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MacLeod, Duncan W M (2012)
Publisher: London Sinfonietta Records
Languages: English
Types: Other
Subjects: M1
This work is an exploration of microtonal commas (a minute interval) of which a diesis, a diminished second, gives this piece its title. Historically when tuning a scale, rather than divide an octave into equal parts (as used today with equal temperament) early tuning systems would tune notes using a sequence of pure intervals, which are slightly different in size to the equal tempered intervals we use today. These discreet differences in pitch would result with an undesirable and perceptually dissonant imperfect octave, the interval of this imperfection being a comma. Diesis is therefore a response to the dissonant qualities that made a comma undesirable: namely its complex timbre and pulsing beating tones (which result when two notes very close in pitch are played together).

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