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CT6Mblack

Microtonal Music

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Forgive me if this isn't the appropriate forum under which to post this, but it seemed more fitting than the others.

 

I'm wondering if anyone knows of any artists that frequently use microtonal scales in their recorded music. I know it's often an odd sound that doesn't typically register as "pleasing" to our ears, but I was just curious about it and its use in general and wanted to know if you guys knew of anyone who did this regularly in their music.

 

Thanks

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Eastern stuff obviously. You want western stuff? John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck. Hendrix, Scott Henderson, Brittany Spears...

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Blues is often said to be microtonal, in that "blue notes" are in between the fixed pitches of the western 12-note scale.

So anyone who plays or sings blues deals in microtones, albeit in a familiar formulaic way. (In blues convention, only certain microtones are "right"; others are "out of tune".)

 

For true microtonal music in the west, you need avant garde gurus like Harry Partch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Partch

 

Essentially, the 12 equal octave divisions of conventional western music are only necessary if you're going to use traditional harmony - chords, etc. Our chordal system (tonality, functional harmony) only makes sense (only sounds "in tune") if we stick (close enough) to 12-tone equal temperament. Western harmonic music has more or less dictated the narrow choice of scales that we use.

Types of music that don't employ harmony are much freer to use microtones, for expressive melodic embellishment. Indian raga, for example, which mostly uses 7-note scales, but also recognises 22 octave divisions (shrutis).

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I prefer the orchestral approach to this stuff. Not familiar with any of the following but it's the best of the initial search returns.

This one is very "detuned" but more like disfigured music yhan microtonality.

 

[video=youtube;Nxrfoar3HfQ]

Edited by 1001gear

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I actually stumbled upon Easely Blackwood yesterday morning. He has an album of different songs written in various different equal temperaments. I was just curious to see what was out there since it's not common in popular music for obvious reasons. This guy wrote in equal temperaments with anywhere from 13-24 tones. Apparently though, that Harry Partch guy you mentioned has done stuff in up to 43 tones. However, they're unequal. Anyway, thanks for that! I'll look into him!

Edited by CT6Mblack

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Haha Had you not posted I'd be perusing everything but. I am a drummer though and so deal with indefinite tonality on a daily basis. Ahma post more junk as I come across it if you don't mind.

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In the previous example the score not only expands the media into the visual dimension, it gives you confirmation of order even though it is in this case after the fact. It also provides an accurate map of what to expect - very useful when dealing with the bizarre.

 

Compare to this staple sans movie.

 

[video=youtube;aI0P1NnUFxc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI0P1NnUFxc

 

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I guess this is a pop/folk tune but it's kinda cool. Can anybody translate?

 

I think He's singing about a lost valley or a lost toadstool, not sure. But I love the fretless classical guitar idea. I play/write jazz, fretless bass, lots of microtone stuff. Microtone harmonizing can be a lot of fun, getting, the right degrees of dissonance, since harmonies based on pure Pythagorean fractions won't work.

Of course it's not a problem so much with pink and white noise-based compositions like some of the other stuff above.

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The string parts in the Schnittke Piano Quintet has alot of quarter tones in it. If you look at the score, there's alot half sharps and half flats, and you can clearly hear them.

I absolutely LOVE how he made them fit so well against the piano that isn't capable of playing those notes. The harmonic texture is just beautiful to me.

 

 

Edited by SoulSonicFX

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