The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982

In Writing

Militant Tuning Portal

September 2011

Philip Clark's Primer on Militant Tuning in The Wire 332 looks at how Just Intonation, microtones and overtones are used as secret weapons in the fightback against the sonic tyranny of equal temperament.

Just Intonation V Equal Temperament

Philip Clark says: "This is an unusually clear presentation of the sonic difference between equal tempered tuning and Just Intonation; better to hear the difference than read about it."

Continuing Variations

Philip Clark say: "Pauline Oliveros's Continuing Variations is an improvisation on accordion, using an electronic process to process the 'naked' sounds. Oliveros plays entirely in Just Intonation; feel how her tuning creates a structural continuum that would be impossible via clean cut equal temperament."

Lou Harrison

Philip Clark says: "Lou Harrison – the man who claimed "Just Intonation is the best intonation" – describes how his experience with gamelan instruments made him think again about Western tuning systems."

Mela Foundation

Philip Clark says: "The website of LaMonte Young's Mela Foundation. Includes the wheres-and-whens of his Dream House project in downtown Manhattan, where musicians overlay material over electronic drones, live three times a week."

Tuning Into The Renaissance

Philip Clarks says: "Peter A Frazer has written a brilliant essay about the physics of tuning and ancient tuning systems (with diagrams!). A long must-read worth devoting time to."

Tony Conrad

Philip Clark says: "Tony Conrad's website: if most homepages are designed in 'equal temperament', here's a more finely tuned website containing writings, interviews and other material for download."

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