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Why micro-tuning is important

24

Comments

  • edited August 3

    @Max23 said:
    why micro tuning is important?
    simple. world music.

    but the well tempered piano is also very nice.

    omg, he said jehowa.

    as discussed above, the well tempered clavier is microtonal music and it wasn't written on or for piano. and also, it's from the world, so pretty sure it's world music too. :)

  • microtonal versions:

    (that last one is an awful recording, but still lovely. wonderful to be reminded that some of the earliest keyboard instruments had aftertouch :) )

  • edited August 3

    @palm said:
    microtonal versions:

    (that last one is an awful recording, but still lovely. wonderful to be reminded that some of the earliest keyboard instruments had aftertouch :) )

    Like the last one, the first two don’t begin in c maj? Any reason for that do you know?

  • @TrevorLlewellyn said:

    @palm said:
    microtonal versions:

    (that last one is an awful recording, but still lovely. wonderful to be reminded that some of the earliest keyboard instruments had aftertouch :) )

    Like the last one, the first two don’t begin in c maj? Any reason for that do you know?

    yeah, I love clavichord, it's rarely recorded since it's so goddamned quiet.

    they're in C, just not a C based in 440. A was often tuned to 415 in that era, but was not standardized, so the base pitch of keyboards likely varied pretty widely. Some instruments sound better higher, some lower..

  • @palm said:

    @TrevorLlewellyn said:

    @palm said:
    microtonal versions:

    (that last one is an awful recording, but still lovely. wonderful to be reminded that some of the earliest keyboard instruments had aftertouch :) )

    Like the last one, the first two don’t begin in c maj? Any reason for that do you know?

    yeah, I love clavichord, it's rarely recorded since it's so goddamned quiet.

    they're in C, just not a C based in 440. A was often tuned to 415 in that era, but was not standardized, so the base pitch of keyboards likely varied pretty widely. Some instruments sound better higher, some lower..

    Aaahhh, sounds like the second one is like 414/5 the first is like in 394 range! Hihi

  • Microtuning can be extra helpful when playing with groups of people

  • edited August 4

    @palm said:

    @Max23 said:
    why micro tuning is important?
    simple. world music.

    but the well tempered piano is also very nice.

    omg, he said jehowa.

    as discussed above, the well tempered clavier is microtonal music and it wasn't written on or for piano. and also, it's from the world, so pretty sure it's world music too. :)

    well, it surely never sounds like this, how ever you scale it.
    eyverthink was/is still 12 tone with repeating octave.
    this isn't.
    if you don't leave the western world 12 tone system, microtonal isnt very exotic. ;)
    if you tune the 12 tones a little like this or like that, and want to call it microtonal, yes well you can, but meh.

    if you set the pitch of the house up or down,(what pitch (Hz) is a), isnt really relevant.
    has been done forever, you do it to complement the vocals so they dont have to sing such high notes ... this has nothing to do with microtonal music. ;)

    old church organs are not a=440hz and you can't tune them
    it doesn't matter what pitch the pitch of the house is as long has everybody playing has the same reference pitch ... and the instrument is in tune with itself. there is nothing happening here. meh.

    if you have an instrument with a resonant body or a boomy room it will sound different because of the resonances ... (so instruments can sound better or worse äh, lets say different with what ever pitch a is)

  • @Max23 said:

    @palm said:

    @Max23 said:
    why micro tuning is important?
    simple. world music.

    but the well tempered piano is also very nice.

    omg, he said jehowa.

    as discussed above, the well tempered clavier is microtonal music and it wasn't written on or for piano. and also, it's from the world, so pretty sure it's world music too. :)

    well, it surely never sounds like this, how ever you scale it.
    eyverthink was/is still 12 tone with repeating octave.
    this isn't.
    if you don't leave the western world 12 tone system, microtonal isnt very exotic. ;)
    if you tune the 12 tones a little like this or like that, and want to call it microtonal, yes well you can, but meh.

    if you set the pitch of the house up or down,(what pitch (Hz) is a), isnt really relevant.
    has been done forever, you do it to complement the vocals so they dont have to sing such high notes ... this has nothing to do with microtonal music. ;)

    old church organs are not a=440hz and you can't tune them
    it doesn't matter what pitch the pitch of the house is as long has everybody playing has the same reference pitch ... and the instrument is in tune with itself. there is nothing happening here. meh.

