Questions tagged [microtonality]

For questions related to microtonal tuning systems, or systems that use intervals smaller than a half step.

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Why is B♯ higher than C♭ in 31-ET?

I was looking into microtonal series, and started reading a bit on the 31-ET series, and came across something that doesn't quite make sense to me. I noticed this chart on the wiki page for 31-ET ...
Siyual's user avatar
  • 942
24 votes
8 answers
73k views

B -> C and E -> F, No Sharp?

The keyboard has these notes: A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# Why do B and C and E and F not have a sharp note between them? If they did, the keyboard would look like this: A A# B B# C ...
Jacob Swanson's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
4k views

How many notes are in an octave in Indian classical music? Is it 7, 12, or 22?

What is the logic behind dividing an octave into 22 notes?
Sadhana's user avatar
  • 788
19 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does this sharp sign with an arrow mean?

I've seen this symbol (that looks like a sharp sign with an arrow sticking out of it) in some meme videos, but I don't know what it means:
Ian Miller's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are the characteristic intervals or scales of 13-limit harmony and beyond?

I've been studying and really getting into the Extended Just Intonation music of composers like Ben Johnston and Kyle Gann. I've started trying to explore the sort of intervals and scales that are ...
Pat Muchmore's user avatar
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10 votes
5 answers
479 views

"∞-TET": Is there music that doesn't use discretely pitched notes?

Is there music that doesn't use notes with discrete* pitches, but rather has instruments playing continuously changing frequencies? I know there are microtonal tunings as high as 72-TET, but is there ...
Geremia's user avatar
  • 881
10 votes
6 answers
697 views

How would you play a normal song on an n-TET instrument?

I learnt this week that if we divide an octave into 53 notes (53-TET), then all basic intervals approximations will be improved. I am trying to understand how one would play a normal song (for 12-TET) ...
aiwl's user avatar
  • 203
9 votes
2 answers
715 views

Microtonal theorists who go beyond describing temperament and scale construction

I know of a couple of composers and theorists who have written why they prefer a given tuning or number of notes. But what I am looking for is someone who addresses typical analytical and ...
lightning's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
2k views

How do you exactly notate in 31-TET?

So I always wanted to compose a song in 31-TET inspired by a song I heard on musescore some months ago, the thing is that I didnt know how to notate in 31-TET, so obviously i want to learn.
arcioko's user avatar
  • 437
8 votes
4 answers
719 views

Can tonic sol-fa cope with quarter tones?

Tonic sol-fa gives names to the seven scale degrees then modifies the vowel sound of note names to indicate semitone modifications. It handles enharmonic respellings, so for instance, do di re ri mi ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
241 views

How should tuning systems / temperaments be notated in modern scores?

Similar to this question: How were tuning/temperaments indicated on scores (if they ever were)? In modern musical notation how should the use of something other than equal temperament be notated? See ...
Bruce Adams's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Lilypond: Create natural signs and accidentals manually

Edit: At first, I was looking for a way to add natural signs manually. Turns out that, at least for the moment, I actually need to place accidentals manually. Generally, I might need both in the ...
Pida's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is there any support for microtonality and temperaments in (or beyond) the MIDI specification?

The number of tones (or notes) per 8ve is just one of many potentially customisable aspects of any instrument. Standard midi, however, is pretty much clamped to western 12-tone equal temperament. ...
user2165086's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Sending microtuned MIDI notes to audio software

I know about the possibility to microtune softwares such as Logic or Pianoteq, connect a regular midi keyboard and be able to play microtuned scales. My question, however, is if I connect an ...
nakhle's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
203 views

Where to find information about tunings?

When the Web was young I was on a mailing list called The Tunings List where you could discuss tunings and ask the experts. It closed and the members switched to Yahoo Groups. That too is coming to an ...
Old Brixtonian's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
221 views

Mode of Limited Transposition for Microtonal Temperament

There's a recent paper discussing the theory of limited transposition for general n-temperament scale: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Generalizing-Messiaen-%E2%80%99-s-Modes-of-Limited-to-a-...
PeaBrane's user avatar
  • 193
6 votes
1 answer
149 views

How do I make microtonal music less jarring? [closed]

I'm a beginner at composing with microtones. I understand that microtonal music is going to be jarring for most people because it is so different compared to 12-tet music. My current strategy is to ...
Dylan Levine's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
286 views

What is the name for the tuning D E F+1/3 G A B C+1/3?

