"Looseness" in musical scales: interplay of style and instrument

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Knygos dalis / Part of the book
Anglų kalba / English
"Looseness" in musical scales: interplay of style and instrument
Akustika; Derinimas; Etnografiniai regionai; Garsaeilis; Instrumentai; Kanklės; Laisvumas; Muzikinės dermės; Tradicinis dainavimas.
Acoustics; Ethnographic regions; Instruments; Kanklės; Looseness; Musical scales; Scale; Traditional singing; Tuning.
Summary / Abstract:

ENIn the case of non-fixed or changeable intonation, musical scales demonstrated in practice show some acoustic “looseness,” roughly in two ways. First, there is some freedom of retuning for otherwise analogous performances resulting from JND and flexibility of pitch categories. Second, local inflections of intonations are common in form of systematic deviations (performance rules) and performance noise. To analyze dependence of factors determining “looseness” in musical scales on musical style and instrument, scales of 76 vocal and kanklės (a type of psaltery) performances recorded in the 20th century and representing several styles of Lithuanian traditional music were measured and analyzed. Different instances of interplay between the instrumental/vocal constraints and musical style were registered. Kanklės tunings used for newer diatonic melodies show relatively steady and similar patterns. The related sung melodies show more “loose” scales, which seems natural because of the differences in vocal / fixed instrumental intonation. However, genetically more archaic, appr. equidistant (~anhemitonic) scales in vocal and instrumental performances of sutartinės (a type of Schwebungsdiaphonie ) show the reverse. The basic dyads in vocal sutartinės tend to be more steadily intoned, supposedly because of striving for maximum psychoacoustic roughness. This is less relevant in the instrumental case since the discussed playing techniques do not allow the realization of sustained rough dyads or clusters. Hence “looseness” in musical scales depends both on the technically possible steadiness of intonation and on stylistic (incl. psychoacoustic) constraints. Phylogenetic aspects of this phenomenon could also be traced. [From the publication]

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2020-04-24 06:52:22
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