Enharmonic Cembalo of Vito de Trasutino (Venice, 1606)

Trying to restitute the antic tone scales of chromatic and enharmonic tuning, Nicola VICENTINO invented the Archicembalo (1555), a cembalo with 31 keys per octave. In the sixteenth century the integration of chromatic and enharmonic intervals (quarter tones) covered the needs of singers they performed madrigals of GESUALDO in different moods or "temperaments"  like dark, hell, gray, sweet, embitter.

It's clear that an instrument like the Archicembalo of Vicentino was only available in the so called Musica Reservata of Italy, to accompany professional singers. It was Vicentino who built a  portable enharmonic organ, transportable with a mule: they only needed five hours to re-assemble the Archiorgano on the new stage.

To build today for instance a real 19-tone keyboard,you need more gray and black tones between the white keys.

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In my self made P ART Soundset for a digital WAVE synthesizer I have integrated a whole range of ground breaking microtonal and macrotonal scales integrated in the sound patches of my ESQ1- synthesizer (Ensoniq).
Comparing to re-assemble the portable Archicembalo with his 31 keys per octave, I need only one second to switch between a 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 9-, 10-, 11-, (12-), 13-, 14-, 15-, 16-, 17-, 18-, 19-, 21-, 24-, 42-, 45-, 48- and 56- scale on my synthesizer.

Making alternate scales on the ESQ1 (or SQ80) shouldn't be a time consuming job. It is easy to change, listen and check the result instantly. You don't even have to make difficult calculations on paper or computer.

Believe your ears each time and make a choice for the most musical solution.

The crucial point of making microtonal scales on the ESQ-1/SQ-80, is to find the relationship between the OSC-modulating and the pitch intervals.
Do you like to play NEVER bad chords on your keyboard or do you like to play the discrimination of two octave steps within only ONE normal octave range, it is possible and ... it makes fun.

CLICK here on Microtonal Scales (special area) to find all information about one of my favorite items using synthesizers: The Art of Microtuning (= extended information with historical input).

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To check out what microtuning scales  mean in reality, I recommand to look in the DIGITAL SOUND AND SCALES in the P-ART MUSIC CABINET (< click)


Go to NEXT (Journal #27: Microtonal Tools Today)

Go to The Art of Microtuning

Go to the Microtonal Scales (ESQ1)

Go to Sculpturing Sounds and Scales (ESQ1 )


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