Microtonal, just intonation, electronic music software Microtonal, just intonation, electronic music software

Encyclopedia of Microtonal Music Theory

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[Joe Monzo]

Standard Western musical notation utilizes a set of parallel horizontal lines called a staff to graph the approximate relationships of pitch-height of periodic sounds.

blank musical staff

A "clef" is used to designate one particular line as a certain reference pitch, and all other nominals are mapped in ascending and descending order to the lines and spaces above and below that reference line.

The traditional 5-line staff does not visually recognize the periodicity of octave-equivalence, such that notes which have the same letter in different octaves (and look the same on the piano keyboard) do not fall on the same line or space on the staff. In fact, a one-octave difference in either direction (up or down) always results in a change from a line to a space. Some other designs do preserve visual periodicity of the octave, such as Joe Monzo's 12-edo-staff and quarter-tone-staff notations.

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