I like to agree with Hrant. It happens more often about food than
about type or philosophy but it happens in various arenas. Damn, now
I'll have to agree with both of you.
Harmony (in the plain vanilla simple Western sense) is inexact (or
inconsistent or just plain not neat and simple) but it is a natural
and/or mathematical phenomenon. How we react to the natural and the
mathematical is culture. What we assign importance by identifying as
natural, mathematical, or scientific is also cultural.
In a past life I played the pedal steel guitar. A pedal steel has a
strong, clean sound--the sort that makes off harmonics beat--so it is
not a tempered tuning. Since it has many strings and the pedals and
levers change the tuning of strings, the are many notes making it a
major, minor, and diminished pain in the ass to tune.
The result of strings being tuned in relation to each other is that
the standard E9 tuning that gets used commonly in shitkicker music
has two distinctly different (same octave) F sharps. If you want a
really nasty rasping sound you can play them in semi-unison.
>At 02:11 PM 9/19/01, Gunnar Swanson wrote:
>>I would argue that a major fifth interval is quite obviously
>In fact what you say later about tempering relates directly to this.
>Because harmonics are integer arithmetic, they don't all add up. Most
>modern instruments use equal tempering, which equalizes the differences
>over all the octaves. Neither the fifth nor the third is exact in equal
>tempering, but the third is closer, and modern western music uses more
>thirds than fifths. In the middle ages, tempering was Pythagorean, which
>iirc has both pure fifths, fourths, and thirds, but starts to drift beyond
>a couple of octaves. At that same time, the fifth was considered harmony,
>but the third was dissonance, so makers of organs and other instruments
>with large octave ranges developed "just" temperment, with perfect fifths
>but lousy thirds, since they were dissonant anyway. Thirds came into favor
>in the Renaissance, and fiths unsupported sound strange (almost "medieval")
>to modern western ears. I hate to seem like I'm agreeing with Hrant
>(especially since I killfiled him), but it seems to me that, although
>"harmony" can be defined mathematically, our reactions to it are strongly
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