#1
As some of you may remember from several months ago, I ordered the first volume of Paul Hindemith's The Craft of Musical Composition and was about to start reading it. Well, now I'm almost finished, and my mind has been opened to a very original theory of harmony that allows me to write music that sometimes defies traditional harmonic analysis, yet still has a strong pull towards a tonal center. If you have any questions about it, just shoot me a PM. But enough about that.

Earlier in the book, Hindemith proposes a method for constructing a chromatic scale using the exact mathematical ratios of the harmonic series. This is called just intonation, and is not in any way a new thing. However, I've become incredibly interested in it as of late, and not just in making a 12-tone chromatic scale. I've also become interested in what's known as extended just intonation, which refers to tuning systems based on ratios with a higher prime limit (Wiki link explaining musical limits) than 5, which is the prime limit of Hindemith's (and most other people's) just scales that approximate 12-tone equal temperament. Harry Partch is considered the father of extended just intonation, and his music is what got me into it.

Here's an interesting site by a guy who modified his old classical to have a fretboard with a 7-limit just intonation scale, as well as a couple of other old classicals with other just tunings: http://users.rcn.com/dante.interport/justguitar.html

I don't know about you guys, but I think this stuff is incredibly interesting. And call me crazy for liking this weird "out-of-tune" music, but I think it's a lot more interesting than a lot of stuff out there, and certainly more original.
#3
I still haven't gotten around to listening to La Monte Young, even though I really like minimalism.

Well, I just found a video of "The Well-Tuned Piano," so I guess I'll listen to him now.

EDIT: Actually, it's just an excerpt, since the original is over five hours long.
Last edited by Holy Katana at Sep 6, 2010,
#4
Quote by Holy Katana
Well, I just found a video of "The Well-Tuned Piano," so I guess I'll listen to him now.
I'm listening to it now too. It sounds out of tune, but singing along feels amazing.

I think that's one of my favorite things about a capella music (particularly barber-shop quartet type stuff); it allows for the voice to sometimes fall into the just intervals, making the chords sound amazing.

As for guitar and stuff I'm fully satisfied with 12TET, as the equally tempered chromatic scale is pretty handy sometimes.

Plus, you can still do just intervals on the guitar by bending or using harmonics.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Sep 6, 2010,
#5
I haven't used JI, but I do like other temperaments besides 12-edo in an attempt to get intervals closer to just. 31- and 50-edo are good ones. I prefer to have only size of whole tone.
#6
Quote by food1010
I'm listening to it now too. It sounds out of tune, but singing along feels amazing.

I think that's one of my favorite things about a capella music (particularly barber-shop quartet type stuff); it allows for the voice to sometimes fall into the just intervals, making the chords sound amazing.

As for guitar and stuff I'm fully satisfied with 12TET, as the equally tempered chromatic scale is pretty handy sometimes.

Plus, you can still do just intervals on the guitar by bending or using harmonics.

I practically went into a trance near the end. I don't even know what caused it, but I started feeling incredibly strange maybe a minute after the fast arpeggios started.

I didn't think it sounded out of tune, just different. The fifths are marvelous. You can at least agree with that, right? Yes, the thirds sound a lot different than 12-TET thirds, even though they're more acoustically resonant, and it takes some getting used to, but a just fifth beats the living shit out of any tempered fifth I've heard. It's so unbelievably powerful-sounding.

Also, it's practically impossible to do just intervals with bending, since you need a lot more control over pitch than bending allows. A just fifth is about two cents sharper than a 12-TET fifth. A just fourth is about two cents flat. They aren't even noticeably different than their 12-TET counterparts unless you play them along with the root, since you can hear the beating in the 12-TET intervals then and tell them apart.

Although, yes, you can do them with harmonics, even though the number of pitches you can use is severely limited, and unless you tune your strings to just intervals, playing multiple harmonics won't get you just intervals. And then your intonation would be really off when you play fretted notes.
#7
Quote by Holy Katana
I practically went into a trance near the end. I don't even know what caused it, but I started feeling incredibly strange maybe a minute after the fast arpeggios started.

I didn't think it sounded out of tune, just different. The fifths are marvelous. You can at least agree with that, right? Yes, the thirds sound a lot different than 12-TET thirds, even though they're more acoustically resonant, and it takes some getting used to, but a just fifth beats the living shit out of any tempered fifth I've heard. It's so unbelievably powerful-sounding.
Oh, I agree. I guess I worded it improperly. It doesn't sound out of tune as much as just being different. I couldn't justify calling it "wrong" but it does seem odd when you're used to equally tempered intervals.

Quote by Holy Katana
Also, it's practically impossible to do just intervals with bending, since you need a lot more control over pitch than bending allows. A just fifth is about two cents sharper than a 12-TET fifth. A just fourth is about two cents flat. They aren't even noticeably different than their 12-TET counterparts unless you play them along with the root, since you can hear the beating in the 12-TET intervals then and tell them apart.

Although, yes, you can do them with harmonics, even though the number of pitches you can use is severely limited, and unless you tune your strings to just intervals, playing multiple harmonics won't get you just intervals. And then your intonation would be really off when you play fretted notes.
Yeah you're right. With harmonics it's hard to be completely in just intonation, but you can still use some just fifths and thirds.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea