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xenharmonic (microtonal wiki)
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What was your path to discovering alternate tunings?
I became interested in ethnic music from around the world while a student at Michigan State University. Colin McPhee's book
Music In Bali
was an influence, as well as other books that I can't recall by name, which introduced me to 19-ET and other equal temperaments. Also, I saw a presentation by Owen Jorgensen demonstrating various historical tunings as well as his own unusual "Five and Seven" temperament (5-ET on the black keys, 7-ET on the white keys). Around the same time that I started listening to music from Bali, Japan, India and so on, Wendy Carlos' album
Beauty In the Beast
came out, featuring some familiar tunings as well as the exotic Alpha and Beta scales. Years later, I found out about Easley Blackwood's etudes in various ETs, and began to realize you can get good music even from scales that look "bad" on paper.
What are your current/past/future particular interests?
My main interest in the tuning area is regular temperaments. One that I especially like for a number of reasons is lemba, a temperament that was first noticed in a big list of 7-limit regular temperaments on the tuning-math list. Generally I prefer the simpler temperaments like keemun or porcupine over the more complex ones like ennealimmal (but the lack of an appropriate input device might account for that preference). I've also done some music in equal temperaments as well as JI scales.
What instruments or means have you had/do you have now/do you want for the making of microtonal music?
I started in the late 1980's writing my own software to produce microtonal music. Very tedious. These days I use a MIDI editor, with tunable DXi plugins (or previously a Yamaha TX81Z), as well as using programs like Scala and Midiconv to retune MIDI files. I also use Scala to retune my DX7II keyboard. I've used Csound for experimentation in the past, but I haven't taken the time to really figure out how to use it. What I'd like is a good generalized keyboard that I can program for different regular temperaments.
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