MATRIXSYNTH: 24-Tone Music - Synth Illustrations

Thursday, August 16, 2018

24-Tone Music - Synth Illustrations


24-Tone Music - Synth Illustrations 1 Published on Aug 16, 2018 Kris Lennox

"Obi keys/synth engine reprogrammed for 24-tone music. On of the greatest strength of synthesis is the ability to program alternate tuning systems. Not all hardware synths can do this, though. It is the preserve of only a few - and one of the strengths of DSI instruments and the OB6 i.e. creating and installing your own tuning system on the synth. Yes, acoustic instruments can recreate them - but there's the associated tuning/stability issues, not to mention accuracy of pitch across multiple strings etc.

I have quite a body of work RE alternate tuning systems. I'll possibly upload some actual music (as opposed to illustration-only) within these systems. If you look around on my channel you should find some 20-tone acoustic music samples.

Mathematically, all possible chords within any n-note division of the octave can be calculated. And if one has computational skills, they can computationally generate all possible chords. I have an mp3 file somewhere of every 24-tone chord. A very, very large mp3 file!

Of course - the chords don't have names - which is where my YouTube following could contribute. We can name them :))

'What is that chord called?'
'Oh, that's a Jeff chord.'
'Listen to this chord. It is called James Joyce Ulysses '

All good fun.

Quite a shame to think - given the technology we have - the majority of contemporary composers aren't exploring/creating their own tonal systems. Most universities/conservatoires only briefly mention alternate tuning systems as part of coursework. If it is mentioned at all. Such a waste.

Given there are an infinite number of notes between any two notes, every human being on the planet could have their own system of harmony. Then again, this kind of material is and likely always will be esoteric.

PS actually seeing what I'm doing is, I trust, better than simply hearing a computer play back audio samples. Hearing the scale on its own, followed by some chords at the end of the video is handy i.e. both melodic and harmonic illustrations.

Retraining the mind to perform 12-tone music on a 24-tone treatment of the keyboard is refreshing/slightly mind-warping! Any pianist feeling life is becoming a little easy/predictable should try it ;)

PPS - if I had four Obis, I could daisy-chain them and have 24-voice, 24-tone music. Maybe I should email Dave and tell him it is 'necessary for the furthering of music' that he send me a few spares. :)

All best"

Update:

(24-Tone Pt.2) Assyrian Spear Scale (da'imu)

Published on Aug 18, 2018 Kris Lennox

"The never-heard before 13-note Assyrian Spear Scale. Music for the Archons :) I have one more video to post as a theoretical/illustrative backdrop for this topic (focus will be on chords), after which I'll post some theoretical articles on the blog. After the articles I'll upload some actual pieces within 24-tone systems. However, I feel it is important to lay some theoretical foundations first.

PS the vid from yesterday was simply a quick illustration. The theory will go deeper. And the articles will be quite involved. In saying this, I'm writing them in such a way that anyone with a basic grasp of music/theory should understand them (also: no music-reading necessary). If a reader fails to understand the articles, the failure is on my behalf i.e. poor explanations.


This vid is an illustration of two-note harmony/harmonisation of a scale within the 24-tone system. Tone is kept very bare as the focus is on the theory. The improv is also very different from pieces I have within this system: it is, after all, just a short improv! Nothing more than some basic context for the sound of the scale. I'm focusing on the root whilst improvising for the scale to be heard against the root i.e. non-modal.

PS stickers necessary as the notes in a quarter-tone system bear no relevance to the keyboard! Octave 2 is entirely different from octave 1. Every day is a school day :)

Something like the Linnstrument could work well with a quarter-tone system. I have a few ideas RE layouts - but first I need to flood the internet with the microtonal music I have ;) No point designing a new instrument to illustrate one or two pieces!"

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