Just Intonation Resources

luka

Well-known member
those videos are too long for me to sit through but what i want to know is, what are the cosmic implications?
 

Woebot

Well-known member
those videos are too long for me to sit through but what i want to know is, what are the cosmic implications?
davis you're turning into steve jobs - you need to watch that - you have to watch at least one of the videos and you will IMMEDIATELY see the cosmic implications - but to help you here is (an extremely cool) quote from kyle gann:

"I've had interesting experiences playing just-intonation music for non-music-major students. Sometimes they will identify an equal-tempered chord as "happy, upbeat," and the same chord in just intonation as "sad, gloomy." Of course, this is the first time they've ever heard anything but equal temperament, and they're far more familiar with the first sound than the second. But I think they correctly hit on the point that equal temperament chords do have a kind of active buzz to them, a level of harmonic excitement and intensity. By contrast, just-intonation chords are much calmer, more passive; you literally have to slow down to listen to them. (As Terry Riley says, Western music is fast because it's not in tune.) It makes sense that American teenagers would identify tranquil, purely consonant harmony as moody and depressing. Listening from the other side, I've learned to hear equal temperament music as a kind of aural caffeine, overly busy and nervous-making. If you're used to getting that kind of buzz from music, you feel the lack of it as a deprivation when it's not there. But do we need it? Most cultures use music for meditation, and ours may be the only culture that doesn't. With our tuning, we can't.

My teacher, Ben Johnston, was convinced that our tuning is responsible for much of our cultural psychology, the fact that we are so geared toward progress and action and violence and so little attuned to introspection, contentment, and acquiesence. Equal temperament could be described as the musical equivalent to eating a lot of red meat and processed sugars and watching violent action films. The music doesn't turn your attention inward, it makes you want to go out and work off your nervous energy on something.

On a more subtle level, after I've been immersed in just intonation for a couple of weeks, equal temperament music begins to sound insipid, bland, colorless. There are only eleven types of intervals available instead of the potential several dozen that exist in even the simplest just system, and you don't get gradations of different sizes of major third or major sixths the way you do in just tuning. On a piano in just intonation, moving from one tonic to another changes the whole interval makeup of the key, and you get a really specific, visceral feel for where you are on the pitch map. That feeling disappears in bland, all-keys-the-same equal temperament. As a composer, I enjoy having the option, if I'm going to use a minor third interval, of being able to choose among the 7/6, 6/5, 19/16, and 11/9 varieties, each with its own individual feeling.

Far beyond the mere theoretical purity, playing in just intonation for long periods sensitizes me to a myriad colors, and coming back to the equal tempered world is like seeing everything click back into black and white. It's a disappointing readjustment. Come to think of it, maybe you shouldn't try just intonation - you'll become unfit to live in the West, and have to move to India or Bali."

 

luka

Well-known member
but is it saying any indian classical music is in just intonation too? what about the folk stuff? what about 'muslim bangers'? pakistan, morocco, egypt, the sufisphere....
 

Woebot

Well-known member
but is it saying any indian classical music is in just intonation too? what about the folk stuff? what about 'muslim bangers'? pakistan, morocco, egypt, the sufisphere....

pandit pran nath always sung PERFECTLY in tune. that's one of the benefits of vocal music over instrumental music in which it's harder to achieve. that's one of the key reasons why the indian classical music tradition favours pure vocal music over everything else.

in indian music there are a bunch of different tunings. not specifically just. any raga is set into a tuning - yamaan, bhairav, malkauns etc etc they are like perfectly tuned scales. and you only sing notes within that scale.

i'm still figuring it all out. i've picked up this little FM synth for a few bob - a preen - and loaded some of these just intonation scales into it. just mucking about really.

i was thinking though that some bright spark should make just intonation rave music. like a brilliant collision of different divine/ecstatic musics. there's absolutely no reason why that isn't a legitimate idea. indeed something like hennix's "electric harpsichord" has ravey qualities to it think

 

woops

is not like other people
i should really watch the ideo 'cos i've never been able to get my head round these "other" tuning systems, surely an octave is an octave is an octave. are we to hear new harmonies and retrain the music mind?
 

wektor

Well-known member
i should really watch the ideo 'cos i've never been able to get my head round these "other" tuning systems, surely an octave is an octave is an octave. are we to hear new harmonies and retrain the music mind?
some of the scales might sound wonky at first but generally it's the even temperament that was made for drawing rooms where aristocratic children would spend their time.
just intonation is more natural and physically justified afaik so it makes things resonate more pleasingly.
even temperament is quantified in a weird way, think leap years in the calendar

here goes!
nightcore version for the impatient
 

thirdform

Well-known member
pandit pran nath always sung PERFECTLY in tune. that's one of the benefits of vocal music over instrumental music in which it's harder to achieve. that's one of the key reasons why the indian classical music tradition favours pure vocal music over everything else.

in indian music there are a bunch of different tunings. not specifically just. any raga is set into a tuning - yamaan, bhairav, malkauns etc etc they are like perfectly tuned scales. and you only sing notes within that scale.

i'm still figuring it all out. i've picked up this little FM synth for a few bob - a preen - and loaded some of these just intonation scales into it. just mucking about really.

i was thinking though that some bright spark should make just intonation rave music. like a brilliant collision of different divine/ecstatic musics. there's absolutely no reason why that isn't a legitimate idea. indeed something like hennix's "electric harpsichord" has ravey qualities to it think


It exists, based on maqam. Check Sote's parallel Persia album.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
i should really watch the ideo 'cos i've never been able to get my head round these "other" tuning systems, surely an octave is an octave is an octave. are we to hear new harmonies and retrain the music mind?

no. you can divide semitones into ever more miniscule intervals. usually in middle eastern music you have 24, but some turkish makam practitioners go as far as 72 - but by that point its really unnecessary. Quartertonal is generally sufficient outside of the avant-garde academic ghetto.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
pandit pran nath always sung PERFECTLY in tune. that's one of the benefits of vocal music over instrumental music in which it's harder to achieve. that's one of the key reasons why the indian classical music tradition favours pure vocal music over everything else.

in indian music there are a bunch of different tunings. not specifically just. any raga is set into a tuning - yamaan, bhairav, malkauns etc etc they are like perfectly tuned scales. and you only sing notes within that scale.

i'm still figuring it all out. i've picked up this little FM synth for a few bob - a preen - and loaded some of these just intonation scales into it. just mucking about really.

i was thinking though that some bright spark should make just intonation rave music. like a brilliant collision of different divine/ecstatic musics. there's absolutely no reason why that isn't a legitimate idea. indeed something like hennix's "electric harpsichord" has ravey qualities to it think


You need to get onto Kel Hamza and Hafiz Burhan.


 

thirdform

Well-known member
@luka from Daniel Spicer's turkish psych book

“During the Anadolu Pop period, my organ playing was a fusion of Western playing in the manner of Anatolian reed instruments,” he states. “I started to focus on Turkish folk music, I studied traditional instruments such as the saz, zurna and ney. During the ’60s I was more and more into Anatolian folk musicians who played Anatolian reed instruments like the zurna in a very special microtonal scale. This informed my organ playing and evoked my interest in microtonal properties. I found out the microtonal similarities of Anatolian and Delta Blues way earlier than Ry Cooder did with the Mali thing.”

Here, Ses refers to American guitarist Ry Cooder’s 1994 album Talking Timbuktu, a collaboration with Malian multi-instrumentalist Ali Farka Touré, whose guitar playing is widely seen as highlighting US blues’ roots in Malian traditional music. In fact, while the transportation of West African slaves and their musical heritage to the New World undoubtedly planted the seed of the blues, the flattened, microtonal ‘blue notes’ that formed the basis of the blues (and, later, rock) can be seen as a 20th-century manifestation of an aesthetic sensibility found in traditional, non-Western tunings all over the world since ancient times, from Indian raga and Balinese gamelan to Arabic maqam and Turkish makam. Only in Western culture, pinched by the tyrannous girdle of twelve equal tunings per octave, have microintervals smaller than a semitone been viewed with suspicion, often simply dismissed as sounding ‘out of tune’ – a blinkered viewpoint effectively challenged by a succession of 20th-century avant-garde composers and pioneers including Claude Debussy, Terry Riley, Harry Partch and Wendy Carlos. For Turkish musicians like Ses, who had grown up hearing the microintervals of classical Turkish music and Anatolian folk music, it seemed only natural to incorporate microtonal tunings into their own versions of rock ’n’ roll melodies. By the second half of the ’60s, Ses was also starting to pick up the psychedelic vibrations emanating from the West: “Istanbul was one of the important points on the hippie route of London to Katmandu, so I had intense contact with the new scene. British bands Dave Clark Five, Animals, Beatles, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd were my favourites. [Organist] Alan Price’s performance on the [Animals’] single “House of the Rising Sun” and other keyboardists of the era – Brian Auger, Manfred Mann and Vincent Crane.”
 

thirdform

Well-known member
By this time, Moğollar had also started to wear traditional costumes of bulky sheepskin and rough fabrics – a clear visual statement of their interest in all things Anatolian. Today, Ses credits much of this transformation to the influence of his wife, Nihal Ses: “Nihal gave me rare recordings of Anatolian musicians like Binali Selman and others, recordings of the so-called Davul Zurna music – a musical style of pure Anatolian folkloric dance, mainly containing the traditional [davul] drum and [double-reeded] zurna. She had founded one of the first Anatolian folk dance groups in Istanbul and had the idea of composing and producing contemporary music out of Anatolian roots in the manner of Latin, African and Celtic experiences. It would be the first of its kind from our region.” For Ses, exposure to Davul Zurna music by master practitioners such as Binali Selman – vibrant, living folk music traditionally played at communal occasions such as wedding receptions – provided a much-needed jolt of energy. The sleevenotes to Folk Ensemble, a CD by Binali Selman that I bought in Istanbul in 2013, convey some of the sense of tradition and excitement the music aims to evoke: “Loud combination of bass drum and conical double-reed zurna. Folk dance has evolved over great stretches of time by communal practice and the process of handing on through successive generations, operates within a framework of natural selections and an unconscious choice of the more acceptable traits. You can never sit or stand still while listening to this cassette [sic], but dance with the rhythm of the rich overtones.” With its rolling, unrelenting rhythms and high, keening pipes, the music has a similar effect on the listener’s nervous system to the extended Sufi trance rituals performed by the Master Musicians of Jajouka in northern Morocco’s Rif Mountains. And, just as the sounds of Jajouka quickened the imaginations of visitors such as William Burroughs, Brian Jones and Ornette Coleman, so Davul Zurna gave Ses et al the inspiration they needed to pursue their vision with a new vigour.

Would say Indian classical is more aristocratic though compared to this stuff. Davul Zurna music is much heavier than traditional turkish art music, and much more clan and peasant based.
 
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