Nose Music

It's marvelous that a simple piece of plastic can employ the nose to produce a continuous microtonal range of pitches. The infamous nose whistle (sometimes called a nose flute) owes its success to using the nose as a source of wind, freeing the mouth to serve as a flexible resonating chamber that can adjust to produce the required notes. If that sounds confusing, this video should help clear things up.

Nose Whistle Demonstration

Other kinds of nose flutes are used throughout the world, as shown in the following video.

Vietnamese Nose Flutes

It should be pointed out that the nose has other musical uses besides the mere blowing of air. Notice the subtle and delicate use of the nose as a temporary substitute for the fingers while they are employed elsewhere.

Shnozzage (Etude # 23 by David Rakowski)


Microtonal Speedlinking

Xenharmonic Wikispaces has a new equal temperaments section devoted to organising compositions and theory by individual temperaments. This is the first online attempt that I'm aware of to organise compositions in this manner. I hope this idea takes off. I think this could be a great resource for studying the repertoire of specific temperaments.

Neil Haverstick, the prolific microtonal guitarist, author and composer, was recently interviewed at Tokafi. The interview is well worth reading. It's nice to see one of the "Forgotten Greats and Unsung Heroes" (explained in the interview) get some well deserved recognition. (see also this article.)

The hang drum is a recently invented pitched percussion instrument that has been receiving a lot of attention lately. Some of them feature microtonal tunings. You can learn more about them at this page at Odd Music

How about a xenharmonic ukulele tuned to thirteen tone equal temperament and played by a thirteen year old? You can listen to it here. (I wish I had one of those.)


Tagged! (The Mutation Meme)

Mr. Startling Moniker just tagged me with a meme. I've never done one of these before. Apparently, a meme is like a self-replicating virus that uses a host (like me) to propagate itself throughout the blogosphere at an exponential rate. Like a virus, a meme comes with a set of instructions that presumably replicates with a high rate of precision:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Well, every once in a while, the genetic material of a virus will mutate, perhaps resulting in a new strain that terrorises millions. I don't see why this can't also happen with a meme. I will make some small changes to the meme and then everyone I tag can ignore or change one or more of the rules (including the new rule to ignore or change one or more of the rules).

Here are nine statements about me. One of them is false. If you want, you can guess which one it is.

1. I recently started learning to play the erhu (a type of Chinese fiddle).

2. I once owned a windshield repair business.

3. I have lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin and South Dakota. I currently reside in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

4. I dislike clowns, centipedes, and chicken salad sandwiches.

5. I used to have a job building barbed wire fences. One time, a tractor malfunctioned and pinned me against a fence.

6. One of my hobbies is boomerang throwing.

7. I have an unusual fascination with countries that begin with I, Iceland, Italy, India, and Indonesia.

8. I once held my breath for 2 minutes and twenty seconds.

9. I lied in statement number 8.

Now, I get to tag the following blogs: (I decided on six. If you want to be seven or eight just claim the honor in the comments section.)

Infinitely Crazy
My Lounge
Notes Become Thee
Skittles' Place