Are just intervals a human universal?

Asked by: Brandon Kolpack

Does Indian music use equal temperament?

In the Western music, there are only two sets of pitch ratios between the notes, one for the major scales and the other for the minor scales. Indian Classical music, on the other hand, does not follow an equi-tempered division of notes; instead uses different pitch ratio for the notes in different scales.

What is a pure interval?

In music, just intonation or pure intonation is the tuning of musical intervals as whole number ratios (such as 3:2 or 4:3) of frequencies. An interval tuned in this way is said to be pure, and is called a just interval.

Who invented just intonation?

Harry Partch was the first such composer. He defined his own scale with 43 pitches to the octave, and invented his own instruments to play it.

Why does just intonation sound better?

Our brains tell us that the first interval is more consonant, simply because it requires less effort to process than the second one. Of course, in the real world, things are rarely absolutely perfect and two tones in the ratio of 40001:50001 will be heard as “near enough” to 4:5.

Is just intonation Pythagorean?

Pythagorean tuning is a type of just intonation. You don’t quite get simple ratios by stacking P5, but what you get is also decent -> major/minor thirds and sixths are a schisma away from simple ratios, so you get a few good intervals in a 12 notes gamut.

What are intervals in science?

In scientific terms, an interval is the ratio between two sonic frequencies. For example, any two notes an octave apart have a frequency ratio of 2:1.

Do orchestras use just intonation?

Yes, the strings of the strings section will be tuned to ET 5ths, usually, and generally the whole orchestra will play with a modern pitch reference (e.g., A 440). Also, world class musicians will often have a good enough pitch sense that they will play notes very close to equal temperament, if not right on.

What is wrong with just intonation?

An ideal system (for Western people) would be based on the natural harmonic series, because we love how harmonics sound. This kind of tuning system is called just intonation. It sounds lovely! Unfortunately, just intonation makes it impossible to change keys or tune your guitar.

Should I tune to equal or just temperament?

For the purposes of this chart, it is assumed that C4 = 261.63 Hz is used for both (this gives A4 = 440 Hz for the equal tempered scale).
Just vs Equal Temperament (and related topics)

Interval Ratio to Fundamental Just Scale Ratio to Fundamental Equal Temperament
Major Third 5/4 = 1.2500 1.25992

What tuning did Bach use?

Bach was quick and well practised in harpsichord tuning; tuning was a matter of importance to him; all his major thirds were wider than perfect and all his keys were playable. It is therefore a reasonable working hypothesis that he had a particular temperament which he prelerred and used lor his own harpsichord works.

Did Mozart use equal temperament?

Bach didn’t use equal temperament. Neither did Mozart nor Beethoven or any of their contemporaries. They used unequal temperaments — also known as, you guessed it, Well-tempered. In the Well-Tempered Clavier, Bach celebrated unequal tempered tuning, not today’s equal tempered tuning.

What is wrong with equal temperament?

One main drawback to equal temperament is that all major thirds are quite a bit off from where they ought to be, roughly fourteen percent of a semitone. Perfect fifths are all pretty close. More importantly, though, other than pitch, nothing distinguishes the various keys.

What tuning did Beethoven use?

Tests have shown that Beethoven’s tuning fork resonates at 455.4 Hertz, over half a semitone higher than today’s standard ‘A’ pitch of 440 Hertz. Click on the image to hear what it sounds like when it is struck.

What is the best equal temperament?

Additionally, it also makes the semitone exactly half a whole tone, the simplest possible relationship. These are some of the reasons why 12-EDO has become the most commonly used equal temperament.