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Terumi Narushima - Hidden Sidetracks

from Between the Keys by Ensemble Offspring

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In my piece I have taken the unique timbres of each instrument to explore the melodic possibilities of the centaur scale. Unlike the 12 basic intervals of the equal-tempered chromatic scale, centaur provides 51 different-sized intervals from just 12 pitches. For example, the smallest interval found in a standard scale is the semitone which is given the value of 100 cents; in centaur, however, there are four different types of “semitones” ranging in size from 63 to 119 cents.
Often, people interested in tuning theory are quite obsessive about numbers in this way, but for me the main attraction is the various shades of colour and nuance offered by just-intonation tuning. Too much choice, however, can also be confusing so I have focused on various subsets within centaur, including pentatonic (five-note) scales, a special category of six-note scales called hexanies, as well as seven-note scales built from repeating tetrachords. On the path to understanding this tuning, I made several detours along the way but the secrets of centaur remain elusive. (TN)


from Between the Keys, released January 1, 2013


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