Out Of Tune

Robert Sandall investigates different tuning systems.


20100913 (BBC7)

Bells appeal, yet we hate other dissonant sounds.

Robert Sandall discovers the differences in musical tuning around the world.

Western music generally divides an octave into twelve equal parts.

Other musical traditions, however, use larger or smaller divisions between notes.

Robert asks composers and musicians why different systems have involved around the world.

Some believe 'equal temperament' limits musical expressions, but without it would music be out of tune?

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20100914 (BBC7)

A piano 'detuner', composing 'clouds' - and using microtones for dramatic effect.

Robert Sandall investigates musical tuning.

Although western music has adopted a system that divides an octave into twelve equal parts, other cultures have developed different tuning systems.

Robert talks to Japanese and Middle Eastern musicians who argue that the use of microtones gives their music greater expressive power.

What happens when different musical cultures are brought together, and how well equipped are we physiologically to distinguish between minute variations in pitch?


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