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19 tone equal temperament keyboard

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19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Alperian » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:21 am

Just when you don't have the scales for that new composition that your wife was singing in the shower the other day, academo have created a 19 tet keyboard at https://academo.org/demos/19-tet-keyboard/.

Could it unlock new progressions that could be popular?
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby francisdw » Thu May 26, 2016 2:34 pm

Check out 20th century American theorist and composer Easley Blackwood. He composed a set of explorational etudes using equal tempered scales of similar divisions, more or less.

In this clip, he's playing in 18-note equal temperament.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZstR-IsHO6w

-Ward
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Folderol » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:54 pm

That's rather interesting - and a bit brain burgling :crazy:

Now if someone were to make a real keyboard like that, it could easily mate to my soft-synth as it has microtonal and scale redefine capability :)
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Scramble » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:22 pm

francisdw wrote:Check out 20th century American theorist and composer Easley Blackwood. He composed a set of explorational etudes using equal tempered scales of similar divisions, more or less.

In this clip, he's playing in 18-note equal temperament.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZstR-IsHO6w

And godawful stuff it is. Maybe someone who's better at writing pop melodies could make a better fist of this sort of thing.
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Wonks » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:54 pm

They are going to need a new version of Autotune!
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:47 pm

Scramble wrote:
francisdw wrote:Check out 20th century American theorist and composer Easley Blackwood. He composed a set of explorational etudes using equal tempered scales of similar divisions, more or less.

In this clip, he's playing in 18-note equal temperament.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZstR-IsHO6w


And godawful stuff it is. Maybe someone who's better at writing pop melodies could make a better fist of this sort of thing.


:) Is it just me or does anybody else think it's simply pretentious, out of tune [email]cr@p[/email] written and performed by musical 'Tracy Emin's'?
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby damoore » Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:14 am

How is that working? The notation looks conventional but clearly the notes coming out do not.
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby francisdw » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:53 am

Easley Blackwood is a music theorist, composer, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago. He made his debut as a concert pianist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at age 14, and studied composition with the trifecta of European composition teachers of the 20th century: Olivier Messiaen, Paul Hindemith, and Nadia Boulanger. Given his level of achievement at one of the most well respected institutions in the States, it's presumably safe to say he's one of the experts on modern composition. That said, if all you're used to are pop-songs, you're not going to find that in his music, and if you approach his music without an open mind or listening intently for the native language in the music, you're not going to find any kind of enjoyment. It's definitely academic music and intended to be exploration of the possibilities in microtonal tuning systems. Judging it against pop music and for the qualities of pop music is a little bit of an absurd idea.Also, keep in mind that the equal-tempered system we know today wasn't solidified until well into the 19th century. It's not unimaginable that it could keep changing either.

How can you call something out of tune that was clearly written to be precisely this way? As well, it's equally pretentious to proclaim your preferences as the only possible way of making music and making music well, which is exactly what's happening when you're calling this music "pretentious, out of tune crap." Just because it's not something you're used to or looking for, doesn't mean its devoid of meaning and emotion in its own terms. In the end, the man was trying to do and explore something that sounded interesting and cool to him with music. Isn't that what we're all trying to do? Is that really pretentious? Or is the only thing making it pretentious our recoil against the unfamiliar and instinctually applying negative otherness to it: a similar root to our current prevailing class, anti-intellectual, racial, and sexual identity conflicts?

-Ward
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Scramble » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:53 am

I'm classically trained. I did music at an academic level. It's still awful crap. The only academic interest there is whether that's due to Blackwood's own lack of talent, or whether the crapness is inherent in that system.

> a similar root to our current prevailing class, anti-intellectual, racial, and sexual identity conflicts?

