Kite Giedraitis

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See also: User:TallKite

Kite Giedraitis, also known as Tall Kite, is a musician, author, theorist, instrument builder and software developer.

Popular tracks: Evening Rondo, I Hear Numbers

He has invented the Kite Guitar, which makes a 41-edo guitar about as playable as 19-edo or 22-edo.

He has written alt-tuner, unique from other microtonal software in several ways:

It allows dynamic retuning via midi input from the musician, in the form of keyswitches and/or foot pedals. This in turn allows the "holy grail" of retuning: adaptive just intonation.

It features a color-coded lattice and a graph of all intervals up to an octave, both of which respond instantly to tuning changes.

With others such as Robert Walker and Ozan Yarman, he has developed a new tuning method that uses very high keyswitches (midi notes 122-127) to "smuggle" tuning information through DAWs that won't transmit sysex messages. This method has been used to retune Kontakt instruments to allow complete retuning freedom -- any note can take on any pitch in the 10-octave midi range, and can even glide to any pitch while sounding, all using only one instrument instance, one midi channel, and one DAW track.

He has written the EDOstrobetuner, a free strobe tuner for microtonal guitars.

He has developed several notation systems, not only typable and staff notation but also spoken and sung notation:

His color notation represents each prime via 1 or 2 colors (2 = clear, 3 = wa, 5 = yo for 5-over and gu for 5-under, 7 = zo and ru, etc.). Combined with standard diatonic notation, any ratio can be expressed as a color plus a degree, e.g. "zo third" for 7/6. There is a rigorous one-to-one correspondence between ratios and color notation, making it ideal for JI. But it can also be applied to temperaments and EDOs, since ratios are often used to refer to intervals in such tunings.

His ups and downs notation can notate every EDO with only 2 new accidentals. The standard seven letters and the standard sharp and flat is used to represent the chain of fifths. For EDOs in which 7 fifths octave-reduce to one EDOstep (12edo, 19edo, etc.) this is sufficient. For other EDOs, the up symbol "^" and the down symbol "v" represent raising and lowering the pitch by one EDOstep.

Along with Praveen Venkataramana, he has developed the concept of a pergen, which categorizes rank-2 and rank-3 temperaments. The pergen article also exhaustively covers how to notate them.

Unlike Sagittal, Johnston, HEWM and Sabat, Kite's color notation, ups/downs notation and pergen notation include relative notation. This makes naming not only intervals but also chords possible. Kite has listed hundreds of JI chords and EDO chords with their names.


Kite has called for xenharmonic terminology that requires less memorization. His manifesto:

Things I refuse to memorize:

  • I refuse to memorize any ratio with numbers of more than 2 digits
  • I refuse to memorize any extended ratio with numbers higher than 20
  • I refuse to memorize the difference between a limna, a kleisma, a schisma, a diaschisma, and a diesis
  • I refuse to memorize the 62 sagittal accidentals
  • I refuse to memorize the 46 TAMNAMS names
  • I refuse to memorize the 750 temperament names

A Rant

Kite's horribly opinionated rant about the current state of microtonal music:

There's such a thing as an over-educated ear. Anyone that studies microtonal music for a decade or so can hear consonance in anything. You learn to appreciate ever larger odd limits and prime limits until the octave is packed with hundreds of ratios. And every possible cents interval becomes a tempered version of some ratio or other. I personally would never use, say, 15/13. I just don't want to make music that requires that level of ear training. It just makes microtonal music unlistenable and inaccessible to the general public. It's like avant-garde jazz or atonal classical music. It's honestly hard for me to tell the difference between either of those and a toddler plunking away on the piano at random. I guess if I went to music school, I could learn to tell the difference, but why bother? Music is supposed to be fun, and you shouldn't have to read a textbook to get it.

Groaner puns

What's the difference between a clogged lint trap and a comma?

What's the difference between a joint holder and a Slendro comma?

How is steel like a comma?

How is a fool like a vanishing comma?

How is an elaborate musical like a comma's ratio?

How is a choosy person like the Meantone comma?


What's the difference between a clogged lint trap and a comma?

One causes a dryer to quit, and the other causes a choir to drift.

What's the difference between a joint holder and a Slendro comma?

One fits the spliff and the other splits the fifth.

How is steel like a comma?

They both improve with tempering.

How is a fool like a vanishing comma?

They both have no sense (cents).

How is an elaborate musical like a comma's ratio?

They both have big numbers.

How is a choosy person like the Meantone comma?

They're both superparticular.

OK, I'll show myself out now...

Beatles parody

(first 7 lines are by Ben Spees, who had the original idea)

What would you think if I sang microtones,

Would you stand up and walk out on me?

Lend me your ears and I'll play you a song

That I tuned xenharmonically

Oh, won't you try xenharmonics, my friend?

Yeah, in JI, all your chords, they will blend

Or, if you like, edos eight, nine and ten

What do I do when my tuning's astray?

(Does it worry you the cents are unknown?)

Why does the tonic keep drifting away?

(Are you sad because you're in Orgone?)

No, I get pythagorean help from my friends

I'm in JI with a little help from pitch bends

Yeah, gonna try Quasiorwell temperament

Do you neeeeeeed necromancy?

I need some version thereof

Does it neeeeeeed to be so fancy?

I want the tuning I love

Do you believe that the ear can be trained?

Yes I'm certain that it happens all the time

What do you hear when you turn off your brain?

I can't tell you but I know it's sublime!

Yeah I get by with a little help from my friends

I wonder why we all love to dissent

Everyone tries all these mathy dead ends

Square root of pi is a hell of a trend

You can't deny that there's few dividends

I'm just some guy with some free time to spend

I really try not to hurt or offend

Hope you don't mind all these words that I've penned

Won't you please buy my software, I recommend

I think you'll find that it is a godsend

I'm pretty sly, my hard sell, I defend

I really try not to hurt or offend

I'm out of time, for my sleep, this prevents

Time to say bye-bye to all my dear friends

All my dear frie-e-e-e-ends

This is the end!

See also

External links