Friday, March 8, 2013

Examples invited on "temperament and musical intervals" outside Western Classical Music

[Fela Sowande: African Suite for Strings; The New 
Symphony Strings; Trevor Harvey, conductor; Decca LM 
4547 (1952)]

The LP recording pictured above has been digitally 
remastered by Michael S. Wright of the United Kingdom.

Michael S. Wright writes:

In addition to my interest in music, I am a long-standing 
member of the Institute of Acoustics, the UK's professional 
body for people qualified in Acoustics.  I am shortly to 
present a paper at the Institute on some aspects of 
temperament and musical intervals. This will be to people 
who will be more qualified in acoustics than music. This 
will be on aspects relating to the use of modern European 
fixed pitch instruments. I gave a somewhat limited 
presentation of some aspects of this a number of years ago. 
From a personal point of view, I have many reservations 
about the use of equal temperament. As with many others 
over the ages, I consider that there is much potential in the 
use of different tonal intervals (equal and non-equal) in 
music. I would be interested to hear about the use of music 
that either use scales that in some way relate to perfect 
fifths or others, including those that may go as far as the 
opposite extreme, e.g. try 13 equally tempered notes to an 
My long-standing interest in music from the African Diaspora 
now leads me to ask whether you have used, played, have 
interest or have ever considered music outside the current 
so-called European conventions used in 'classical music'. I 
would like to make some mention in my presentation to 
keyboard and other fixed pitch instrumental music. I am not 
going to be talking about any music where tonal variations 
can freely be used. However, I will be accepting the fact 
that the use of electronic instrumentation is often essential 
in order to achieve performance. I will be looking for some 
examples to go alongside those I already have from around
the world.
I welcome any information and will acknowledge all 

Best wishes


Michael S. Wright

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