This is the highbrow version of johnny h telling everyone they're racist Tories for not liking music he approves of. (It's also what ruined twentieth century music. All that tedious rubbish I had to listen to -- and read -- at the Conservatorium, just because the people involved thought it made them seem like progressive intellectuals.)
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby francisdw » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:52 am

My experience with the academy has been that much of the time academics hold just as much, if not more, bias against music that doesn't fit their experiential mold. I hold absolutely no illusions that my view here is remotely popular within or outside the academy. In both cases, you've got a group of people conditioned by their experiences or training telling them exactly how to listen and what to listen for. If you're not condition to listen to a certain music, it isn't at all surprising you're going to enjoy it. That's the challenge of Blackwood's and others' music; you've got to allow yourself to listen for their tropes. For some composers it takes absolute concentration--and why shouldn't it? For Schoenberg, presenting an idea more than once is an insult to the listener's faculties. Again, just because you haven't learned to listen to it on its terms, doesn't mean its crap. All experiences of music are the sum of our training and prior experiences in music. If we choose to listen to the music on terms different then its own, we're just not going to get anything meaningful out of it.

Sure, also the pseudo-progressives, they're everywhere; in my experiences pretty much limited to the students though. Professors tend to be pretty brash about whether or not they like something on a sound basis. The one's that do like that music hear everything happening and know what's going on. It's not just "here's the I-6 row," though, it's "I've heard this thing happen in this sequence, I expect it again, this next thing was or wasn't what I was expecting and contrasts wth x and the changes make it feel like y...," which is the same process that we all use on all music just not as instinctively, with terminology, and without already knowing the exact syntax of what's supposed to happen. The terminology isn't the theory though. The theory part is the story they're constructing of the pieces in their heads. Do you really think people would spend their careers on this music if they didn't find it genuinely interesting or compelling in its own or some way? What I'm somewhat certain you're reading into as the theory, labeling the row forms, sets, whatever, correct me if I'm wrong, I would also think of "embarrassing theory." Lists like that for presentations are the worst at conferences... Theory looks for the patterns in those labels, constructs tropes, and looks for how the composer is using them to form stories and meanings.

Finally, let's clarify and not turn this into a straw man. Johnny H isn't telling everyone they're racist Tories. He's hearing others tell him that they reject the music offhand on bases of it being weird, different, or pretentious on principle. To him, whether they like it is totally irrelevant. Well, if it is because they don't like it, Johnny H is definitely pretentious. Obviously that happens. What matters, to the former Johnny H, is that it's given a chance, regardless of its differences, and isn't rejected on principle. He's saying that thing happens all the time in so many forms, is instinctive, and is one reason for conflict. He's saying if we can recognize that instinct in ourselves, we can choose to let it go and actually try to enjoy the music as it is. We don't have to like it, but lets at least find some reason other than "it doesn't fit exactly what I've heard before and that makes it crap."
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:02 pm

Forgive me for drawing attention to the :) I placed at the beginning of my post :headbang:

To set the record straight, I do understand what you say in that last post and appreciate your explanation.

However, I don't like the piece in question, it may be precisely composed to use the microtonal tuning but, I assume, the fact that Tracey Emin's bed was precisely reconstructed in the Tate Modern does nothing, IMHO, to make it "good art" (whatever that may be) and, to me, it remains, (also IMHO) pretentious [email]cr@p.[/email] TBF I'm also not a fan of 'avant guard jazz' though I do love much that the genre called 'jazz' has to offer.

As a blues and (aspirational) jazz guitarist I'm no stranger to 'the blue note', out of tune (if you like) is not beyond my ken. Used to create tension and release it is a valid concept but as the entire raison d'être of a piece of music it fails on any but the academic level. OTOH if you like it (i.e. find it enjoyable to listen to rather than interesting to deconstruct which is where I would possibly find some value in it) then that is good. To me it is no better or worse than Boney M or Jedward :beam up:

I'll also hold my hands up and admit that while I don't like most extreme styles of heavy metal (and also most of the typical function band repertoire), I love Gypsy Jazz with a passion (something which a large majority of my guitar playing friends find inexplicable, one described it as 'musical mogadon' today) so I don't claim to hold the key to musical nirvana...... I do, however, know what I like :D
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:14 pm

Hmm, er, um, well I guess wiv all them extra intervals now available, the voice leading I and most others are used to is no longer apparent/relevant, so i would assume judging the aesthetic content equally wiv, er, equal temp, ain't really viable.

