Array Mbira Blues in Adaptive Just Intonation

A short blues improvisation with Soniccouture’s Array Mbira sample set in adaptive Just Intonation via Kontakt 5.

5 Responses to “Array Mbira Blues in Adaptive Just Intonation”

  1. Michael J. Kasper says:

    Dear Chris,

    Very interesting piece! I like the timbre of the Array Mbira Blues in Adaptive Just Intonation! Very nice melodies and harmonies!



  2. bob phillips says:

    playing around with this on kontakt 5 in ableton…

    don’t see ‘adaptive just intonation as option in microtuning’ … can you
    point me to a reference page/document on how you got that ?


  3. admin says:

    Hi Bob, Kontakt calls it “dynamic pure tuning” and you access it by clicking on the “wrench” on the upper left of your instrument and then follow the cascading menu shown in the graphic linked below:

    adaptive JI screen shot

  4. bob phillips says:

    thanks, I saw that one, just wasn’t sure whether you had some tweak that you knew about.


  5. bill wesley says:

    I was thinking”wait a minute, I never tuned a just intonation array mbira!?, quarter comma mean tone, yes, Pythagorean, yes, 19 tone equal, yes, but not just.” Then I saw it was the sampled mbira. This sounds great, nice job, I like it.It may interest you to know that if the array mbira is tuned in Pythagorean it ends up being the same number of tones per octave as the number of octave rows, there are 30 “out of” Pythagorean notes available and their octaves. Every fifth and fourth will be just but there is more. The array mbira is designed to be played with the left and right index fingers 9 octave rows apart where in Pythagorean tuning they encounter the Pythagorean third flattend by the Pythagorean comma which gives you a interval that is within two cents of a just third, you can not hear the difference, so for all intents a purposes it IS a just third. Further the near just minor 7th may be reached by the left hands pinky which is within 4 cents of just, you might be able to detect the difference if you listen hard. You may play any tune with the same fingering pattern in at least 12 key signatures within the Pythagorean spiral of fifths. The fingering patterns for songs are the same whether the mbira is tuned in 12 equal, 17 equal, 19 equal, or any other equal temperament with a single circle of fifths plus any temprament with a single infinite spiral of fifths such as pythagorean, mean tone and many othere tunings. Consider that you’d have to relearn fingering for every one of these alternative tunings on a keyboard! 10 lives would not be enough time. To do 30 out of Pythagorean (which simulates just intonation while allowing modulation) across five octaves you’d need a keyboard with 150 keys, it would be about 12 feet wide. The array mbira allows chord voicings in just intonation that include all five octaves of each note being activated with one finger, 4 fingers givers us 40 note voicings with one hand, 80 note voicings with both hands, the practical limit for a keyboard is 10 notes, and those can not be spread evenly across its range. The point of the array mbira is the compositional opportunities in makes available to the serious composer in real time much more than the sound. I wish more people would order instruments with microtonal tunings!

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