Author Topic: 12 Notes Not Enough?  (Read 14656 times)

Adji

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12 Notes Not Enough?
« on: June 16, 2010, 03:35:25 PM »
Anyone here listen to (or can tolerate  ;D) 24 tone and other microtonal musics? Personally I really like the work of Charles Ives and Ivan Wyschnegradsky (what I can find of him) in this area. I think it opens up a whole new world of beautiful and dark harmonies and can stir up some emotions you never knew you had.

Here is an example of one of the more listenable Wyschnegradksy pieces
Wyschnegradsky - Twenty-four Preludes in Quarter-tones; No. 5

I would love to see what the fusion guys could do with these microtonal scales, something utterly disgusting and incredible at the same time I would imagine  ;D ;D

I actually converted an old guitar into a fretless so that I could access the 'in-between notes' that a guitar doesn't have. It is quite difficult to hit the notes spot on but I have created some pretty cool lines with it.

Halfdim7

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 04:36:57 PM »
There's actually a fretted guitar out now that employs microtones. I can't remember the name, though(I'm sure someone will jump in here) and it's pretty expensive, but I'd love to experiment with one!
I'll check out that clip!
....lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing....

Adji

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 04:38:56 PM »
There's actually a fretted guitar out now that employs microtones. I can't remember the name, though(I'm sure someone will jump in here) and it's pretty expensive, but I'd love to experiment with one!
I'll check out that clip!

Yeah I have seen those, just microtonal guitars I think they're called.
http://www.microtonalguitar.com/

Would be interesting to play with one.

Halfdim7

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 04:42:24 PM »
Damn, man! That was a fast reply :o
....lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing....

Adji

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 04:44:23 PM »
Damn, man! That was a fast reply :o

Hah I am just excited by this new forum :) I should really go to bed actually, it's like 01:45 here!

Halfdim7

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 04:50:36 PM »
Hey, I can relate!
Speaking of time zones, I'm in Georgia(the state, not the country! ;D)millions is in Texas and Funkle is in California, so we can relate there, too!

We're all suffering from Net Lag  ;D
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 04:53:25 PM by Halfdim7 »
....lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing....

millions

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010, 05:58:42 PM »
There's a cat named John Catler in New York who put out some stuff as "JC and the Microtones." I wrote him a letter, & he answered it. This was back in '83 or something. He had a Strat with 31 frets per octave. The frets got too close together up high, so it was just rosewood with no frets up there; it looked cool.
The stuff he did sounded a lot like a wacked-out pedal steel. They also did a thing where it sounded like a record slowing down.
When you divide an octave into equal parts, this is known as an "equal temperament." Our present system is a "12 note equal temperament."
In Thailand, they use a 7-note equal temperament (ET). Harry Partch, the American hobo/poet/composer/instrument builder, used a 43-note ET, because it could closely approximate "just" tuning.
Some common ET scales are 19, 21, 31, and 43.

If your keyboard or synth has control over the keyboard voltage, you can change this to generate a number of equal-division equal-tempered scales, such as 19, 21, 23, 31, and 43 tones per octave.

Remember: an equal-tempered scale is defined as one which divides the octave into equivalent steps. However, these others will closely approximate "just" intonation, depending on which notes you wish to omit.

For instance, to get 19-tone ET, simply press C, then skip past the octave C and hit G. Tune this as closely as possible to an octave (using the keyboard voltage modulation function), and you have an "expanded octave" of 19 notes.

There's a great book, "Tuning In: Microtonality In Electronic Music" by Scott R. Wilkinson.

The reason our system is 12 notes is because Pythagorus "stacked" fifths, which generated other notes. He went in a circle (because a C is a C, no matter how high or low).
The fifth was the most audible overtone, and most likely interval (besides the octave) to work with.
Pythagorus noticed that after 12 times around the circle (C-G-D-A-E-B(Cb)-F#(Gb)-C#(Db)-G#(Ab)-D#(Eb)-A#(Bb)-E#(F) that he came back ALMOST to the same note he started on. This is called the "syntonic comma." We tempered this out in ET, making every fifth 2 cents flat, which is pretty close.