I've retranscribed a piece of music whose original transcription was made around 1800 during Napoleon's Egypt expedition. The original transcriber describes the following tuning for the Arabic Rast ...
infojunkie's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
437 views

What is the tone name for 7-TET?

Since 7-TET has 7 tones, I thought the tone are okay to be labeled CDEFGAB. But actually, the "E" is closer to just ratio 6/5 than 5/4, and "B" is closer to 9/5 than 15/8. So is it really okay?
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to name quarter tone chords

Studying the flamenco mode I found that the third note of the scale is tonic when tonic is played, so it would be a major chord, yet minor in all the other cases. Eg. in the key of E the scale would ...
András Hummer's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
500 views

Could it be possible to convert a midi file from Equal Temperament notes to Just Intonation using Sysex data? [duplicate]

I read today that Sysex files have the capacity to contain additional note pitch information from the regular 0-127 in normal MIDI. Is it possible to convert a regular MIDI file to Sysex type, and add ...
Chessologist's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

how to make tuning adjustments to pitches in midi files

Total midi noob here. Say I export a score that I'm writing with music notation software as a midi file (or I suppose any midi file, but that's where my midi files will come from). How would I go into ...
Paul K's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
2 answers
119 views

Two tunings included with Scala: "Tau-On-Side Opposite" and "Upside Down Wedding Cake"

Scala comes with a very large collection of tunings. Many of these are mysterious to me. Specifically, I'm seeking information about these two: pyramid_down.scl 12 Upside-Down Wedding ...
helveticat's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Key signatures with Quarter Tones

I know how to write the key signatures for any note within the 12-note chromatic scale. I know this doesn't come up very often, but what are some ways to write out key signatures for passages of music ...
user45266's user avatar
  • 12.6k
5 votes
1 answer
433 views

Release and tension in micro-harmony

I've been getting a lot into microtonality/xenharmony recently. However, I've been struggling when composing, since the theory of functional harmony I usually rely on is now deemed useless. I ...
Anonymous Pi's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
213 views

How many kinds of Maqam systems are there in far and middle eastern music

I have read about "Arabic Maqams" used in music (which is quite well discussed) but there are other Maqam systems as well. What are the other Maqam systems used in other cultures/ traditions?...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
301 views

The definition of scales in 53edo

The common division of the octave, 12edo, doesn't have a problem to define sharps and flats: [C] [C♯/D♭] [D] [D♯/E♭] [E] [F] [F♯/G♭] [G] [G♯/A♭] [A] [A♯/B♭] [B] Bold texts indicate black keys. ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
188 views

Strange fretwiring on a classical guitar

I've just bought a pre-loved classical guitar, with extra frets! They look like they were not on the original, and are half-way between the 1st and 2nd, and 3rd and 4th frets. What would be the point ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
4 votes
1 answer
89 views

Is it ok to use irregular key signatures for neutral scales?

So for 24-TET neutral scales is it correct to use irregular key signatures? or do I need to use a minor with accidentals or something?
arcioko's user avatar
  • 437
4 votes
1 answer
182 views

How do I write with Sagittal notation and other microtonal notations? [closed]

I just found out that quarter tones aren't the only microtones. Now I'd like to experiment and write music with microtones. I'd like to know how to read and write with sagittal notation (or other ...
DaveRainbowin's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
227 views

Definition of Chromatic and Diatonic Semitone in 31 TET

I am trying to learn about music theories in 31 TET, I learned that 2 fifthtones are a chromatic semitone, 3 fifthtones are a diatonic semitone, 4 fifthtones are a neutral semitone, five fifthtones ...
Eary Chow's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
389 views

Is a cappella xenharmonic by default?

I recently watched Adam Neely's video about comma pump. He quotes from "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" by Arnold Schoenberg. (Chapter XI, page 99): ...the natural semi-tones differ in ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are scales usually 7 notes in Middle-Eastern music?

I noticed that the Phrygian dominant (aka hijaz maqam) is used a lot in Middle-Eastern music. I also noticed that the oud, which is capable of playing microtonal intervals, is used a lot too. Although ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
160 views

Has anyone required nonstandard fingerings for "normal" pipe instruments?

