Author Topic: 12 Notes Not Enough?  (Read 15605 times)

7/4

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2010, 01:24:00 PM »
Dood, I don't care.
You can correct him without being a jerk about it.
In fact, it's forum policy.
Everyone is welcome here, provided they keep their ego in check.
Look, bro, If millions is wrong, please correct him, in fact, millions is a cool enough guy he'll probably thank you for it. Just be a little less coarse about it, that's all.

Maybe I can post here without being harassed by Halfdim7? It's not like I called anybody a name.

Let's stick to discussing music.

7/4

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2010, 01:37:57 PM »
Actually, I made an error. I meant 53, not 43.

On p. 433 Partch discusses this ET based on Pythagoran cycles. I thought that his Chromelodeon used it, but I was wrong. Partch does discuss some other 53-tone keyboards on p. 438.

About 53-tone ET, Partch said "...this temperament is a nearly perfect solution for the composer who insists on any-tone-in-any-sense up to the 5 limit, and who is therefore satisfied with the present triad basis ("major" and "minor") of tonality. All of the thirteen just degrees within the 5 limit...are given with a falsity of only 0.1 to 1.5 cents."

pg. 433 is part of a chapter on equal temperaments. This whole section - Part IV, Intonations, Historic, Implied, Proposed is a historical overview of different tuning systems. Parts I-III are a bit more about his own approach. (as I recall, I haven't actually looked at the book in a few years, I've been busy doing my own thing with microtonal music for a long time.)

I think the closest he got with including any equal temperament - only 12tet - was his pieces Revelation in the Courthouse Park & Ulysses at the Edge.

For a guitarist, an easy way to try microtonal tunings is open tunings and slide. Tune to the harmonics available on any string.

I own a fretless guitar, but haven't played it in a few years.

millions

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2010, 03:30:35 PM »
I'm going to try out some micro-tunings with my Roland VG-88 guitar synth. I don't yet have a Roland-ready guitar, tho. I'm not sure what non-standard tunings it is capable of. I know that Joni Mitchell was using one to store her alternate tunings on, so she wouldn't have to lug around so many guitars.

With the VG-88 triggering external modules, it's going to depend on what each synth module is capable of. The E-Mu modules, for example, have 4 additional tuning tables (Just C, Valloti, 19-tone and Gamelon) and one user-definable tuning table. The initial frequency of every MIDI key can be individually tuned, in fine increments of 00-63 (1/64th of a semitone, or 1.56 cents).

With a greater-than-12-note temperament, I can see how the synth/guitar combination would face some problems, since the spacing of frets on the guitar would make even simple triads harder to play. In these cases, a refretted guitar would be more practical (especially with a 53-tone octave!).

Really, when you think about it, fretted instruments lend themselves to equal temperaments more so than unequal temperaments or micro-tonalities (since you can only tune the open strings; the other notes are determined by the frets, which affect the entire course of strings). I've heard it said that fretted instruments might have been primarily responsible for the rise of ET.
So for me keyboard instruments are still the primary vehicle for micro-tuning, as applied to instruments.
"In Spring! In the creation of art, it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg
"The trouble with New Age music is that there's no evil in it."-Brian Eno

Halfdim7

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2010, 03:48:43 PM »
Okay, "thank you" was a little much. "Acknowledge the error", then.
I still have no idea what the hell you guys are talking about, so there.
Can you even say "tet" on this forum?

And no, you may not post here without being harassed by me. I work here
....lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing....

7/4

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2010, 04:58:21 PM »
I'm going to try out some micro-tunings with my Roland VG-88 guitar synth. I don't yet have a Roland-ready guitar, tho. I'm not sure what non-standard tunings it is capable of. I know that Joni Mitchell was using one to store her alternate tunings on, so she wouldn't have to lug around so many guitars.

I'm pretty sure those were open guitar tunings, not microtonal.

With the VG-88 triggering external modules, it's going to depend on what each synth module is capable of. The E-Mu modules, for example, have 4 additional tuning tables (Just C, Valloti, 19-tone and Gamelon) and one user-definable tuning table. The initial frequency of every MIDI key can be individually tuned, in fine increments of 00-63 (1/64th of a semitone, or 1.56 cents).

