Articles

What is your favorite tuning system? Why? Johnny Reinhard, Composer, Bassoonist, Director of the American Festival of Microtonal Music

Johnny Reinhard in Kazan, Russia Photo by Svetlana Sokolova Here in the new millennium composers look about and wonder what connects them together. The answer appears to be the musical intelligence that they possess. Ever since Howard Gardner designated “musical intelligence” as the one of the legitimate human intelligences in his book Frames of Mind, […]

What is your favorite tuning system? Why? Joe Monzo, Composer and Theorist

Joe Monzo Photo courtesy Joe Monzo Ever since encountering Harry Partch‘s Genesis of a Music in the early 1980s, I’ve been most interested in just-intonation (JI) tuning systems. The initial reason for my interest was that I realized there were far more pitches available to composers than the usual 12, and that their relationships could […]

What is your favorite tuning system? Why? Lois V Vierk, Composer

Lois V VierkPhoto by Kurt Ritta Many of my pieces use glissandi, but only a few of my works are actually microtonal. Of these, my favorite tuning is in “Go Guitars” for 5 electric guitars. Each guitar is tuned as follows: lowest string is low E, next string is middle E quarter tone down, next […]

What is your favorite tuning system? Why?

Johnny Reinhard“What is the virtue of sticking to any single system of tuning? Why a system, and not an approach, or multi-systems?…” Joe Monzo“The desire to simplify Partch’s numerical (ratio-based) notation led to me create harmonic lattice-diagrams to represent the pitches in ‘ratio-space’…” Joe Manieri“I’m sorry for all you just people, but I’m un-just…” Lois […]

BETWEEN U S: A HyperHistory of American Microtonalists

Twelve-tone equal temperament, as this common tuning is called, is a 20th-century phenomenon, a blandly homogenous tuning increasingly imposed on all the world’s musics in the name of scientific progress. In short, twelve-tone equal temperament is to tuning what the McDonald’s hamburger is to food.