MIDI does support non-Western music (was: Why can't i access /dev/dsp or /dev/snd on my XO)
echerlin at gmail.com
Wed Jan 23 00:37:39 EST 2008
On Jan 22, 2008 8:56 PM, Albert Cahalan <acahalan at gmail.com> wrote:
> imm ian writes:
> On 22 Jan 2008, at 4:11, Albert Cahalan wrote:
> >> You don't need to abuse pitch bends. MIDI lets you
> >> redefine the pitches of the notes. You can redefine
> >> middle C to be 1234 Hz if you like.
> > Mmm, well, yes, but...
> No "but". You can redefine at will, for individual notes.
> If you need a player, try timidity. If you have obsolete
> equipment that can only do pitch bends, you can use Scalia
> to convert a MIDI file. Scalia can also convert back.
> > It's not so much the pitches that are the issue, it's the
> > intervals, and MIDI kind of constrains what you can do about
> > that, so you do kind of end up abusing pitch bend...
> Nope. (not that abusing pitch bend is a tragedy though)
> Since 1996, the MIDI tuning specification has allowed you to
> set the pitch to within 1/16384 of a semitone.
Here we go. http://www.midi.org/about-midi/tuning.shtml
"The standard requires that any of the 128 defined MIDI key numbers
(or at least those MIDI key numbers covered by the instrument's
playable range) be tunable to any frequency within the proposed
"The frequency range starts at MIDI note 0, C = 8.1758 Hz, and extends
above MIDI note 127, G = 12543.875 Hz. "
If I understand correctly, we could create a scale with more than 12
notes in an octave, but fewer octaves.
I assume that you still have to use pitch bend to get microtonal
shadings of the kind I learned to do in Korea. They are essential to
many other kinds of music around the world.
> Since 1999, the MIDI tuning extensions have made this a bit
> more efficient.
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