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Old 10-08-2013, 07:55 AM   #1
Funky Monk Funk
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Music and Maths

Hi people, I've had a couple of my friends asking me about Music and Maths and how some people play using this idea.

I've heard about Pythagoras building up the foundations of maths and music, and by halving a frequency we can get an octave etc. and eventually building up a major scale.

I know its not very necessary to use this information to play guitar well but i am curious how people would use this idea in their approach to playing?

Any info would be appreciated.

Cheers
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:25 AM   #2
GoldenGuitar
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Unfortunately in the West we've abandoned I think it was called Just intonation? in favour for playing slightly out of tune for every note. The equal tempermant system.
What a knowledge of string ratio lengths will help you in is playing harmonics, you can apply this knowledge of physics here.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:35 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply and information. I could be wrong but does a fan fretted guitar use the Just Intonation system?
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:42 AM   #4
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Not typically, no. However, golden guitar is incorrect about abandonment of it: classical composers still use it and experiment with alternative intonations.

However, in composing, you could use our standard system to experiment with tonal relations between intervals, overtones and the like.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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Will have to do some more reading about this. Sounds great but seems quite alien and confusing to me atm. Was never keen on maths either so could be even more fun lol.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:49 AM   #6
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Yeah, it can be. Theory is very much something that suddenly clicks without notice.

Maybe look into Schillinger? Or La Monte Young's prepared piano works? Or "Strumming Music" for overtone compositions? Ivor Darreg did some microtonal stuff.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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I think it's at least worth looking into how music intervals derive from frequency ratios.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:56 AM   #8
Funky Monk Funk
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Are there any guitars which use this Just Intonation system? Or any other instruments?

Thanks for the recommendations, i need to walk to the shops shortly so i will have a listen to some music on the way lol. Are there any pieces in particular you could recommend? Not sure what exactly i'll be listening out for?

I'm imagining it will just be a series of sounds which work very well together? And sound unique compared to what i am used to?

Last edited by Funky Monk Funk : 10-08-2013 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:59 AM   #9
Banjocal
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there are many who use microtones. not sure about just intonation but honestly you need to just google such things!
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:29 AM   #10
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You'll probably have a hard time telling intonations apart though. It's like having a very slightly out of tune instrument (or orchestra). so subtle that you'll likely not hear it at first.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banjocal
Not typically, no. However, golden guitar is incorrect about abandonment of it: classical composers still use it and experiment with alternative intonations.

However, in composing, you could use our standard system to experiment with tonal relations between intervals, overtones and the like.

I'm more than aware of it, there is a whole school of composers writing with different tuning systems. Quarter tones were already being used in the 20th century.
Terry Riley wrote a few pieces in Just Intonation, and it is not subtle at all. You'll be able to tell immediately. Try The Harp Of New Albion by Terry Riley and see if you can hear the difference.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:49 PM   #12
Funky Monk Funk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenGuitar
I'm more than aware of it, there is a whole school of composers writing with different tuning systems. Quarter tones were already being used in the 20th century.
Terry Riley wrote a few pieces in Just Intonation, and it is not subtle at all. You'll be able to tell immediately. Try The Harp Of New Albion by Terry Riley and see if you can hear the difference.


Artist recommendation is much appreciated. Just listened to cadence in the wind by Terry Riley. Have to say, that tuning (in this piece anyway) wasn't really for me?

I am finding all this information very interesting though. Thanks!
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