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OT Re: Tones [was Re: the electrix repeater]

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Zvonar <zvonar@zvonar.com>

> found citations for "wolf tones" or "wolf notes" in Benade's
> "Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics" and "Horns, Strings, & Harmony"
> and in Backus's "The Acoustic Foundations of Music."

I have a copy of the Benade book and (although I really haven't read it)
I understand what you're talking about now. My appologies for coming
down a bit heavy handed.

Apparently there's two meanings for this term:



an "unusual" interval in a given tuning system and style which is felt not
be freely substitutable for an "expected" variety of the same interval.

Sometimes it is asserted that "Wolf" intervals are "unusable" or
but this judgment is both contextual and often partial: there are often
sonorities and usages where these intervals are musically useful even in
where they are generally considered to be "too out-of-tune" for most

[from Margo Schulter, posting to Tuning Digest # 1597]

Kind of criptic...as is a lot of tuning theory (getting real off
topic here!). In tunings other than 12 tone equal temperament,
such as Pythagorean, mean tone and temperaments, some
of the keys far away from the home key have intervals that are
described as wolf tones - they're a bit too sharp or flat
and they sound nasty.

Try it: tune a guitar to an open E chord. Now take one of
the B strings and make it little bit sharp. Play it. Ouch. Tune
it back to the original B. Play it. Ah. Harmony.

Or if you own a synth with a tuning table, try playing a cycle of 5ths
in the Pythagorean or Werkmeister settings.

Sorry 'bout the misunderstanding.

* David Beardsley
* http://biink.com
* http://mp3.com/davidbeardsley