I've had a Proteus 2 for years but never use it for microtonal music. The resolution for Just isn't fine enough.  I liked my Korg 05R/W for that kind of stuff.

I've used a guitar synth to control a synth module for microtonal music and unless the music is real loud, we could still hear the note from the guitar string....distracting.

With a greater-than-12-note temperament, I can see how the synth/guitar combination would face some problems, since the spacing of frets on the guitar would make even simple triads harder to play. In these cases, a refretted guitar would be more practical (especially with a 53-tone octave!).

I own a Just fretted guitar and it's a pain to keep it set up. Too many frets (64) cause problems on this guitar. The next guitar will probably have 24 just intervals to the octave.

Really, when you think about it, fretted instruments lend themselves to equal temperaments more so than unequal temperaments or micro-tonalities (since you can only tune the open strings; the other notes are determined by the frets, which affect the entire course of strings). I've heard it said that fretted instruments might have been primarily responsible for the rise of ET.

Nah...it was the piano.

I don't understand why there would be a problem using anything other than an equal temperament on a string instrument. It sure doesn't stop billions of Hindustanis or all those string quartets.

So for me keyboard instruments are still the primary vehicle for micro-tuning, as applied to instruments.

millions

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2010, 03:04:09 PM »
7/4 said: "I don't understand why there would be a problem using anything other than an equal temperament on a string instrument. It sure doesn't stop billions of Hindustanis or all those string quartets."

Well, I said "fretted" instruments, which is a subset of "stringed", so I'm not sure if you are responding to what I said or not.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2010, 03:05:40 PM by millions »
"In Spring! In the creation of art, it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg
"The trouble with New Age music is that there's no evil in it."-Brian Eno

7/4

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2010, 06:27:10 PM »
OK then, fretted. I'm still not sure why there would be a problem.

millions

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2010, 08:12:21 PM »
Since you know the answer, explain this for us.
"In Spring! In the creation of art, it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg
"The trouble with New Age music is that there's no evil in it."-Brian Eno

7/4

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2010, 01:15:26 AM »
Since you know the answer, explain this for us.

Your statement doesn't make any sense to me so I can't explain it...I'm still not sure what you're getting at.

7/4

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2010, 03:23:46 AM »
BTW, Happy Birthday to Harry Partch and Terry Riley.

millions

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2010, 08:27:42 AM »
To 7/4:
ET is a regular temperament, just intonation is not; it is irregular. On a multi-stringed fretted instrument, and in the context of my earlier statement I mean normal, straight frets, irregular temperaments cannot be achieved across a course of differently-tuned open strings of different pitches (excepting unisons & octaves).
Therefore, in light of this, it is my opinion that fretted (straight frets, in the context I intended) instruments do not lend themselves to irregular temperaments, i.e. tunings which have different sizes of intervals within the octave.

I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with this conversation, in part because of your (7/4's) abrupt manner in pointing out my previous error. It is not my intent to deliberately and maliciously spread misinformation.

Also, I was made uncomfortable with the way my following posting was taken, statement by statement, and was subjected to your commentary on each sentence as if I were under scrutiny of authority (that's the way I saw it). If that was not your intent, it produced that effect anyway. I do not consider it much fun to be put under a microsope. If I make an error, fine, correct me.

If someone actively looks for things to disagree with, they will inevitably find them.


I think you are capable of making more of a positive contribution than you have demonstrated thus far.

"In Spring! In the creation of art, it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg
"The trouble with New Age music is that there's no evil in it."-Brian Eno

7/4

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2010, 11:14:21 AM »
To 7/4:
ET is a regular temperament, just intonation is not; it is irregular. On a multi-stringed fretted instrument, and in the context of my earlier statement I mean normal, straight frets, irregular temperaments cannot be achieved across a course of differently-tuned open strings of different pitches (excepting unisons & octaves).
Therefore, in light of this, it is my opinion that fretted (straight frets, in the context I intended) instruments do not lend themselves to irregular temperaments, i.e. tunings which have different sizes of intervals within the octave.

Straight frets only for an unequal temperament are not unusual and, in fact the way to go.

I've owned a JI guitar with combination of straight, partial and half frets for almost nine years. I didn't design it, it's the prototype for Jon Catler's G&L JI guitar. I can change tuning of a few of the open strings to expand the tuning, but I'm still limited to a few keys.

