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A Four-part Round in 17-EDO by Jacob Barton

Why a round?

In my microtonal journeying, I find composing and performing rounds useful in a few ways:

  • Rounds have a built-in repeat, which means less starting and stopping in the course of rehearsing
  • Rounds require multiple people or groups, standing on their own in counterpoint, which means every round is yet another opportunity to need your friends
  • Rounds are "not-yet-music"—they have flexible instrumentation and form, which means more creative decisions to be made by the performing group in the course of rehearsing
  • Rounds enable adventures in paradoxical listening—multiple instances of a single melody gradually unfold a counterpoint, then a harmony
  • Rounds enable collaboration between different levels of musicianship.

Why 17?

This round is born of looking at what two systems--17-EDO and Just Intonation--do to each other. 17-EDO becomes a way of looking at Just Intonation, and vice versa. The harmony of this round is based on an understanding of the 6:7:9:11 tetrad (degrees 0-4-10-15 of 17-EDO, measure 1), which I sometimes call the "train whistle" chord.

Fun fact: This round was written as a preliminary exercise for The Elitism Rumba.

Visit SeventeenTheory for information about the notation used below. There are other ways to notate this.

Score

multiverse.jpg

Also in PDF:multiverse.pdf

Recordings

Translations

Ideally, this would be sung in multiple languages. French, Korean, Estonian translations forthcoming.