Originally Posted by Mystr Tiger
That sounds really interesting. I'll poked through that on Amazon a little but it's clear I should explore it more, and follow up with some of Jeff Todd Titon's work.
One thing about Baker -- he developed some serious
lifestyle problems in later life and, while it's said he could still occasionally deliver a supernaturally on
performance at times, it's probably best for your purposes to go back to his prime stuff. (Since I've been an on demand music subscriber and, so, have had access to, often, much of a given artist's work, I've become increasingly familiar with the unfortunately oft-true tag, earlier is better
Even in his prime, though, Baker made some pitch choices that strike even my open-minded ear as provocative
Another really interesting singer is the late jazz vocalist Betty Carter. Again, if one listens to enough of her work, one may, indeed hear some choices that seem more provocative than necessarily harmonically precise (or maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough) but, overall, I think her singing shows a rarefied concern with pitch precision and harmonic sophistication. [Thanks
to loopy for bringing that word (rarefied) to the front of my brain where I could grab it when I needed it.
The 'problem' for many of us in our thinking about pitch is that many or most of us probably grew up thinking that the 12TET (12 Tone Equal Temperament) system is somehow organically perfect... and, in a very
limited sense, it sort of is. Unfortunately, it's a sort of perfection that glances right over the fact that it's based on a number of more-or-less convenient approximations
of true harmonic values. (Hence, the beat tones one hears in a triad in even a 'perfectly' tuned digital keyboard, at least as long as it's tuned to 12TET, which is the default on pretty well, all.)
As soon as one starts trying to impose true
harmonica values, the exact mathematical values imposed by so-called Just Intonation, one finds oneself in the middle of a once seemingly perfect system where now
things only meet up properly in one
key and where the attempt to modulate will result in intervals (within the modulation) that are wildly, woefully out of mathematical precision.
Me, I'm still on the outside looking in
... reaching in the darkness trying to tell if this big thing in front of me is a tree trunk or an elephant's leg...
Those interested in exploring the concepts behind harmony as well as the concepts behind and the history of various temperament systems can probably get a good start here: Harmony - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Musical temperament - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Equal temperament - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Just intonation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
BTW, the folks who make the Justonics system had some decent demonstrations of various temperaments as well as demonstrations of their dynamic
temperament system for (some) digital synths. I haven't explored over there in a while, but it might be worth a visit: http://www.justonic.com/