International Computer Music Conference 2016 Papers Track

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Composing in Bohlen-Pierce and Carlos alpha scales for solo clarinet

In 2012 we collaborated on a solo work for Bohlen--Pierce (BP) clarinet in both the BP scale and Carlos alpha scale. Neither has a 1200 cent octave, however they share an interval of 1170 cents which we attempted to use as substitute for motivic transposition. Some computer code assisted us during the creation period for managing up to five staves for one line of music: sounding pitch, MIDI keyboard notation for the composer in both BP and alpha, and a clarinet fingering notation for the performer in both BP and alpha. Although there are notation programs today that can interactively handle microtonal notation, e.g. MaxScore and the Bach library for Max/MSP, we show how a computer can assist composers to navigate poly-microtonal scales or, for advanced composer-theorists, to interpret equal-tempered scales as just intonation frequency ratios situated in a 4-dimensional harmonic lattice. This project was unorthodox for the following reasons: using a macrotonal clarinet to play a microtonal scale, appropriating a quasi-octave as interval of equivalency, and working with two non-octave scales simultaneously.

Author(s):

Todd Harrop     web site
Zentrum für Mikrotonale Musik und Multimedia
Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg
Germany

Nora-Louise Müller     web site
Zentrum für Mikrotonale Musik und Multimedia
Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg
Germany

 

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