# Bohlen-Pierce scale

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Chris Vaisvil's BP electric guitar. Music from this guitar.

The Bohlen-Pierce scale (BP) is a 13-tone macrotonal nonoctave scale designed to emphasize odd-number intervals and chords, such as the 3:5:7:9 tetrad. It was first described as a 7-limit just intonation scale and as an equal temperament, 13 equal divisions of the tritave. The tritave (3/1) usually replaces the octave in the role of the equave, such that intervals a tritave apart are considered equivalent.

It is closely related to the rank two temperament bohpier. It is normally thought of (if not in these terms, then in fact) as a temperament defined on the 3.5.7 subgroup. However, it can be extended to the 3.5.7.11/4 subgroup, especially when considering 13edt instead of the JI version. This extension is controversial because of the presence of 2 in the denominator of 11/4, but the interval is present in the sense that 3^(12\13) provides an approximation to it. Chords of Bohlen-Pierce, from this extended perspective, may be found listed on the page chords of bohpier.

Bohlen-Pierce was discovered independently by Heinz Bohlen, John Pierce, Kees van Prooijen, and perhaps others, usually noticed for its good approximation of odd-number just ratios 3:5, 5:7, 3:7, etc.; but not necessarily 4:11, 5:6, 6:7, etc.

## Variations

### Triple Bohlen-Pierce

Proposed by Paul Erlich, is the Triple Bohlen-Pierce Scale, or 39th root of 3. It approximates additional odd harmonics and can be used in a variety of ways, for both just intonation chords and harmonies, as standard Bohlen-Pierce scale interlocking three times with calm sounding quarter-tones, and for various JI modulations.

## Regular temperament properties

Subgroup Comma list Mapping Optimal
Equave stretch (¢)
Tuning error
Absolute (¢) Relative (%)
3.5.7 245/243, 3125/3087 [13 19 23]] (b13) +1.393 1.150 0.79

### Rank-2 temperaments

Table of rank-2 temperaments by generator
Periods
per tritave
Generator
(reduced)
Cents
(reduced)
Associated
ratio
Temperament
1 1\13 146.30 49/45 Procyon
1 2\13 292.61 25/21 Sirius
1 3\13 438.91 9/7 BPS
1 4\13 585.22 7/5 Canopus
1 5\13 731.63 75/49
1 6\13 877.83 5/3 Arcturus