Re: New composition -- Invocatio (MIDI)
- Hello, there John deLaubenfels, and please let me warmly thank you for
taking such an interest in my piece, and encourage you to post your
retunings -- yes, including the one in 12-tET <grin>, a standard lute
tuning from around 1545 or 1550 on.
My first guess might be that your impression of the music as "rather
jarring to my ear horizontally, at times" could be a very understandable
reaction not to the small adaptive JI adjustments (~5.38 cents), but to
the enharmonic diesis or fifthtone shifts of 128:125, or about 41.06 cents
-- 1/31 octave in the almost identical 31-tET model you mention, or about
This can be startling to listeners in the 16th century or 21st
century, definitely "xenharmonic," and something that got Vicentino
very mixed reviews.
Vincenzo Galilei, for example, a noted lutenist and theorist who wasn't at
all afraid to take on the musical establishment of the time (much like his
son, the astronomer Galileo, with the science establishment), concluded
that "the enharmonic diesis is contrary to the nature of singing and
disproportionate with our sense of hearing."
Vicentino, interestingly, gives performers the option of ignoring his
fifthtone shifts, something which would permit his enharmonic pieces
to be played on usual 12-note meantone keyboards without the extra
notes a fifthtone apart.
Here's a link to my score, where the fifthtone steps are indicated by
an asterisk (*) raising a note by 128:125 in 1/4-comma meantone, or by
1/31 octave in 31-tET.
If you're reducing the piece to 12-tET before doing the adaptive
retuning, then I suspect that in effect you're doing just what
Vicentino discusses: converting an enharmonic piece with fifthtone
inflections to one with more familiar diatonic and chromatic steps.
In fact, quite apart from the adaptive tuning or adaptive JI aspects,
this kind of playing around with different versions could be a great
way to let people try out what Renaissance or Xeno-Renaissance music
is all about. We could have versions of the same piece with or without
fifthtone shifts or progressions, and with or without adaptive tuning
or JI as opposed to usual meantone or 31-tET.
Please post those retunings, and thank you for a dialogue through
words and music which brings together 16th-century and 21st-century
approaches to adaptive tuning and JI.
In peace and friendship,