    if you have an instrument with a resonant body or a boomy room it will sound different because of the resonances ... (so instruments can sound better or worse äh, lets say different with what ever pitch a is)

    You seem to love to drop into a discussion to impart a loud "meh". But it's clear you didn't take the time to follow the thread. Nobody's talking about pitching the whole thing up or down. UNEQUAL temperaments are absolutely microtonal. If it's too subtle or "not exotic" enough for you, well then "meh" to you. Exotic is in the ear of the beholder. Buxtehude and Bach will be just as exotic as any advanced music made by humanoids depending on what music you've been steeped in.

    context

  • edited August 4

    I guess that's my point.
    I dont experience a pitch change of lets say something drastic like 20 cent really as pitch change.
    its a more a change in timbre if you detune so little.

    and if you play me a=non 440hz I won't notice if you dont tell me,
    if the rest is in tune with itself.
    there is literally nothing changing at all here.
    so its not subtile, its not happening.

    bach is good to play on any tuning. sounds good on a badly out of tune honky tonk piano, lol

  • @Max23 said:
    I guess that's my point.
    I dont experience a pitch change of lets say something drastic like 20 cent really as pitch change.
    its a more a change in timbre if you detune so little.

    and if you play me a=non 440hz I won't notice if you dont tell me,
    if the rest is in tune with itself.
    there is literally nothing changing at all here.
    so its not subtile, its not happening.

    bach is good to play on any tuning. sounds good on a badly out of tune honky tonk piano, lol

    I think ‘pitch change’ and ‘timbre change’ are referring to the same thing here.
    The whole point of micro tuning and temperament is to affect the way upper harmonics are emphasized, which results in different timbres.

  • edited August 4

    I'm cool with 12TET. It's simply the easiest thing for a group of people to tune together to and play a long setlist of songs live with instead of taking the time between each to attempt to re-tune to different temperaments, but of course most common portable instruments are not tunable to different temperaments anyways, and even if they could, would take too much time in most live, social situations.

    Also, the pure tone of say Just intonation has beauty, but becomes boring very quick, as it literally becomes just an exploration of the harmonics which already exist in a single note being played on a piano or guitar string.

    Even the closest middle-ground we have these days, string quartets, fretless instruments which can achieve stronger just intonation resolutions, don't draw massive crowds or interest.

    That said, 12TET on fretted guitars is capable of vast differences with simply different string pressure and micro-bends to full blown bends, not to mention that a typically fretted guitar isn't capable of true 12TET across its range anyway (something that true temperament system tries to solve), so a typical fretted instrument has microtonality included by structure anyway.

    I think before going down this microtonal spiral though, I hope people try something more simple related to 12TET, just tune down by 50cents and play and write songs that way for awhile. Many of those different colors we are looking for are there and don't require abandonment of a very communicable and relatable system.

    Just my take. Everything has its place of course.

  • @Max23 said:

    old church organs are not a=440hz and you can't tune them
    it doesn't matter what pitch the pitch of the house is as long has everybody playing has the same reference pitch ... and the instrument is in tune with itself. there is nothing happening here. meh.

    tell that to an organ tuner lol. any organ made before the 1900's is NOT in equal temperament, unless it's been updated (as many sadly were by the 1950's)

    @Max23 said:

    I guess that's my point.
    I dont experience a pitch change of lets say something drastic like 20 cent really as pitch change.
    its a more a change in timbre if you detune so little.

    and if you play me a=non 440hz I won't notice if you dont tell me,
    if the rest is in tune with itself.
    there is literally nothing changing at all here.
    so its not subtile, its not happening.

    If something is too subtle for you personally, it does not mean nothing is happening. Try to remember that your experience is not the same as everybody else's.

    The difference of .1 cents can be very drastic when working with very high harmonics. Synths that tune in whole cents cannot even tune a 3/2 interval (fifth) perfectly, I don't even bother with microtonal instruments that can't go finer than whole cents, as it's just not enough resolution to get what I'm after.

    To say that "nothing is happening" or that there's no difference in a 20 cent difference.. I don't know what to tell you.. if you haven't worked in just intonation, where a few cents can make or break a fragile tuning system, then these opinions don't really mean a whole lot. yeah, if you're using heavily detuned synth patches with washes of chorused reverb, then everything's out of tune anyhow and you would never notice a subtle pitch change. But if you're working with sustained pitches, stacked in a tight harmonic tuning, accentuating upper harmonics (7 on up) then even the slightest deviation will be noticeable.

