Canon in J (Bohlen Pierce Scale)

Here is an attempt to reinterpret Pachelbel's famous Canon in D in the less famous Bohlen-Pierce scale. Bohlen-Pierce is a very exotic and experimental scale that is not based on the octave. Instead it involves dividing the tritave (a 3/1 frequency ratio instead of the octave's 2/1 frequency ratio) into thirteen equally spaced intervals. Why thirteen? Because this division results in an unusual scale that reduces dissonance when played with instruments that favor odd harmonics, such as the clarinet and the panpipe. In fact, special clarinets exist for the performance of Bohlen-Pierce music. (See this site for an example.)

Nonoctave music like this can be pretty strange and take a while to get used. We are so used to hearing music based on octaves that our brains can find it hard to make sense of this kind of deviation from the norm. I found that watching this video several times helped me to make sense of it.


Anonymous said...

It's kind of a strange piece, but interesting.

huhurez barbos said...

Wow,it's great! Kinda reminds me of Miriodor