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Exploration of Tuning Systems Ep 1: Equal Temperament

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.

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.

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