The Diminished Cycle and ii-V-Is

In the previous ii-V-I post I outlined what I take to be the most standard, well-known ways to play a ii-V-I. This is a quick note of a well-known fact about them.

Some Basic ii-V-I Substitutions

I guess everybody knows the ii-V-I is the most important chord sequence in jazz. A lot of folks also know that there are about a million ways to play it that aren't, in fact, ii-V-I at all. So what's going on with that?

Noisy improv videos on YouTube

I've been experimenting with a couple of things lately and decided to start uploading some rough results to YouTube. One thing is improvising with a synthesizer and then using that as "raw material" for a composition; the other is techniques for making raw, non-tonal noise using a fairly traditional synthesiser.

New Album: The Crystal Pavilions, out now!

My Paul-Scheerbart-inspired album is available now on Bandcamp, with other platforms coming shortly (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music etc).

A bit more info below the fold...

I'm taking up guitar again but it'll be different this time

For a start, I'm selling most of my gear. That isn't really it, though.

Co-Melakatas: Pentatonic Shadows of Carnatic Scales

Regular readers will know that whenever I study almost any resource, I take an interest in whatever isn't in it. I guess this is a habit I picked up early, when somebody pointed out that not only are the white notes on a piano the major scale but the black notes -- all the ones that aren't in the major scale -- form a major pentatonic. Switching between a scale, chord or whatever and its complement is something I find very musically useful. So I was surprised to realise I've never studied melakatas this way. What do their complements look like?

Melakata Tunings

So I had this weird idea of taking the Carnatic melakatas, which are 7-note scales, and mapping them onto the white keys of a piano keyboard. Then tuning each black note to be exactly between the white notes either side of it. By this method we get 12-note subsets of 24-EDO that are maybe interesting or fun to play with? I don't know.

Third-Tone Tunings

After a bit of exploration into quarter-tones I thought I'd add to my collection of EDO-based 12-note tunings by exploring third-tones, which split the gap between (say) C and D into three equal parts rather than the usual two. The EDO made entirely of this interval is 18-EDO, which we can think of as three equally-spaced whole-tone scales.

Semi-Regular Quarter-Tone Scales

In Manual of Quarter-Tone Harmony, Wyshnegradsky describes a "semi-regular" scale as a scale that divides the octave into equal parts, then divides each of those in the same way. Quarter tones are very practical on an unmodified guitar (using a slide), at least for melodies, and they can be coaxed out of many other instruments too so this may be a bit more friendly than the 30-EDO stuff I've been playing with over the last year. In this post we explore the 12-note semi-regular scales that form nicely symmetrical ways to impose a subset of 24-EDO onto a standard keyboard.

Code for exploring scales / microtonal tunings is now on GitHub

That's it really -- the link is at the top of the page (in the row of buttons above the banner). The code itself is a bit primitive and not as nice as my old Java code but it might be useful to someone. More importantly, perhaps, you'll find Scala files for all the microtonal tunings I create for this blog in convenient folder there. No more clunky Dropbox links that expire without warning!