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Distance learning support for teaching musical temperament

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2 Author(s)
Garner, P.E. ; Dept. of Electron., York Univ., UK ; Howard, D.M.

When teaching aspects of music technology to students with mixed musical backgrounds, some issues are harder to back up with listening examples than others to reinforce lecture material. A particular topic that is important for a strong basic understanding of both music history and potential for electronic instruments is that of tuning systems. Whilst it is easy to point out that modern keyboard instruments have 12 notes per octave with an equal musical interval of one semitone between each pair of adjacent notes, it is rather more difficult to reinforce convincingly the suggestion that there have been a number of different semitones used during the history of keyboard instruments. The further suggestion that certain keys were not often employed in compositions due to tuning issues comes as something of a surprise to many students. This paper describes a computer program designed to provide students with hands-on demonstration that they can explore for themselves to back up lecture material on tuning systems, enabling them to hear the effects produced melodically and harmonically in different keys. It provides audio examples as well as historical musical context and appropriate mathematical explanations

Published in:

EUROMICRO Conference, 1999. Proceedings. 25th  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

1999

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