    Just because you don't care about something, does not mean it isn't happening.

    bach is good to play on any tuning. sounds good on a badly out of tune honky tonk piano, lol

    agreed, but clearly better in some tunings than others imo. I for one appreciate when people do their homework.

  • edited August 5

    @palm said:

    @Max23 said:

    old church organs are not a=440hz and you can't tune them
    it doesn't matter what pitch the pitch of the house is as long has everybody playing has the same reference pitch ... and the instrument is in tune with itself. there is nothing happening here. meh.

    tell that to an organ tuner lol. any organ made before the 1900's is NOT in equal temperament, unless it's been updated (as many sadly were by the 1950's)

    @Max23 said:

    I guess that's my point.
    I dont experience a pitch change of lets say something drastic like 20 cent really as pitch change.
    its a more a change in timbre if you detune so little.

    and if you play me a=non 440hz I won't notice if you dont tell me,
    if the rest is in tune with itself.
    there is literally nothing changing at all here.
    so its not subtile, its not happening.

    If something is too subtle for you personally, it does not mean nothing is happening. Try to remember that your experience is not the same as everybody else's.

    The difference of .1 cents can be very drastic when working with very high harmonics. Synths that tune in whole cents cannot even tune a 3/2 interval (fifth) perfectly, I don't even bother with microtonal instruments that can't go finer than whole cents, as it's just not enough resolution to get what I'm after.

    To say that "nothing is happening" or that there's no difference in a 20 cent difference.. I don't know what to tell you.. if you haven't worked in just intonation, where a few cents can make or break a fragile tuning system, then these opinions don't really mean a whole lot. yeah, if you're using heavily detuned synth patches with washes of chorused reverb, then everything's out of tune anyhow and you would never notice a subtle pitch change. But if you're working with sustained pitches, stacked in a tight harmonic tuning, accentuating upper harmonics (7 on up) then even the slightest deviation will be noticeable.

    Just because you don't care about something, does not mean it isn't happening.

    bach is good to play on any tuning. sounds good on a badly out of tune honky tonk piano, lol

    agreed, but clearly better in some tunings than others imo. I for one appreciate when people do their homework.

    I did my homework and I appreciate korean, Malaysian, chinese or raga scales over these delicate variations over 12 tones. its not doing much, the other stuff is really different and has much more unexplored potential. demo is called opium because I am really just showing off with the pitch here. played live and retuned while the delay fades out. I sometimes need to detune a sound by as much as 20 cent to get the sound I am after. So 20 cent can be a very "grey" area where its not clear if you are messing with pitch or timbre. and I am playing a synth and I have separate control over pitch and overtones.
    In the music theory books they simply say everything what is not pitch is timbre. But it simply does not work like that.

    I really like hirajoshi, lol

  • @TheoryNotes said:
    I'm cool with 12TET. It's simply the easiest thing for a group of people to tune together to and play a long setlist of songs live with instead of taking the time between each to attempt to re-tune to different temperaments, but of course most common portable instruments are not tunable to different temperaments anyways, and even if they could, would take too much time in most live, social situations.

    Also, the pure tone of say Just intonation has beauty, but becomes boring very quick, as it literally becomes just an exploration of the harmonics which already exist in a single note being played on a piano or guitar string.

    Even the closest middle-ground we have these days, string quartets, fretless instruments which can achieve stronger just intonation resolutions, don't draw massive crowds or interest.

    That said, 12TET on fretted guitars is capable of vast differences with simply different string pressure and micro-bends to full blown bends, not to mention that a typically fretted guitar isn't capable of true 12TET across its range anyway (something that true temperament system tries to solve), so a typical fretted instrument has microtonality included by structure anyway.

    I think before going down this microtonal spiral though, I hope people try something more simple related to 12TET, just tune down by 50cents and play and write songs that way for awhile. Many of those different colors we are looking for are there and don't require abandonment of a very communicable and relatable system.

    Just my take. Everything has its place of course.

    I found that learning to sing in tune with a tanpura changed my entire outlook on music. I would hope for all musicians to be able to at least experience what it feels like to be in tune with the universe. Of course, 12et is great for pieces that modulate, and for playing in groups with a variety of instruments, though. Not knocking it at all.

  • edited August 5

    Well, at least in tune with a single fundamental of that universe.

