EXPLORATION OF TUNING SYSTEMS

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Dates: 7pm Tuesdays, 23rd March - 13th April

 

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 ASHMANis 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, for 5* rated feature film Tales Of The Apocalypse, and for painter Alf Lohr's recent exhibition at Staatliches Museum, Germany. In April, Maddie released her debut EP 'Don't Come Back', reaching over 27k streams. 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. 

 

  • EP01: Equal Temperament
    Tue, Mar 23
    Zoom
    Mar 23, 7:00 PM GMT
    Zoom
    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.
  • EP02: Microtonal Experience
    Tue, Mar 30
    Zoom
    Mar 30, 7:00 PM GMT+1
    Zoom
    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?
  • EP03: Just Intonation and Beating
    Tue, Apr 06
    Zoom
    Apr 06, 7:00 PM GMT+1
    Zoom
    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?
  • EP04: What is the Future of Music?
    Tue, Apr 13
    Zoom
    Apr 13, 7:00 PM GMT+1
    Zoom
    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.
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