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Why 12 Notes
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GregW
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August 5, 2020 - 11:44 am
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This video is somewhat related to some topics that are active at the moment ( August 2020 ) .  Im sure this has been covered a bunch here and probably isnt new to most.  I found it informative and helpful.  He does a great job with visuals and breaking it down.

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Gordon Shumway
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August 5, 2020 - 11:49 am
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cos those "Pythagoreans" couldn't handle the maths of anything more complicated (in fact they had quarter tones in real ancient Greek music)

Andrew

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GregW
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Gordon Shumway said
cos those "Pythagorians" couldn't handle the maths of anything more complicated (in fact they had quarter tones in real ancient Greek music)

  

Greats..now gotta search for ancient Greek music to get up to speed.  

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ELCB
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August 5, 2020 - 12:12 pm
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GregW -

Hmm Thinking Here SmileyIf you get a chance, check out my recent post w/links in the "Why did History evolve both flats and sharps?" thread.  Or if you did, was any of the information relevant?

One Eyed Creature Smiley- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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I can summarise ancient Greek music for you.

There was the tetrachord, e.g. EFA and a fourth note. that fourth note could be G or F# or the quartertone between E and F.

Then you put a similar tetrachord BCE (etc.) next to it to get an octave.

(Or that second tetrachord could also be ABbD (etc.))

The extant melodic evidence is basically just aimless, tedious recitative in these modes. (Martin West, Ancient Greek Music)

Note that modes only ever span one octave. Then you repeat the mode an octave higher. It's the mistaken belief that you can go from tetrachord to tetrachord to tetrachord using Pythagorean principles (i.e. from mid octave to mid octave) that gives you the errors that require commas and other things for their "solutions".

If you take the three tetrachords EFGABCDEFGA and calculate every interval, you'll find that already there are discrepancies in the third tetrachord.

There, I just saved you 100 bucks for the paperback, or 1000 bucks for the hardback!

Andrew

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GregW
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August 5, 2020 - 12:46 pm
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ELCB said
GregW -

Hmm Thinking Here SmileyIf you get a chance, check out my recent post w/links in the "Why did History evolve both flats and sharps?" thread.  Or if you did, was any of the information relevant?

One Eyed Creature Smiley- Emily

  

I did and it was great info.  I dont think this covers anything that wasnt discussed there and I debated even posting.  It is a week old and showed up in my youtube list this morning so why I didnt share earlier.  Probably shouldve just posted there.  If it needs to be moved thats good.  I thought it was different enough to start a new topic.

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GregW
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August 5, 2020 - 1:16 pm
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Gordon Shumway said
I can summarise ancient Greek music for you.

There was the tetrachord, e.g. EFA and a fourth note. that fourth note could be G or F# or the quartertone between E and F.

Then you put a similar tetrachord BCE (etc.) next to it to get an octave.

(Or that second tetrachord could also be ABbD (etc.))

The extant melodic evidence is basically just aimless, tedious recitative in these modes. (Martin West, Ancient Greek Music)

Note that modes only ever span one octave. Then you repeat the mode an octave higher. It's the mistaken belief that you can go from tetrachord to tetrachord to tetrachord using Pythagorean principles (i.e. from mid octave to mid octave) that gives you the errors that require commas and other things for their "solutions".

If you take the three tetrachords EFGABCDEFGA and calculate every interval, you'll find that already there are discrepancies in the third tetrachord.

There, I just saved you 100 bucks for the paperback, or 1000 bucks for the hardback!

  

Thank you Gordon Shumway!  And you bringing it up wouldve sparked enough interest to look for that.  Ill have to say that I dont believe that I wouldve spent 100 on a paperback though 🙂  

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ELCB
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August 5, 2020 - 3:38 pm
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Thanks GregW -

I think this is a good subject to explore.  Btw, the video you found is an excellent visual aid! 

Maybe quarter tones are a good compromise - the piano seems to be the problem (crash, boom).

It's understandable how important the piano has been throughout history especially for composing music.   Maybe a different type of hybrid piano needs to be invented...not just adding a bunch of extra keys, but maybe multitasking piano keys - more sensitive to "how" or "where" they are touched.  Maybe get rid of piano keys altogether - play on light!

Liberate the musical instruments capable of expanded tonality!

Wow, guess I've been listening to too much "high energy" fiddle playing lately - I better get back to my vibrato...

Ilona - you may find this interesting - from the Finnish Music Quarterly.  "Instruments that play between the notes".

https://fmq.fi/articles/instru.....he-notes 

Temporary Insanity Day Emoticons

blackand_white_cat.gif- Emily

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AndrewH
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August 5, 2020 - 11:24 pm
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The only thing is... the piano keyboard and equal temperament are relative latecomers in Western music. The 12 tones correspond to small number ratios; but if playing in more than one key, you have to use compromise intervals so that octaves continue to work. The octave is the one interval that absolutely cannot be compromised. Equal temperament, the compromise that is used on the piano today, was invented during Bach's lifetime. His Well-Tempered Clavier preludes and fugues would not have been possible for earlier composers to write.

In the first half of the 20th century, a number of composers experimented with microtonal systems -- among the most notable were Harry Partch, Alois Haba, and Julian Carrillo. Partch even built new instruments to play his 43-note scale. Beyond quarter tones, I'm not sure much of the microtonal experimentation stuck, because it simply became awkward to read.

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SharonC
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August 7, 2020 - 1:17 pm
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This is a really good video.  I know I hit those quarter tones too often (unintentionally—like the one between C♯ and C♮)—I think I have enough trouble with the 12 notes, I don’t need to worry about more.

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GregW
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SharonC said
This is a really good video.  I know I hit those quarter tones too often (unintentionally—like the one between C♯ and C♮)—I think I have enough trouble with the 12 notes, I don’t need to worry about more.

  

feel the same. 

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Gordon Shumway
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I feel that here I am justified in shoe-horning in a nice Bartok quote taken from Yehudi Menuhin's autobiog (p.165).

Bartok asked Menuhin his opinion of a passage in the first movement of his 2nd violin concerto.

(shortened version)

"It's rather chromatic, I offered. Yes, he said, it's chromatic. It comes 32 times, never exactly the same. I wanted to show Schoenberg that one can use all 12 tones and still remain tonal."

Andrew

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