    The issue however is that the universe contains a practically infinite number of fundamentals depending on how you choose to look at it, and they don't all align harmonically in perfect just intonation in nature.

    There isn't a place in our daily natural world where it would be likely to find only a combination of fundamentals aligned in the form of a single fundamental and its harmonics.

    In fact, its an abstraction which isn't a natural representation of the universe at all, but rather a small piece of physics and from our point of view a recognizable "logic" springing from it.

    I believe 12TET is something that allows us to bring mathematical logic to creating sound without removing the complexity and sophistication of the combinations of the various untuned fundamentals we experience freely interacting with each other in our daily lives.

    Just intonation could only be considered "natural" or a signature of the universe if there only was a lone fundamental for that universe.

    And we can't approximate it unless we use unnatural instruments, such as synths, which have the ability to isolate fundamentals from their harmonics.

    Again, just my personal take.

  • @Max23 said:

    @palm said:

    @Max23 said:

    old church organs are not a=440hz and you can't tune them
    it doesn't matter what pitch the pitch of the house is as long has everybody playing has the same reference pitch ... and the instrument is in tune with itself. there is nothing happening here. meh.

    tell that to an organ tuner lol. any organ made before the 1900's is NOT in equal temperament, unless it's been updated (as many sadly were by the 1950's)

    @Max23 said:

    I guess that's my point.
    I dont experience a pitch change of lets say something drastic like 20 cent really as pitch change.
    its a more a change in timbre if you detune so little.

    and if you play me a=non 440hz I won't notice if you dont tell me,
    if the rest is in tune with itself.
    there is literally nothing changing at all here.
    so its not subtile, its not happening.

    If something is too subtle for you personally, it does not mean nothing is happening. Try to remember that your experience is not the same as everybody else's.

    The difference of .1 cents can be very drastic when working with very high harmonics. Synths that tune in whole cents cannot even tune a 3/2 interval (fifth) perfectly, I don't even bother with microtonal instruments that can't go finer than whole cents, as it's just not enough resolution to get what I'm after.

    To say that "nothing is happening" or that there's no difference in a 20 cent difference.. I don't know what to tell you.. if you haven't worked in just intonation, where a few cents can make or break a fragile tuning system, then these opinions don't really mean a whole lot. yeah, if you're using heavily detuned synth patches with washes of chorused reverb, then everything's out of tune anyhow and you would never notice a subtle pitch change. But if you're working with sustained pitches, stacked in a tight harmonic tuning, accentuating upper harmonics (7 on up) then even the slightest deviation will be noticeable.

    Just because you don't care about something, does not mean it isn't happening.

    bach is good to play on any tuning. sounds good on a badly out of tune honky tonk piano, lol

    agreed, but clearly better in some tunings than others imo. I for one appreciate when people do their homework.

    I did my homework and I appreciate korean, Malaysian, chinese or raga scales over these delicate variations over 12 tones. its not doing much, the other stuff is really different and has much more unexplored potential. demo is called opium because I am really just showing off with the pitch here. played live and retuned while the delay fades out. I sometimes need to detune a sound by as much as 20 cent to get the sound I am after. So 20 cent can be a very "grey" area where its not clear if you are messing with pitch or timbre. and I am playing a synth and I have separate control over pitch and overtones.
    In the music theory books they simply say everything what is not pitch is timbre. But it simply does not work like that.

    I really like hirajoshi, lol

    by homework, I meant playing bach microtonally rather than in equal temperament.. That wasn't meant toward you. You seem like you have an interest in microtuning that is entirely different than mine. That's cool. Go for that thing you're after.

    I think what you're missing from the above discussion, is that the subtle microtonal stuff can be extremely interesting and powerful if you take the time to listen and play with it. If you're not interested, that's totally fine. But to barge in and declare that nothing is happening, it's just silly and frankly just speaks to your own level of pitch detection.

    and to emphatically insist that somehow a 12 tone scale is so much less exotic than a 5 or 7 tone scale examples, well this to me is a lot like your analogy of lifting the house. The number of pitches is not the interesting part. It's the pitches themselves. You can tune a 12 tone scale but base it on upper harmonics and it will sound very wild whereas you can have a 178 tone scale or even a 3 tone scale based on the first 5 harmonics and they will sound much more familiar.

    further, I think the bigger picture that you're missing is that the claim of what is more or less exotic is a bit absurd. Exotic to you, sure, from a eurocentric perspective.. If you allow your mind to entertain the possibility that not everyone is steeped in the same culture that you are, you might consider that Bach might sound radical and intensely exotic to some ears. The music, the tuning, the instrumentation, etc..

