Some Interesting Keyboards Some books about music refer to a persistent "myth" that it is possible, using only two keyboards, to construct an instrument on which it is possible to play music in any key using just intonation. Indeed, it is true that it is not possible, with only 24 keys to the octave, to construct an instrument that will play in perfect just intonation in every key. However, it is possible to exhibit an example of the type of keyboard that has given rise to this "myth", so that its capabilities, as well as its limitations, can be seen. Thus, what may be constructed with 24 keys to the octave is a keyboard which allows playing diatonic music in just intonation in any of the twelve conventionally designated keys, even if nothing can be ensured concerning the pitch of accidentals, and with the provision that one has to make a jump in pitch when one transposes around the far end of the circle of fifths. This will be shown explicitly below. The most obvious design: This is the Wicki-Hayden keyboard.
An Introduction to Historical Tunings Or if G vibrates at 100 cycles per second, then B vibrates at 125, and so on. (If you'd like this explained in more detail, visit my Just Intonation Explained page.) The size of a pure 5:4 major third is 386.3 cents, a cent being one 1200th of an octave, or one 100th of a half-step. A pure perfect fifth is a 3 to 2 frequency ratio; if vibrates at 440 cycles per second, then E vibrates at 660 cycles per second. A pure perfect fifth should be 702 cents wide, which is just about 7/12 of an octave; our current equal-tempered tuning accomodates perfect fifths (at 700 cents) within 2 cents, which is closer than most people can distinguish, but the thirds (at 400 cents) are way off, and form audible beats that are ugly once you're sensitized to hear them. Let's look at the meantone solution. A major third and perfect fifth on the same pitch, of course, make up a major triad, the most common chord in European music from 1500 to 1900 - the meantone era. One last point: Why is it called meantone? 3.
Arrangement Tips and Tricks: Fills and Transitions Twice a month we revisit some of our reader favorite posts from throughout the history of Audiotuts+. This tutorial was first published in March 2010. Even the best track can be let down by bad arrangement. Let things slide in this area and you're in danger of losing your listeners' interest. One area that is hugely important is creating interesting transitions and using varying fills when introducing new elements. Step 1: The Basic Drop For the purpose of this tutorial I have mocked up a small dummy arrangement showing the transition between a few different sections of a hypothetical track. In each step of the tutorial we'll look at different techniques for creating varied and interesting fills. First up let's take a look at perhaps the most simple method for moving between sections in your track, the drop. Basically all we are aiming to do here is remove one or more elements from the mix to drop the energy of the piece temporarily. The basic drop. The drop fill in action. ... ...
Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People by Toby W. Rush This page includes links to each of the individual Music Theory pages I've created in PDF form. This is a work in progress; I am writing new ones regularly and fixing errors and omissions on existing ones as I find them. If you find them useful for your theory studies, you are welcome to use them, and if you find errors or have suggestions, I invite you to contact me. Click the thumbnails to view or download each page as a PDF for free! These pages are available for free under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. This collection is a work in progress, but if you would prefer, you can download all the current pages as a single PDF. Each and every one of these pages is available is an 18" x 24" poster. These pages are available in multiple translations and localizations! Interested in helping translate these pages to your own language? What is Music Theory? And why are all these cool and attractive people studying it? Notation: Pitch Notation: Rhythm Notation: Meter Beaming Triads
Just Intonation Explained You can figure out the rest. There is a rather complicated formula for figuring out how many cents large an interval is: Divide 1200 by the logarithm of 2. If you use base 10 logarithms (any base is permitted), 1200/log 2 = 3986.3137... For any ratio n/p, the number of cents in the interval is log (n/p) x 1200/log 2 If you're using log 10, then cents = log (n/p) x 3986.3137... Using this formula, we can obtain the following interval sizes: 16/15 = 111.73... cents 9/8 = 203.91 cents 8/7 = 231.17... cents 7/6 = 266.87... cents 6/5 = 315.64... cents 11/9 = 347.4... cents 5/4 = 386.31... cents 9/7 = 435.08... cents 1323/1024 = 443.52... cents 21/16 = 470.78... cents 4/3 = 498 cents 7/5 = 582.51... cents 3/2 = 702 cents And so on, and so on. The smaller the numbers in an interval's ratio, the more consonant (sweet-sounding) it is, and the more useful it is for purposes of musical intelligibility. By the way, it's really not so difficult to learn to recognize these intervals by ear. 3. 4. David B.
How to Write a Song This easy-to-use guide will show you how to write a song, from finding a great title to writing your melody. Hands-on songwriting exercises will jump start your creativity, while ‘how-to’ video tutorials are a fun way to find out more. by Robin Frederick. What comes first, melody or lyrics? If a song genuinely expresses your feelings, then it’s a good song. So, how do you write a song that moves other people and makes them want to listen? ‣ What is song craft and why do I need it??? Good songwriters use song craft to give their songs emotional impact and create a memorable experience for listeners. The simple, time-tested ideas on this page will help you create a song that expresses your feelings and moves listeners, keeping them involved and interested in what you have to say. ‣ How does a song get started? Getting started can be one of the hardest tasks in songwriting. There’s always the temptation to jump right in and begin with the first thing that occurs to you. ‣ What happens next?
A different way to visualize rhythm - John Varney To learn more on circular perceptions of rhythm with specific reference to African music, read this paper and then watch this Five(ish) Minute Drum Lesson on African Drumming. How has drumming played an essential role in African culture? What do specific rhythms represent? Interested in the software applications of a circular rhythmic approach? What exactly is rhythm? How does the beat of a song differ from its rhythm? As seen from this TED Ed lesson, different cultures share similar rhythms. Rhythm and Math are related? Just love music and want to learn more? How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins Why we love repetition in music - Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis Music as a language -Victor Wooten
Relating Tuning and Timbre This is the full text of the article (more or less) as it first appeared in Experimental Musical Instruments. It was the catalyst for much of the work that resulted in Tuning Timbre Spectrum Scale, and it contains links to computer programs that will make it easy for you to draw dissonance curves yourself. James Forrest has recently created a Java applet for interactive exploration of dissonance curves. Introduction If you've ever attempted to play music in weird tunings (where "weird" means anything other than 12 tone equal temperament), then you've probably noticed that certain timbres (or tones) sound good in some scales and not in others. 17 and 19 tone equal temperament are easy to play in, for instance, because many of the standard timbres in synthesizers sound fine in these tunings. The principle of local consonance describes a relationship between the timbre of a sound and a tuning (or scale) in which the timbre will sound most consonant. What Exactly is Consonance?
I analyzed the chords to 1300 songs for patterns. This is what I found. (Part 3) Interactive Discovery | Blog – Hooktheory Last year, we discussed the first results of a long term effort to study the patterns found in the chords of popular songs. The reception that we got was incredibly positive, and we received a ton of great feedback. The two most common questions we’ve gotten from people have been: “I really like the sound of chords X Y Z together. Our answer: Hooktheory Trends Our crowdsourced database is uniquely suited to answer these questions because it contains the harmonic data of songs indexed in a way that makes it easy to perform this type of analysis. Hooktheory is experiencing VERY high traffic as a result of this article. Mirror 1 Mirror 2 How Trends Works When you open Trends, you will see the most commonly used chords in the key of C. Click a song to highlight where it uses the chords. The ability to quickly explore visually how chords are used in different songs opens up a huge potential for discovery and learning. Get started using Trends by clicking here! Fun things to try