Ervin Wilson is an American music theorist whose work, outside of the academic community, is noted for the variety and originality of its ideas. ... Alvin Lucier Alvin Lucier (born May 14, 1931) is an American composer of music and sound installations exploring acoustic phenomena, especially resonance, as well as a former member of the Sonic Arts Union along with Robert Ashley, David Behrman, and Gordon Mumma. ... Joel Mandelbaum (born in 1932) is an american composer and a teacher. ... Easley Blackwood {April 21, 1933-) is a professor of music, a composer of music using unusual tunings, and the author of books on music theory. ... // Alain Bancquart (Dieppe, B.20 June 1934 ) is a french composer, he had his musical formation at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris (violin, viola, chambre music, counterpoint, fugue and composition) with Darius Milhaud. ... James Tenney (August 10, 1934 in Silver City, NM) is an American composer and influential music theorist. ... Terry Riley – (Portrait by Betty Freeman) Terry Riley (born 24 June 1935) is an American composer associated with the minimalist school. ... La Monte Young (born October 14, 1935) is an American composer whose eccentric and often hard-to-find works have been included among the most important post World War II avant-garde or experimental music. ... Douglas (Harry) Leedy, born March 3rd, 1938 in Portland, Oregon is an American composer. ... Wendy Carlos (November 14, 1939 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island) is an American composer and electronic musician. ... Bruce Mather is a canadian composer and pianist born on May 9th 1939. ...

Recent microtonal composers

Clarence Barlow (born December 27, 1945) is a composer of classical and electroacoustic works. ... Gérard Grisey (born 1946; died November 11, 1998) was a French composer of contemporary music. ... Max Méreaux is a French composer. ... Tristan Murail (b. ... Claude Vivier (b. ... Glenn Branca (born October 6, 1948 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is an avant-garde composer and guitarist. ... Manfred Stahnke (* 30th October 1951 in Kiel) is a german composer and a Musicologist. ... Kraig Grady is a composer who uses microtonal just intonation. ... David First (born Aug 20, 1953) is an American composer. ... James Wood is a british composer, percusionist and conductor (Birth may 27th 1953 in Barton) James Wood studied Organ in Cambridge. ... Categories: Wikipedia cleanup | 1954 births | Living classical composers | 20th century classical composers | American composers | Composers stubs ... Pascale Criton (1954-) is a french musicologist and a composer of contemporary music, more specifically microtonal music. ... Kyle Gann (born November 21 1955) is a composer and music critic born in Dallas, Texas. ... Pascal Dusapin (29th May, 1955), is a French composer born in Nancy. ... Johnny Reinhard is a microtonal composer and virtuoso bassoonist. ... Erling Wold (b. ... Georg Hajdu Georg Hajdu (born June 21, 1960 in Göttingen, Germany) is a German composer of Hungarian descent. ... Daniel James Wolf (born September 13, 1961 in Upland, California) is an American composer of serious music and a music scholar. ... François Paris is a french composer and professor born in 1961 in Valenciennes. ... Harold Fortuin (1964-) is an American composer, pianist, and designer of hardware and software for electronic music. ... Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin Aphex Twin (born Richard David James, August 18, 1971, Ireland) is a UK-based electronic music artist, credited with pushing forward the genres of techno, ambient, IDM, acid, drum and bass (specifically drill n bass). ... Adam Benjamin Silverman (born in 1973, Atlanta, GA) is a composer of contemporary classical music. ... Yuri Landman (born 1-2-1973) is a dutch multi disciplined artist most well known for his work as an experimental luthier, but also active as a comic artist, illustrator, musician, singer, graphic designer and furniture designer. ... Geoff Smith is a musical performer and composer from Brighton, England. ... The subject of this article may not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... Marcus Warren Hobbs (born 1970), known by his stage name Marcus Satellite is an American composer, electronic musician, Microtonal music, and computer graphics professional noted for creating microtonal electronic music and animated films using advanced computer software. ...

Microtonal researchers

Christiaan Huygens (pronounced in English (IPA): ; in Dutch: ) (April 14, 1629 – July 8, 1695), was a Dutch mathematician, astronomer and physicist; born in The Hague as the son of Constantijn Huygens. ... Adriaan Daniël Fokker (Buitenzorg, Dutch East Indies (now Bogor, Indonesia), August 17, 1887–Beekbergen (near Apeldoorn), September 24, 1972) was a Dutch physicist and musician. ... Ivan Alexandrovich Vïshnegradsky (1893-1979, also Wyschnegradsky) was a Russian composer primarily known for his microtonal compositions, including the quarter tone scale, though he used scales of up to 71 divisions. ... Alois Hába (June 21, 1893 - November 18, 1973) was a Czech composer primarily known for his microtonal compositions, especially using the quarter tone scale, though he used others such as sixth-tones and twelfth-tones. ... Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974) was an American composer. ... Joel Mandelbaum (born in 1932) is an american composer and a teacher. ... James Tenney (August 10, 1934 in Silver City, NM) is an American composer and influential music theorist. ... Clarence Barlow (born December 27, 1945) is a composer of classical and electroacoustic works. ... Georg Hajdu Georg Hajdu (born June 21, 1960 in Göttingen, Germany) is a German composer of Hungarian descent. ... This article, image, template or category should belong in one or more categories. ...

References

  • Burns, Edward M. 1999. "Intervals, Scales, and Tuning." In The Psychology of Music. Second edition, ed. Diana Deutsch. San Diego: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-213564-4.
  • Mandelbaum, M. Joel. 1961. "Multiple Division Of the Octave and the Tonal Resources of the 19 Tone Temperament." PhD thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
  • Jedrzejewsky, Franck. 2003. Dictionnaire des musiques microtonales ("Dictionary of microtonal musics"), Paris, L'Harmattan, ISBN 2-7475-5576-3.
  • Barlow, Clarence (ed.). 2001. "The Ratio Book." A Documentation of the Ratio Symposium Royal Conservatory The Hague 14-16 December 1992. Köln, Feedback Papers 43.

External links

General

Microtonal tuning theory

Theory pages

Discography

Microtonal music on the web

Microtuners and other microtonal music software


  Results from FactBites:
 
Microtonal music - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (477 words)
Microtonal music is music using microtones -- intervals of less than a semitone, or as Charles Ives put it, the "notes between the cracks" of the piano.
Microtonal scales that are played contiguously are chromatically microtonal, those which are not use the various contiguous pitches as alternative versions of larger intervals (Burns, 1999).
Other rock artists using microtonality in their work include Glenn Branca (who has created a number of symphonic works for ensembles of microtonally tuned electric guitars) and Jon and Brad Catler (who play microtonal electric guitar and electric bass guitar).
Microtonal Music (179 words)
Most of the music we hear in based on a system called 12 tone equal temperament (or 12TET for short), where the octave is divided into 12 equal parts.
Microtonal music is generally defined as any music that is not 12TET.
Some folks base their music on the harmonic series, some divide the octave into 19 or 31 equal parts, some divide the octave into 43 unequal parts, some don't divide the octave at all....
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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