View Full Version : Beyond 12-tone equal temperament - microtonal and other less common musics

23-09-2015, 11:18 PM
As I understand it, 12-tone equal temperament (12-TET) simply refers to the system used by most Western musics, of dividing each octave into 12 according to a strict mathematical series, so the player can transpose a piece into a different key (eg from C major to G major) and have it sound exactly the same. The system used by most of the music heard every day in the West - maybe apart from horror soundtracks*.

So - what should I be checking out in the world beyond that - either different ways of equally dividing the octave (mostly microtonal I guess, although gamelan uses 7-TET and/or 5-TET I think, which would logically be macrotonal but confusingly are often referred to as 'microtonal' as well), or even non-equal divisions (which I understand were common in Western music prior to the 17th century, so that the same piece transposed into different key signatures would sound radically different)?

Obvs there's a huge amount of the former type in various different parts of the world, so I suppose I'm looking for examples that sound the most unfamiliar to ears raised on 12-TET

*eg the Ligeti piece used for The Shining - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2OQbA3r78M

24-09-2015, 11:06 AM
This is cool


24-09-2015, 11:55 AM
Microtonal music:


24-09-2015, 04:38 PM
thanks lads