01 October 2011 Filed in: Music
Listen to AlphaDulcimer
This is my first piece composed using Carlos Alpha with my Chameleon but not the first time I have tried out this tuning system.
The oldest experiment was AlphaBlues (2007) then, in 2008, came AlphaPanther (read blog for details) and AlphaDesert (read blog for details).
These old tunes were played with an Halberstadt keyboard.
This piece features a nice Spectrasonics Omnisphere sound and a simple drum loop.
Because I use a note layout that fits both Carlos Alpha and 15ED2, I tried playing it with both tuning systems.
Listen to 15ED2Dulcimer
I would say Carlos Alpha, to my ears, sounds a little mellower than 15ED2 because, as Wendy Carlos says on the above mentioned article, it has “amazingly pure harmonies” but no octaves and that makes it definitely xenharmonic.
You can compare intervals of the two tuning systems on my Alpha Compressed Octave.
I only had to adjust a single note between the two versions. The lowest note of the very last chord is, somehow, a doubling of the note an “octave” above it but in Carlos Alpha I use a note that is 16 steps below the other one (1248 cents apart) because it sounds better than the one 15 steps below (1170 cents) while in 15ED2 the two notes are an octave apart (15 steps or 1200 cents).
This thing reminds me of stretched tuning typical of pianos. It’s hard to consider 48 cents (almost a quarter tone) as “stretched tuning” but on the low register, where this note plays, it sounds definitely better than its flat counterpart while in the middle and high registers the flat one is better than the stretched one.