Straight lines and equal increments are rare in nature. And the return of non-tempered tunings has opened exciting new possibilities for moving Western music off the grid and out of the box.
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, […]
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 […]
Joe Maneri Photo courtesy of Joe Maneri I was always interested in microtonal music. Over 40 years ago I started playing Turkish and Albanian music which includes quartertones and other intervals as many folk musics do. And then, in 1972, I was moved to write a microtonal piece. I had a cousin who was unable […]
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 […]
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 […]
New music needs a new paradigm for funding.
Thomas BucknerOpen up the System: “Instead of having only a few giant organizations, we should spread the power around…” June HechingerFocus on American Composers: “As American citizens, we felt it was important to focus on American composers…” Gayle MorganIs There Too Much New Music?: “Even with an average annual grant list of 25 new music […]
Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard As one of many American composers who has yet to make a living from composing music, I am simultaneously perplexed and humbled by the economics of music making in a free market economy. Like so many of my colleagues following in the grand American tradition of William Billings and […]