Exploration of Tuning Systems

 

In Western culture today, our music is, for the most part, confined to equal temperament, in which we have 12 fixed pitches to build harmony and melody. But what about our infinite potential of pitches, and the sonic experience of micro-intervals? 

This series explores whether microtonality and just intonation have a place in mainstream consumption of music. Looking at the history of our tuning systems, notions of what really is 'in tune', and the sonic experience of pure intervals, we will discover how equal temperament can limit us, and how composers are breaking free from this convention.

 

 

 

Maddie Ashman is a London based multi-instrumentalist and composer. Recent interdisciplinary work has involved writing original music for two sell out shows at Edinburgh Fringe with Slipshod Theatre, feature films and exhibitions. Over the last year, Maddie has turned her focus to deeply exploring microtonality and just intonation, studying with renowned composer Michael Harrison. She aspires to bring overlooked tuning systems and their sound worlds into media composition.
 

https://soundcloud.com/maddie-ashman

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JUST INTONATION - entire series
Nov 04, 4:30 PM GMT – Nov 25, 5:30 PM GMT
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The entire four episodes of the workshop
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Episode 1: EQUAL TEMPERAMENT?
Nov 04, 4:30 PM GMT
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What is equal temperament, and what does it mean for music today? In this episode we will look at our history of tuning systems in Western Classical music and discuss equal temperament's relevance in the conflict of nature vs human society.
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Episode 2: TUNING IN
Nov 11, 4:30 PM GMT
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What does 'in tune' actually mean? In this episode we will discuss the roots of microtonal music, approaches to microtonal composition and how it is received. Does microtonal music have potential to be consumed on the same level as equal temperament?
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Episode 3: JUST INTONATION
Nov 18, 4:30 PM GMT
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What is just intonation and how do we experience pure intervals? In this episode we will explore how the harmonic series, musical commas, and the phenomena of beating can be used as compositional tools. Could these techniques be applied in songs, theatre and film music?
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Episode 4: UNFAMILIAR NOTATIONS
Nov 25, 4:30 PM GMT
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What is the future of music? Will equal temperament dominate capitalist music consumption forever? In this episode we will face the challenges of moving away from equal temperament, such as fixed instrument limitations, unfamiliar notation systems and advanced recording methods.