Highly Symmetrical 12-Note Scales from 30-EDO

...in which I sift through 1,073,741,824 possibilities to find 12 interesting ones for the good of humanity. Results and some Scala tuning files inside.

Bluebird, an Audio Drama with Music

The latest Minimum Labyrinth project is Bluebird, a ten-part audio drama with music by me. After about a year of exploring the ideas and then polishing and testing the script we're running a Kickstarter campaign so we can hire a studio and, you know, pay the actors and engineer a fair price for their labour. It went live today and ends on 8 April 2021 -- the project won't happen without backers, so if you're inclined to help make it happen please do. Some music nerd stuff follows below the fold.

30-EDO Ideas

Dividing the octave into 30 notes is an interesting proposition in part because 30 has the factors 2, 3 and 5, which means it contains a few smaller EDOs. In particular, it has three copies of 10-EDO that sit inside it like the three augmented triads (3-EDO) in standard tuning, and I've been working a lot with 10-EDO lately. But 30 notes is a lot to deal with, and far too many for me to play on a single keyboard. So in this post I muse about some ways to split 30-EDO up into more manageable parcels.

All the Pentatonics in 10EDO

In 12EDO, the most interesting scales are (I think) the ones that use about half the notes: 5-, 6- and 7-note scales. In 10EDO, then, it makes sense to look at 5-note scales at least, and perhaps those with 4 and 6 notes. Today we'll look at all the available pentatonics in 10EDO and some relationships between them.

The Scheerbart Tunings

I'm currently working on a project involving mixing 10-EDO with symmetrical structures in 12-EDO. I thought it might be instructive for me to look at tunings that mix pitches from these two. The project is inspired by visionary modernist Paul Scheerbart so I've decided to call them Scheerbart Tunings. Free synthesizer (sort of) inside!

Some Chords from 10 EDO

10 EDO divides the octave into ten equal parts instead of the usual twelve. We may as well number these notes 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. This is a pretty tuning that doesn't take too much getting used to. Let's create some harmony out of it.

Whole Tone Harmony Part III

We have been thinking about dividing the 12 notes of our ordinary tuning system (12-EDO) into two distinct regions, each of which is a whole-tone scale. Each region can be thought of as a tuning in itself, 6-EDO, the equal division of an octave into six notes. In this post we consider how the Augmented Hexatonic can help us bridge the gap between these two regions.

Whole Tone Harmony Part II: Added Notes

This post is a continuation of the last one in which we look at supplementing the rather limited whole-tone harmony with one or more added notes. The resulting chords take us away from "pure whole-tone harmony" in the same way that, for example, secondary dominants and other borrowed chords take us away from "pure diatonic harmony" while simultaneously enriching it.

Whole-Tone Harmony Part I

Imagine your instrument lost exactly half of its notes, and specifically every alternate one. It might make sense to say you now had an instrument turned not in 12-TET but in 6-TET. In a society that only had such instruments, which harmonies would be available to them?

New Album: Centaur, based on Zeta Centauri tuning and 3x4 knight's tours

Today I've released a 12-track, 3-hour album based on Margo Schulter's Zeta Centauri tuning. Listen to it on Bandcamp while you read my slightly geeky notes about it.