Of course, being based on fifths, these sounded best, next to the octave. The major third is the interval that suffered the most; and all the temperament systems of the 17th-19th century (such as Mean-tone) were based on trying to get good-sounding major thirds in a certain key area, like the keys of C, G, D, A, & E. That's why a lot of older music is written in these basic keys.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 06:25:49 PM by millions »
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dogbite

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 07:53:48 PM »
Hey, I can relate!
Speaking of time zones, I'm in Georgia(the state, not the country! ;D)millions is in Texas and Funkle is in California, so we can relate there, too!

We're all suffering from Net Lag  ;D

and dogbite's in california too, but is a devout insomniac so you'll never know when the dog will rear his ugly mug :)
s/aka/db

dogbite

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2010, 08:25:12 PM »
The reason our system is 12 notes is because Pythagorus "stacked" fifths, which generated other notes. He went in a circle (because a C is a C, no matter how high or low).
The fifth was the most audible overtone, and most likely interval (besides the octave) to work with.
Pythagorus noticed that after 12 times around the circle (C-G-D-A-E-B(Cb)-F#(Gb)-C#(Db)-G#(Ab)-D#(Eb)-A#(Bb)-E#(F) that he came back ALMOST to the same note he started on. This is called the "syntonic comma." We tempered this out in ET, making every fifth 2 cents flat, which is pretty close.

this is actually called the "pythagorean comma" which is equivalent to 312 ÷ 212 (since a perfectly tuned fifth is a ratio of 3/2 and (3/2)12 = 312 ÷ 212) and is approximately equal to 23¢ when reduced to the first octave (a "cent" is 1/1200 of an octave or 1/100 of a half-step)

the syntonic comma is equal to the difference between four perfectly tuned fifths (3/2) and a major third (5/4) and 3/2 x 3/2 x 3/2 x 3/2 ÷ 5/4 = 81/80 when reduced to the first octave and is approximately equal to 22¢...

and yes, an equal-tempered fifth is in fact approximately 2 cents flat.  apologies to millions but i thought that i should point this out as to be concise wherever possible.  sorry if i've been any trouble.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 08:49:28 PM by dogbite »
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Halfdim7

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2010, 08:55:06 PM »
Dogbite, how could you possibly be any trouble when I didn't understand any of what you typed ;D
....lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing....

dogbite

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2010, 09:09:37 PM »
Dogbite, how could you possibly be any trouble when I didn't understand any of what you typed ;D

the possibility of the buttered side landing on the carpet is proportional to the price of the carpet :)
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Halfdim7

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2010, 09:14:17 PM »
It all makes perfect sense now! :D
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fusion58

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2010, 11:14:11 PM »
Ran into this guy on a teaching gig:

http://www.microstick.net/

He's pretty serious about the whole microtonal thing.

As for me, 12 notes seem to be challenging enough to keep me busy.  ;D

funkle

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2010, 09:39:53 AM »
approximately equal to 22¢...
I still don't understand how money figures into this. Kidding :)

I think we all think micro-tonallly. Some blues guitarists are masters of  just bending a a note a little. I'm not sure if this I'm technically on base here, but is seems to be kind of the same thing.

dogbite

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2010, 09:46:48 AM »
approximately equal to 22¢...
I still don't understand how money figures into this. Kidding :)

I think we all think micro-tonallly. Some blues guitarists are masters of  just bending a a note a little. I'm not sure if this I'm technically on base here, but is seems to be kind of the same thing.

sure, pitch is a continuum.  twelve tone equal temperament is merely a practical yet imperfect fix for intonation problems and mass produced musical instruments.  i would love to possess guitars with movable frets to explore in particular 5TET or 7TET but i do not possess the craftmanship skills to create one.  o well.

i still think that 12TET is sufficient for my muse, both musical and mathematical.

ps

does anyone know why the forum moved?
s/aka/db