    I am not from Europe, and even though European classical music has had a massive reach and influence on human music in the last little couple centuries, I still find that early music, particularly baroque and earlier (when played in the tunings of the time (this is the homework I was referring to.. often only to be surmised by educated guesswork and trial and error), I find it to be no less exotic than any other human music), is just as exotic to my ear as a gamelan ensemble or beautiful raga shredding. Maybe it's because I've spent alot of time listening to those forms, certainly moreso than deep listening to western classical music.

    To me, intentionally trying to make some music sound exotic is about as impressive as adding exotic spices to mashed potatoes or maybe like trying to dress "funky" by dressing in the traditional garb from some far-off land. There's just something a bit too unsubtle about that sort of thing for my own taste. Your mileage will obviously vary.. I'm not after exotic. I just like nice music and I'm a fan of tuning systems.

    for example, I find these western european microtonal musics sound infinitely more exotic and enjoyable than the tunings on that soundcloud example above:





  • edited August 5

    dealing with penta or sept tone scales is much simpler than the more divided octave.
    If I am trying to play with Arabian quarter tone scales everything sounds sad, no matter what I try. lol
    So I am not very skilled, but these "world scales" tickle something in me I dont get from western traditions.

  • @TheoryNotes said:
    Well, at least in tune with a single fundamental of that universe.

    The issue however is that the universe contains a practically infinite number of fundamentals depending on how you choose to look at it, and they don't all align harmonically in perfect just intonation in nature.

    There isn't a place in our daily natural world where it would be likely to find only a combination of fundamentals aligned in the form of a single fundamental and its harmonics.

    In fact, its an abstraction which isn't a natural representation of the universe at all, but rather a small piece of physics and from our point of view a recognizable "logic" springing from it.

    I believe 12TET is something that allows us to bring mathematical logic to creating sound without removing the complexity and sophistication of the combinations of the various untuned fundamentals we experience freely interacting with each other in our daily lives.

    Just intonation could only be considered "natural" or a signature of the universe if there only was a lone fundamental for that universe.

    And we can't approximate it unless we use unnatural instruments, such as synths, which have the ability to isolate fundamentals from their harmonics.

    Again, just my personal take.

    Yes! An infinite number of fundamentals—exactly so! Once I learned to sing with the tanpura, I realized that you can tune a given note nearly anywhere you want and make it sound good, so long as it fits the context (the universe). Once I had mastered this, intonation became perhaps the primal source of expression.

    People working only with keyboards and computers will never experience this. It’s only available on instruments that don’t rely on fixed tuning. The human voice is most immediate, but non-keyed flutes and unfretted bowed strings can come very close. Even a fretless bass can be remarkably expressive in this realm. You need to be able to vary intonation for each note, and vary it for as long as that note sounds.

    When working with keyboards and computers, intonation is more theoretical and less immediate, because we lack fine control of each note’s tuning as we play (a mod wheel is far too crude a control to overcome this limitation). Instead we have to predefine a tuning system and then be confined by it. And so we get these arguments about which tuning system is best—a debate that mostly ignores how humans make music when they have control of each note.

  • edited August 5

    interesting observation about singing to a tanpura, thank you.

    @Wrlds2ndBstGeoshredr said:

    When working with keyboards and computers, intonation is more theoretical and less immediate, because we lack fine control of each note’s tuning as we play

    this is true of course, luckily there are a couple of keyboards and softsynths with MPE. The Sensel Morph, my first MPE controller, was a revelation to me. I can play a standard tune, in 12ET, and bend each note at will on the x-axis. The receiving instrument's pitch bend range defines how much bending takes place.

    This is a different way of keyboard playing, with a different tuning system, namely my ear and fingers. I do not know what tuning system I'm playing in, but it's the one I like. And maybe not the same for every day. And of course one can do subtle vibratos, or crazy vibratos, which render more pleasing than LFO-driven vibratos.

    For the first time I'm completely happy with a keyboard. I should have invested earlier in this tech, get a Haken Continuum, but I didn't like the red colour, and the price. The Sensel Morph is about $300.

  • I liked this use of microtonal music in pop music - granted, it was a sample

    The original Moroccan tune, which is awesome imo:

    I learned that while quarter-tones are widely used in Arabic language songs, the exact tuning of the quarter tones varies by region - Moroccan is apparently different from Turkish and Egyptian...

