The Microtone is an interval measure that is sufficiently precise for all thinkable musical and music-science purposes. Besides its high accuracy, it is of a high neutrality since it favors neither twelve-tonality nor even the octave.
One actual microtone (1µt) would be defined as one millionth of the tone:
|Name||Size in cent|
The Microtone Challenge
A microtone is indeed a very small interval: 4904 microtones make one cent, and 5884949 an octave.
Two sounds different only by 1µt produce a very slow beat; depending on the frequency one have to wait more or less to recocnize it. The beat frequency is
- at the upper limit of the hearing range (20 kHz) 7 minutes
- in the range of the highest acoustic sensibility (4 kHz) 35 minutes
- at the lower limit of the hearing range (16 Hz) 7 days
Given this, will it be ever possible to make a microtone experience at all?