By "normal," I mean pipe instruments that are tuned to 12-equal temperament. They have "standard" fingering for each notes in 12edo, but I recall that, when I was young, I found it ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
351 views

How are key signatures for quarter tones denoted?

For example, in 31-TET, all tones are accessible via (double) sharps or (double) flats on CDEFGAB. So there exists key signatures, for example, D double-flat major. (That's same as C half-sharp major.)...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

MIDI pitch bend vs MIDI Tuning Standard: microtones

I'm working on a project that generates music. It allows the user to select a wide variety of tunings (n-EDO up to 49000, etc). I have two methods implemented so far and both rely on MIDI. Using the ...
bfootdav's user avatar
  • 373
3 votes
4 answers
3k views

Half, Three Quarter Sharps and Microtonality

Less often (in for instance microtonal music notation) one will encounter half, or three-quarter,... or otherwise modified, sharps. A half sharp indicates the use of quarter tones, and may be marked ...
Jacob Swanson's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
269 views

Does the scale of C major with a half-sharp D have a name?

I am using the same melody for 2 instruments and I half-sharpened every D note on the second one, and left the first as C major. Does this have a name? Or is it used anywhere?
Red Mermaid's user avatar
2 votes
6 answers
491 views

Please help me clarify this sentence about 'microtones' on Grove Music

The following sentence is from an article titled Microtone from Grove Music. The harmonic question is differently settled, of course, when microtones are conceived not as additions to the equal-...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

How do I aurally recognize microtonality?

In this music interview with Jacob Collier, Jacob gave an example of microtonal voice leading. The example song was Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, in C, specifically the ending of the song. He sang a ...
krismath's user avatar
  • 1,363
2 votes
1 answer
811 views

Is there an explicit number of 'notes' in microtonal music/scales?

Western music consists of 12 unique notes that are repeated across octaves. Is there any set number of unique notes in microtonal music? Or does the number of notes vary depending on the octave?
MrTheBard's user avatar
  • 1,960
2 votes
4 answers
133 views

Under what arithmetic conditions do collections of vibrations sound "nice"

I can't recall where but I had read somewhere (different places and different times) the following two pieces of advice: when playing an interval of two notes one after the other at A-hertz and B-...
Sidharth Ghoshal's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
403 views

Notation for Equal Division of an Interval?

In an interview, Jacob Collier talks about microtonal voice leading (dividing a minor 3rd into 4 equal parts): June Lee notates this with a horizontal bracket and a ...
sporkl's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
2 answers
530 views

11th or 13th harmonic in a progression

I know the dominant seventh chords include a 7th harmonic and there are progressions using them. What about utilizing higher harmonics? Maybe an add6 chord implies the ratio 13/8 for some certain ...
Ahmet Bilal's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
155 views

Why does key-change from C to C♯ sound so exotic than C to D♭?

I downloaded and retuned Night Walk from Rhythm Tengoku from 12edo to 19edo, along with some tweaks (correction of key signatures, and correction of range of the glockenspiel) The original piece goes ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
323 views

Calculating consonance/dissonance (i.e. need for resolution) from list of frequencies [duplicate]

Is anyone aware of any formulas that can be used to calculate consonance or dissonance from a list of frequencies (in hertz)? I realize consonance/dissonance is a somewhat nebulous concept. What I ...
SeaChange's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Custom scale and key signature

I am currently experimenting with microtonality in LilyPond. Mainly, I would like to switch to the Pythagorean tuning and lower or raise pitches by a syntotic comma, as in the this snippet. However, ...
FKranhold's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
2 answers
349 views

Are there popular microtonal scales for violins? Or any instrument that can easily get microtones?

I'm interested in popular or used microtonal scales. I don't need a list of all possible ones, just those that are used. If you could also please give the uses of such microtonalities to hear not just ...
Red Mermaid's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Virtual synthesizer or piano roll with controllable number of keys per octave?

I am interested in performing and composing in non-twelve tone scales, such as 19-EDO (aka 19-TET) or 31-EDO (aka 31-TET). While there are virtual synthesizers that allow you to play microtonal ...
R Tyler McLaughlin's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
96 views

(24-EDO) Microtonal chord symbols for these chords

I came across some interesting chords recently in a series talking about 19-EDO but I found that a lot of them work quite well in 24-EDO as well, and they are shown below. I can get behind everything ...
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