Tuning Box Demo

Microtonal musicians often lament the lack of support our art form receives from the companies that make electronic instruments. Some expensive keyboards offer retuning abilities. Even then, these capabilities are usually limited and impractical for more exotic tuning experiments. For example, they usually don't allow for keyboard mappings that are different from the normal twelve notes per octave.

The TBX tuning box from H-Pi Instruments provides a revolutionary solution to this problem. It allows you to change the tuning of standard MIDI keyboards in a very flexible manner. Check out the following video. It's a lot of fun to watch the improvisations in fifteen different tunings.

Tuning Box Demo


Revelation for Piano

Here is Michael Harrison performing his innovative "revelation tuning", a form of just intonation that makes use of small tuning differences that are generally avoided in other types of purely tuned music.

Revelation for Piano (Michael Harrison)

See also Michael Harrison's website.


Nocturne for Two Pianos in Seventeen Tone Equal Temperament

I wrote this piece for a concert in Texas last year. It was phase three of the seventeen tone piano project. Two pianos were retuned so they shared the notes of seventeen tone equal temperament (seventeen equally spaced notes to the octave instead of the usual twelve). This is often regarded as a rather challenging tuning. It's major and minor thirds are more dissonant than what we are accustomed to. This can result in a somewhat harsh sound. Despite these difficulties, I enjoy this tuning. I challenged myself to try to compose a piece that highlights its softer side. I came up with this nocturne. (Click on the link to hear it.)

The entire concert was archived here. Phase two of the project was videotaped and can be seen here. You might also enjoy this page about the project at Xenharmonic Wikispaces.


Microtonal Marimba (Quartertones)

I'm always excited when I discover a new microtonal instrument. I just came across this video of a fascinating quartertone marimba (twenty four equally spaced tones to the octave instead of twelve).

Quarter Tone Marimba

See also Quartertone Marimba.com for more videos and information about this project.