Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Explorations
To chain oneself, as a creator – to impose limitations within which to work – is a legitimate exercise of personal freedom; to be forced to endure such limitations because of a conspiracy of factors quite beyond the ordinary creator’s control is a musical horse of another color. –Harry Partch
In this chapter I talk about twentieth and twenty-first century innovations in tuning, including Just Intonation guitars (check out the frets below!), synthesizers, theramins, Harry Partch’s 43-note Just tuning, etc. I also talk about composers and musicians who have dabbled in 53-equal tuning. Among all these contemporary pioneers is a strong sense that the 12-equal tuning system is too limiting, and that there is considerable creative potential to be found in other tuning systems.
I discuss Danielou’s extensive theoretical exploration of the 53-equal tuning template, and his discovery of all 52 of the harmonic relationships in this tuning (see below).
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