When he was still alive, Rod Poole was playing a Martin acoustic with a JI system using only straight frets. He convinced me that this was a more flexible system, before he was killed, he told me he had mapped out 20 different tunings for that neck just by changing the open string tunings. He gave me a tuning to use on my next guitar a few years ago, maybe I'll get that neck made this Summer.

http://www.biink.com/poole/index.htm

Rod Poole in action, photo by me:


Harry Partchs adapted guitars didn't have frets, but they did use a slide, same goes for steel & pedal guitarists who use that "sweet" tuning.

It's common on message boards to break down a post and comment. Sorry if you're uncomfortable with it.

You wouldn't like the Tuning list at Yahoo groups at all. It's all debate by people armed with no experience, but plenty of opinions.

I'd suggest reading Genesis of a Music from cover to cover and also David Doty's Just Intonation Primer and the classic Herman Helmholtz On the Sensations of Tone for an solid foundation in tuning theory.

http://www.amazon.com/Sensations-Tone-Hermann-Helmholtz/dp/0486607534/ref=pd_sim_b_7



millions

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2010, 03:07:54 PM »
"Straight frets only for an unequal temperament are not unusual and, in fact the way to go....I can change tuning of a few of the open strings to expand the tuning, but I'm still limited to a few keys....He convinced me that this was a more flexible system...he told me he had mapped out 20 different tunings for that neck just by changing the open string tunings."

You still haven't explained how this was accomplished using non-movable straight frets, or how the "Hindustani" players you mentioned accomplished playing in irregular tunings.

In Arabic music, it's 17 notes per octave, as their system is Pythagoran-cycle-based also, but certain notes are left out in different scales & genres. I can see how this would work, but not anything other than a basically 17-note octave.

It sounds to me like the guitar you are talking about has a certain number of equally-spaced (logrithmically-progressing) frets per octave, similar to Catler's 31-fret, which can approximate certain 'just' intervals, but that would technically still be an equal temperament. Catler also told me he used certain open-string tunings, but these "flexible" schemes would only come close to being "just," or in approximating other irregular tunings.

Also, "just" intonation is all based on a single starting note, from which all the other intervals are derived. Therefore, in "just" intonation, it's only possible to play in one key.

I've read the Partch book, and have used it as a reference when building chimes. I tend to have to totally "grok" information before I feel I totally understand it, so I'm sure there's much more to learn about this subject.



« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 03:13:41 PM by millions »
"In Spring! In the creation of art, it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg
"The trouble with New Age music is that there's no evil in it."-Brian Eno

7/4

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2010, 03:20:37 PM »
"Straight frets only for an unequal temperament are not unusual and, in fact the way to go....I can change tuning of a few of the open strings to expand the tuning, but I'm still limited to a few keys....He convinced me that this was a more flexible system...he told me he had mapped out 20 different tunings for that neck just by changing the open string tunings."

You still haven't explained how this was accomplished using non-movable straight frets, or how the "Hindustani" and Persian players you mentioned accomplished playing in irregular tunings. In Arabic music, it's 17 notes per octave, and certain notes are left out in different genres. I can see how this would work, but not anything other than a basically 17-note octave.

You don't move the frets, you change the tuning of the open strings.

It sounds to me like the guitar you are talking about has a certain number of equally-spaced (logrithmically) frets per octave, similar to Catler's 31-fret, but that would technically still be an equal temperament. Catler also told me he used certain open-string tunings, but these "flexible" schemes would only come close to being "just," or in approximating other irregular tunings.

Also, "just" intonation is all based on a single starting note, from which all the other intervals are derived. Therefore, in "just" intonation, it's only possible to play in one key.

Sorry - not true. As long as there's more than one key in the tuning, modulation is possible. Read the Just Intonation Primer.

My guitar is not a 31tet guitar, but a Just Intonation guitar with 63 tones to the octave. His open tuning for the Just guitar (in 2001) was only a drop D tuning. I have no idea what he was doing with his 19 & 31tet guitars before that.

7/4

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Re: 12 Notes Not Enough?
« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2010, 03:31:15 PM »
I posted a picture of Rod playing his guitar so you could see a guitar with frets straight across the neck in in unequal temperament. He got variations on his basic tuning by changing the tuning of the open strings.

Is that any clearer?