Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Microtonal Music Videos

Microtonal music is any music that uses a tuning other than the standard twelve note equal temperament that we are used to. This type of music is growing in popularity. I am pleased that there are now some good videos available to demonstrate some of the forms that this varied music can take.

Microtonal music is usually made with computers or retunable electronic keyboards, but it's also possible to use acoustic instruments.

This first video features two pianos that have been retuned so that they can play in a tuning with seventeen equally spaced notes to the octave instead of the usual twelve. I admire the way these two performers work together to produce music that would be impossible on a single piano.

It's almost an hour long, so you may want to grab some popcorn.

Seventeen Note Piano Project, Phase 2

This next video features a microtonal variation on the C minor scale. (The A and D notes are each thirty cents flat.)

A Scream From Lebanon

Additional Information

For program notes on the Seventeen Tone Piano Project visit xenharmonic.wikispaces.com.

For more information on microtonal music, visit my blog Daniel Thompson Microtonal Composer.


startlingmoniker said...

The first video is wonderful. I'm curious, though-- what are those flags that are raised at the start? They're attached to the pianos. Also, what is the picture the performer furthest from the camera shows the audience?

Jacob Barton said...

The flags feature hand-drawn "#" and "b" - which has to do with the way the notes are divided up between the pianos and the chosen nomenclature. The pictures are of the composers. No one in the audience could really make them out either. Oh well.

-the one on the left

Charline said...

This is cool!