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Exploration of Tuning Systems Ep 3: Just Intonation

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?

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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