Tuning and Temperament

Course Description

This course offers: 

  • a fundamental understanding of the universal phenomenon of tuning 
  • a performance practice in different temperaments 

We offer a rich palette including Pythagorean tuning, meantone temperament, Werckmeister I-IV, Huygens’s 31-tone system, work of Harry Partch, Indian Janaka and Bashanga ragas, Arabic maqams, and Javanese gamelan tunings. 

The course is very hands-on in outlook. You will train your ears with exercises supported by the electronic simulation of tunings. For this, you will receive an application that can be operated using your own laptop (PC or Mac). The training will be tailored to practical application in a performance of your choice, from early to contemporary music in any style. 

Course Details

teachers Jonas Bisquert Dominguez, Andrea Friggi, Jorge Isaac, and Jos Zwaanenburg
term September 2023-June 2024
method of instruction Bi-weekly sessions in the first and second terms.
readings Murray Barbour, J., Tuning and Temperament: A historical survey. Mineola, NY: Courier Dover Publications, 2004.
  Di Veroli, C. Unequal Temperaments: Theory, History and Practice. Bray: Bray Baroque, 2009.
  Partch, H., Genesis of a Music. New York: Da Capo Press, 1974.
  Rasch, R., Adriaan Daniël Fokker. Selected musical compositions. Haarlem: The Diapason Press, 1987
assessment The performance of a work that uses one of the tuning principles discussed. The work can be performed by your own ensemble, or a group of participants (minimally a duo).
credits 5
related electivesAdvanced Rhythm
  Electronic Music
  Intercultural Engagements in Performing and Composing