Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Riley's 5 limit tuning for "Harp of New Albion"

Riley's 5 limit tuning for "Harp of New Albion"
I had recently replaced my missing copy of Harp of New Albion by Terry Riley and decided to lattice out the tuning which i guess many might have already done. It is interesting in how La monte uses 7 limit intervals to approximate 5 and here we have Riley doing the opposite with the 16/15 over the 15/8 7 cents shy of an 8/7. Riley's use of the tuning is interesting also in that he never uses the 1/1 of his tuning for the tonic, albeit the D of 16/15 could have been also a good choice for the 1/1. Anyway in the context of the pieces it shows how far one can go into new territory with a relative simple 5 limit. I like the choice of the 64/45 giving him two just major scales which he seems to avoid using more than using. If you tuned the row with 5/3 , 5/4 and 15/8, and decided keep it in the same relationship wit h3/2 and 9/8 by lowering thise too, the scale would coincide with the Centaur Scale.

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