  • @Wrlds2ndBstGeoshredr said:
    this is true of course, luckily there are a couple of keyboards and softsynths with MPE. The Sensel Morph, my first MPE controller, was a revelation to me. I can play a standard tune, in 12ET, and bend each note at will on the x-axis. The receiving instrument's pitch bend range defines how much bending takes place.

    Good to know about the Sensel. Been eyeing that or the Touché.

  • Not sure if this fits into a microtonal topic but since its related to tunings I thought I'd post it here:
    TET and JET

  • edited August 9

    I've had many more thoughts and realizations about this topic since I posted last. I'm simply not feeling well enough to write a coherent response at the moment, but I'll try.

    Truly appreciating the necessity and power of 12TET, I think it's important to recognize that one of the primary reasons this became necessary was for developing a notation system which would support many instruments of different timbres designed to specifically represent the temperament, and allow these instruments to play together in a unified way by everyone interested in making music, not just professionals on temperament free instruments.

    Of course, that was to allow music publishers to sell sheet music to the widest audience possible, reinforced by the instrument industry creating 12TET based instruments. It's about creating consistent results in the non-digital world.

    Also, i'ts so easy to sweeten a tone by sweeping up the range by pitch bending. In fact, aside from vocals or other instrumentation that has been auto-tuned to +/-0, every vocal performance, even in the context of completely 12TET backing, is microtonal.

    I can definitely say, looking at my audio in the flex-pitch mode of Logic Pro, that I am exclusively a microtonal singer, lol.

    And all that is to say that 12TET does not prevent microtonal expression as much as we might think. These things, like sounds in the universe we experience, are not incompatible.

    I just got an Arturia Keystep today, and I'm having tons of fun with the pitch strip on it since I can start the tone at any point on the pitch strip rather than what I would have to do on a pitch wheel where I would have to first scroll up or down to that position.

  • edited August 10

    @audiblevideo said:
    Not sure if this fits into a microtonal topic but since its related to tunings I thought I'd post it here:
    TET and JET

    432 has absolutely nothing to do with microtonality

  • @palm said:

    @audiblevideo said:
    Not sure if this fits into a microtonal topic but since its related to tunings I thought I'd post it here:
    TET and JET

    432 has absolutely nothing to do with microtonality

    Did you watch it though? I found it interesting seeing what happened when you re-tuned instruments to a non well tempered scale. The title is a bit clickbait...

  • @TheoryNotes said:
    I've had many more thoughts and realizations about this topic since I posted last. I'm simply not feeling well enough to write a coherent response at the moment, but I'll try.

    Truly appreciating the necessity and power of 12TET, I think it's important to recognize that one of the primary reasons this became necessary was for developing a notation system which would support many instruments of different timbres designed to specifically represent the temperament, and allow these instruments to play together in a unified way by everyone interested in making music, not just professionals on temperament free instruments.

    Of course, that was to allow music publishers to sell sheet music to the widest audience possible, reinforced by the instrument industry creating 12TET based instruments. It's about creating consistent results in the non-digital world.

    Also, i'ts so easy to sweeten a tone by sweeping up the range by pitch bending. In fact, aside from vocals or other instrumentation that has been auto-tuned to +/-0, every vocal performance, even in the context of completely 12TET backing, is microtonal.

    I can definitely say, looking at my audio in the flex-pitch mode of Logic Pro, that I am exclusively a microtonal singer, lol.

    And all that is to say that 12TET does not prevent microtonal expression as much as we might think. These things, like sounds in the universe we experience, are not incompatible.

    I just got an Arturia Keystep today, and I'm having tons of fun with the pitch strip on it since I can start the tone at any point on the pitch strip rather than what I would have to do on a pitch wheel where I would have to first scroll up or down to that position.

    hmm....

    I'd agree with the assessment that 12tet is a result of capitalism and a direct response to the industrial revolution. It's great for selling things. I find that Equal Temperament has an analog in the world of artificial flavors - which cropped up in the late 1800's:

    There was a mad dash to create "authentic" tasting artificial flavors. And now that we've grown so accustomed to these, the artificial ones sometimes taste better to us than the thing it was derived from. People prefer "movie theater" popcorn, with fake butter flavor, and think it is somehow more authentic than the real deal.

