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Microtonal music
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Microtonal music

Microtonal music is a term for music which uses microtones -- intervals of less than a semitone, or as Charles Ives put it, the "notes between the cracks" of the piano. The term is also used to refer to any music whose tuning is not based on semitones, such as gamelan music and Indian classical music. An alternative term explicitly covering such possibilities is xenharmonic music.

Some Western composers have embraced the use of microtonal scales, dividing an octave into 19, 31, 43, 72 and other numbers of pitcheses such as the 24 tone quarter tone scale, rather than the more common 12. The intervals between pitches can be equal, creating an equal temperament, or unequal, such as in just intonation or linear temperament.

Pioneers of modern Western microtonal music include:

See also

External links

Discussion of tuning theory and microtonal music: Theory pages: Discography: Microtonal music on the web: