Recommended Listening in Microtonal Synthesis

Bill Alves The Terrain of Possibilities (Synclavier, CSOUND, just intonation) Some of the most interesting computer music out there. Whereas most academic based computer music draws upon its musique concrete origins, just intonation has freed Bill Alves to compose some very complex and at times rhythmically charged tonal music.

Easley Blackwood Twelve Microtonal Etudes (Polyfusion modular analog synthesizer, non-12 equal temperament) Classically flavored studies, the 20th Century non-12 equal tempered version of the Well Tempered Clavier.

Wendy Carlos Beauty in the Beast, Tales of Heaven and Hell (Synergy digital synthesizer, just intonation and non-octave equal temperament) Back in print, much of this album is inspired by the traditional world music of Tibet, Bali, Africa and Bulgaria. The title track is the most hauntingly beautiful song I've heard in any tuning. Tales of Heaven and Hell is a new release with a more medieval flavor.

Charles Carpenter Frog a la Peche, Splat (Kurzweil synthesizer/samplers, Bohlen-Pierce scale) High energy progressive rock based music with similarities to King Crimson.

Ivor Darreg Detwelvulate! (Ensoniq sampler, Yamaha FM synthesizer, 9 to 53 tone equal temperament) A series of etudes exploring the new moods possible with non-12 equal temperament from the father of Xenharmonics.

Jean Piche Heliograms (Systems Concept Digital Synthesizer, just intonation) An academic composer with two very listenable microtonal pieces on this album from the early 1980's. "Ange" consists of ethereal chords floating in and out with some heavenly echoed voice. "La Mer A L'aube" has light melodic sequences which disappear into a powerful melody with ringing embellishments.

Michel Redolfi Desert Tracks (Synclavier digital synthesizer, unknown tunings) The piece "Pacific Tubular Waves" is an avant garde musical representation of the ocean waves along the California coast.

Robert Rich Geometry, Numena, Rainforest, Gaudi, Yearning, Propagation, A Troubled Resting Place, Seven Veils (Ensoniq sampler, Sequential analog synthesizer, E-mu and Korg wavetable synthesizers, just intonation) Space music with many world music influences. The more recent albums have seen a move towards some of the more unusual intervals.

Francois Elie Roulin Disque Rouge (Yamaha FM synthesizers, just intonation) Very intricate and accomplished music, melodic and rhythmic with a highly ornamental style. Pretty, but not simplistic.

Morton Subotnick Silver Apples of the Moon, The Wild Bull, Touch (Buchla analog synthesizer, unknown tunings) Early electronic music with avant garde leanings and a jazzy flair.

Eric Stanley 25 Studies Opus 1 (Yamaha FM synthesizers, 19 tone equal temperament, well temperament) Complex computer music sometimes reminiscent of Conlon Nancarrow, other times of Frank Zappa's electronic works.

Erling Wold Music of Love, I Weep (Yamaha FM synthesizers, just intonation, well temperament) Quirky instrumentals with a sense of humor.

Recommended Listening in Microtonal Electric

Glenn Branca Symphony No. 3 (Gloria) (custom made electric guitars, keyboards and mallet instruments, just intonation) Music with the flavor of rock and the style of a minimalist symphony, perhaps the ultimate sustained power chord.

Catler Bros. Crash Landing (custom electric guitars, just intonation) The Catler Bros. take the intonational explorations of virtuoso jazz to their next natural step, just intonation. Includes a rendition of Ornette Coleman's "Free."

Recommended Listening in Microtonal Acoustic

Kraig Grady and Brad Laner Music from the Island of Anaphoria (custom built acoustic instruments, just intonation) Ambient world music flavored pieces that should appeal to any fans of Carlos' Beauty in the Beast.

Neil Haverstick Acoustic Stick (custom guitars, 19 and 34 tone equal tempered) Neil Haverstick explores a variety of jazz and popular styles aided by bass and drums. Excellent playing by all make this a very enjoyable album.

Lou Harrison Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, Gamelan Music, Piano Concerto, La Koro Sutro, Music for Guitar and Percussion (custom Javanese percussive instruments, orchestral instruments, just intonation) Lou Harrison is one of the most inventive and respected composers of modern "classical" music. His sense of melodicism is unparalleled in contemporary music.

Michael Harrison From Ancient Worlds for Harmonic Piano (Schimmel grand piano, just intonation) The shimmering overtones of a modified grand piano are used to their full effect in these gentle excursions.

David Hykes & Djamchid Chemirani Windhorse Riders (voice, zarb, just intonation) Hykes uses the techniques of Tibetan monks to sing up to three tones at once. The results are ethereal pieces that sound almost synthesized.

Harry Partch The Music of Harry Partch, Revelation in the Courthouse Park, The Bewitched, Delusion of the Fury, Enclosure I & II, The Harry Partch Collection Vol. 1-4 (custom built percussive and stringed instruments, customized reed organ, just intonation) The father of just intonation in the 20th century. Partch's music was just as unique as his vision of true harmonic tunings. Imagine the music of a long lost Atlantis that has just been rediscovered. Very dynamic music, and unlike anything else that was done in the mid-20th century.

Other Music Prime Numbers, Incidents Out of Context (custom built percussive instruments, adapted instruments, synthesizers, just intonation) Other Music composes with acoustic, electric and electronic instruments, but began with mostly acoustic compositions so I've categorized them here. Their first album seems to take its cue from the Asian flavored music of Lou Harrison, while the second album explores a broad pallette of classical, folk and rock.