The Bohlen-Pierce Symposium
First symposium on the Bohlen-Pierce scale, Boston, March 7 – 9, 2010
Stahnke: The Bohlen-Pierce Scale in the Context of Just Intonation


The Bohlen-Pierce scale is an example of a new construction of a musical scale on the basis of simple number ratios. But looking at it closely, it shows up to be also interesting in a completely different field: that of equally distributed “exotic” intervals, defined by its basical step distance of roughly 146 cents. This ambiguity contributes to the conceptual richness of the BP scale. I will compare it to the concept of Harry Partch’s “Just Intonation” with intended simple number ratios 11 limit, in a non-equal framework of his 43 step “scale”, and with my non-octaving scale (12th root of 1.9560685), first used in my duo for scordatura harp and synthesizer “Partch Harp”.
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