    12tet only truly came into its own with the mass production of the piano, as did the standard of A440.

    12TET does not prevent microtonal expression as much as we might think. These things, like sounds in the universe we experience, are not incompatible.

    I sort of agree with this, but it is still locked in to what is essentially a five limit system, where none of the harmonics above the 5th one are represented, and none of those that are are actually in tune except the first two (root and octave). Yeah, you can pitch bend to accommodate, but if you do hit any of those harmonics, they will all sound "out" (even though they're perfectly in tune) thanks to the tempered scale with its implied rules of harmony.

    Sure, there are composers and musicians that really do incredible things with the equal tempered scale, even successfully implying the upper harmonics (Debussy, Varese, and Thelonious Monk come to mind), but it's so much easier to do when you actually have access to those harmonics, and an equally tempered piano simply does not.

    and yes, the human voice, or any non-fixed pitch instrument will naturally gravitate to smaller ratios that sound sweeter to the ear, but if accompanied by a tempered instrument, it muddies the possible colors, resulting in a grey brown when it could be something electric blue.

    Again, it's entirely subjective, and to me, 12tet is like working in greyscale, whereas JI is like discovering the land of OZ in full technicolor.

  • @audiblevideo said:

    @palm said:

    @audiblevideo said:
    Not sure if this fits into a microtonal topic but since its related to tunings I thought I'd post it here:
    TET and JET

    432 has absolutely nothing to do with microtonality

    Did you watch it though? I found it interesting seeing what happened when you re-tuned instruments to a non well tempered scale. The title is a bit clickbait...

    yes, I watched it. Well Temperament is microtonal. I know it's confusing, but Well is not the same as Equal. The vid is clickbait, and while it does a decent job of showing why the 432 thing is absurd, it unfortunately doesn't do much to demonstrate how just intonation might be used. Playing modulating jazz piano voicings in an arbitrary old tuning systems, such as the pythagorean one is going to sound pretty bad.

  • @palm said:

    @audiblevideo said:

    @palm said:

    @audiblevideo said:
    Not sure if this fits into a microtonal topic but since its related to tunings I thought I'd post it here:
    TET and JET

    432 has absolutely nothing to do with microtonality

    Did you watch it though? I found it interesting seeing what happened when you re-tuned instruments to a non well tempered scale. The title is a bit clickbait...

    yes, I watched it. Well Temperament is microtonal. I know it's confusing, but Well is not the same as Equal. The vid is clickbait, and while it does a decent job of showing why the 432 thing is absurd, it unfortunately doesn't do much to demonstrate how just intonation might be used. Playing modulating jazz piano voicings in an arbitrary old tuning systems, such as the pythagorean one is going to sound pretty bad.

    432 is a beautiful tone just like 440, all of them are equally beautiful. The tuning or the intervals is the music.

    I agree with palm views but for me equal tuning is perfectly fine for my practice and study of music. If a computer could read my mind and retune my instrument as i play to adjust for key changes i’d buy that!

  • edited August 10

    Ultimately I keep in mind that the only way to achieve that pure abstraction of just intonation is through a soft synth which will limit harmonics.

    I've definitely ran this experiment before, and trying to tune a piano or any machined instrument and thinking the result of attempts at just intonation will be purity is not true unfortunately as each set of tones will bring their own harmonics which when combined will not be just.

    In the physical world, it really only is possible to maintain a consistent and relatively unmoving pure just intonation tone from an un-fretted single string vibrating, possibly as a drone. Not my preferred choice of music, but to each their own.

    So, in the grand scheme of things, each 12TET A440 tone is as pure as any other single tone.

    But, ultimately, I've realized that humans respond to mathematics and specifically geometry far more than nature.

    I'm fairly sure that's how we all ended up on this forum, typing on these standardized devices, communicating to each other from all corners of the world.

    So, again, while I do appreciate the sound of just intonation, using it harmonically is all about exploring all the sounds which already exist in a lone vibrating string. There isn't much interesting movement that I hear in that, but again, to each their own.

    I personally believe that 12TET works for people on the basis of 5ths, and that people use psycho-acoustically understood geometry to build structures on top of that, thus 12th root of 2 is and will remain the king of the best compromises for octave division.

    Any reasoning based on 3rds just falls apart for me.

    And I don't believe in musicology and/or psycho-acoustic conditioning either. It was basically made up from the same schools of thought for projecting and promoting elitism, and providing excuses for controlling populations.

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