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In the context of JI ratios, the mediant M of two ratios a/c and b/d in lowest terms is M=(a+b)/(c+d). It will always be between the two ratios (a/c < M < b/d, assuming a/c < b/d).

The mediant operation can also be used to find generators and scales in edos representing temperaments. For example, the perfect fifth (3/2) in 12edo which supports meantone is 7 steps out of 12, and the fifth in 19edo, another meantone tuning, is 11 steps out of 19. Hence the perfect fifth in 31edo (which is a meantone tuning because 31 = 12 + 19; more precisely, the 5-limit val of 31edo is the sum of the 5-limit vals of 12edo and 19edo) is (7+11)\(12+19) = 18\31, which is in between the sizes of the 12edo fifth and the 19edo one.

See also