Perhaps one should look on it as being more abstract? and of course you cain't evaluate abstract painting/sculpture with the realistic/classical stuff.

Good voice leading is good voice leading, regardless of age/year &/or genre, i don't recognise any decent/strong harmonic voice leading, so 'tis either the Emperors New Clothes, or the greatest thing since sliced bread, at the mo i'm wiv the former, pos due to biased indoctrination, pos not, a good tune's a good tune regardless, it's just i don't 'ear a good tune. Er yet?

Er, maybe.
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:41 pm

LdashD wrote:Hmm, er, um, well I guess wiv all them extra intervals now available, the voice leading I and most others are used to is no longer apparent/relevant, so i would assume judging the aesthetic content equally wiv, er, equal temp, ain't really viable.

Perhaps one should look on it as being more abstract? and of course you cain't evaluate abstract painting/sculpture with the realistic/classical stuff.

Good voice leading is good voice leading, regardless of age/year &/or genre, i don't recognise any decent/strong harmonic voice leading, so 'tis either the Emperors New Clothes, or the greatest thing since sliced bread, at the mo i'm wiv the former, pos due to biased indoctrination, pos not, a good tune's a good tune regardless, it's just i don't 'ear a good tune. Er yet?

Er, maybe.

On second thoughts, the t'ing wiv abstract painting is elephants/chimps can do it, not so the classical stuff + I don't really feel like this

https://youtu.be/ZstR-IsHO6w

never 'ave, never want to? Sounds like a freaky surreal episode of wicked 60's US series Lost In Space, when it's all gone pear shaped...

I feel more like this https://youtu.be/RqQGUJK7Na4?t=47s

way before that, like this https://youtu.be/PJtxOqQtRlQ

I think they both neatly demonstrate the real organic nature of music as a progressive revolutionary youthful art form, not an academic experiment that maybe shouldn't've been let out of the lab.
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:40 pm

Folderol wrote:That's rather interesting - and a bit brain burgling

Now if someone were to make a real keyboard like that, it could easily mate to my soft-synth as it has microtonal and scale redefine capability

I liked the piece as well. It has some of the qualities of Zappa's synclavier and even orchestral works.
But back to 19 or other tones - in Logic you can load microtonal scale templates. I tried this many years ago and it worked. I can dig around in old emails to pass on how it's done if anyone is interested.
It was a real mind messer because you play a standard chord shape but don't hear what you think you should. This was super for stretching the mind and exploring new musical paths.
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby dubbmann » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:14 am

I have to add my two cents on Easley. I'm pretty open to all types of music (even banjo ;-) but his work just hurts my ears. I have all my CDs in my computer, and unfortunately a CD called "Blackwood: Microtonal Compositions" by Jeffrey Kust will start automatically after I play Jefferson Airplanes' "Volunteers". It never fails to jar the hell out of me because for about the first two bars it sounds like a standard classical guitar piece and then all the harmonies just start going wrong. It's his 15-note scale but the 19 also fails for me.

Call me a aesthetic reactionary but to me certain things need to line up: fourths and fifths need to be consonant, and if they're off even by a few cents it's like looking in one of those fun-house mirrors that distorts your image. maybe fun for a few seconds but beyond that it's just headache inducing.

I like the comparison to Tracy Emmons. I'm afraid that much of the art of the 20th and now 21st centuries has just been gimmicks. Blackwood may have been a visionary but as far as I'm concerned he wasted his genius on failed efforts to be different. I salute his spirit of adventure but, like most explorers of the 19th century, the results were not worth the effort.

Cheers,

d
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Re: 19 tone equal temperament keyboard

Postby Rousseau » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:25 am

Keyboards with 19 and even 24 keys per octave existed in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nothing new really.
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