Temperament Names

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Temperament Name Etymologies

Amity

Origin: Pre-Middle-Path

Meaning: A restructuring of the words "acute minor third." The ideal generator for Amity is between a minor third and neutral third.

Ammonite

Origin: 2011, Keenan Pepper

Meaning: Keenan Pepper suggested it was a good name of a weird spiral-shaped animal, for a temperament in the porcupine family (like nautilus)

A-Team

A-Team is a pun on "eighteen," since the 2.9.21 subgroup of A-Team is nearly optimal in 18-EDO.

Augene

Originally tripletone, in analogy with twintone, but when twintone was renamed pajara Paul Erlich suggested it should be augene, after augmented and Gene Smith.

Avila

Origin: 2011, Mike Battaglia, Ron Sword, Ryan Avella

Meaning: Originally discovered by Ryan by accident while he was reading the mapping for Mavila temperament incorrectly. It is the original spelling of Ryan's surname.

Beatles

Named for the 19\64 generator, since 1964 is the year the Beatlemania swept the world.

Blackwood

Origin: Middle-Path or Pre-Middle-Path

Meaning: Named after Easley Blackwood's 10-out-of-15 maximally even scale.

Breed

The rank three 2401/2400 temperament, named after Graham Breed.

Catakleismic

The "cata" prefix means "down", and the catakleismic generator is very slightly down from the hanson generator, a temperament called "kleismic" until Paul Erlich decided the name must and shall be changed.

Catler

Named for Jon Catler.

Dicot

Meaning: 3/2 is divided into 2 equal parts, hence "di-". Not sure why "-cot". "-Cot" has been suggested to originate from 'cotyledon,' the name for the embryo of a plant seed.

Avella: well apparently someone decided that "cot" should refer to the fifth

Avella: it is arbitrary

Dominant

Meaning: It's meantone which calls the dominant seventh chord a 4:5:6:7. It is one of the least complex 7-limit extensions of meantone.

Doublewide

Named after a type of mobile home.

Ennealimmal

Origin: Gene Smith

Meaning: Ennealimmal has a 1/9-octave period, hence "ennea-"; the period is very close to the large limma, 27/25, hence "limmal".

Ervsec

A name derived from a scale discovered by Erv Wilson and George Secor in the 80's while George was visiting Erv.

Father

Origin: 2000s?

Meaning: A combination of the words "fourth" and "third." This is meant to represent the unification of perfect fourths and major thirds in Father temperament.

Flattone

Origin: Gene Smith

Meaning: A variant of meantone in which the whole tone is flatter than in septimal meantone.

Glacial

Origin: 2012, Igliashon Jones, Mike Battaglia

Meaning: Glacial sounds like "Igliashon."

Godzilla

Named by Gene Smith after a Japanese fictional monster; part of the daikaiju series of names for temperaments with an approximate 8/7 as generator.

Gravity

Named after its 40/27 "grave fifth" generator.

Hanson

Larry Hanson's 34-edo guitar (9\34 generator)

Harry

Derived from a theory that you might be able to play the music of Harry Partch in it without driving him nuts so long as you didn't say that was what you were doing.

Hedgehog

So named because it is in the PORCUPINE family, but different.

Heinz

Named after the fact that 26\57 is a possible generator (which represents 11/8).

Helmholtz

So named because Hermann von Helmholtz proposed 1/8-schisma flattened fifths.

Injera

Origin: Paul Erlich

Meaning: Named after an Ethiopian flatbread because 26edo represents it well, and the Ethiopian alphabet has 26 consonants.

Jamesbond

Named from the fact that the wedgie is <<0 0 7 ...||

Keemun

Origin: 2008, Herman Miller

Meaning: Name of a variety of tea which could fit into the same space as "keenan" and replace it.

Keemun (simplified Chinese: 祁门红茶; traditional Chinese: 祁門紅茶; pinyin: qímén hóngchá; literally "Qimen red tea") is a black Chinese tea with a winey and fruity taste, designated as a China Famous Tea. It was given this name in Paul Erlich's Middle Path paper on the suggestion of Herman "Teamouse" Miller, thereby ending the unfortunate practice of calling this temperament, a 7-limit extension of hanson with a much lower accuracy, by the name "kleismic" also.

Mabila

Origin: 2011, Gene Smith, Ryan Avella

Meaning: Named after Mavila temperament due to their similar tunings and scale structure.

Machine

Mike Battaglia named it because it sounded like a 4:7:9:11 machine.

Magic

Origin: Graham Breed

Graham named it "magic" by analogy with miracle; he was listening to the Fleetwood Mac song "You Make Loving Fun" that uses the word "miracle" at the time. Later he coined the backronym "multiple approximations generated iteratively and consistently" also by analogy with miracle.

Marvel

Rather bizarrely, the 11-limit extension of the king of 7-limit planar temperaments was named first.

Mavila

Origin: 1990s? Kraig Grady

Meaning: Named after the Chopi village of Mavila in Mozambique, known for their use near-equal heptatonic scales. Nobody can agree on how to pronounce this word.

Meantone

Origin: Really really old

Meaning: Named so because it maps the major whole tone (9/8) and the minor whole tone (10/9) to the same interval, which is near the average of the two tones in ideal tunings.

Migration

Origin: ?

Meaning: A temperament closely related to mohajira, which means "migrating".

Miracle

Origin: Paul Erlich, May 2001

Double meaning: It is a miracle that this scale is so accurate! And it is an acronym "Multiple Integer Ratios Approximated Consistently, Linearly and Evenly."

Mohajira

Origin: Jacques Dudon

Meaning: from Arabic مهاجرة muhājirah which roughly means "migrating".

Mothra

Named by Gene Smith after a Japanese fictional monster: a daikaiju name for a temperament with ~8/7 generator. Mothra has defeated Godzilla more times than any other daikaiju; the musical meaning of this fact is at best speculative.

Myna

Myna is related to starling, the 126/125 planar temperament, and a myna is a member of the starling family (Sturnidae). Myna is also a play on minor third, the generator.

Negri

Origin: 2001, (Paul Erlich?)

Meaning: Named after John Negri's 10-out-of-19 maximally even scale.

Octacot

Meaning: 3/2 is divided into 8 equal parts, therefore "octa-".

Orgone

Origin: 2010, Andrew Heathwaite

Meaning: An analogy between Wilhelm Reich's proposal for an invisible, ephemeral creative energy and the subtleties of the higher harmonics 7 and 11. Superkleismic can be viewed as orgone extended to the full 11-limit.

Orwell

Origin: 2001, Gene Smith

Meaning: Named after George Orwell's book 1984, because of the generator of 19\84.

Pajara

Origin: Originally (up to 2001) paultone and then twintone, in analogy with meantone, but Paul Erlich didn't like this and suggested pajara, after "Paul, John, and Ara," the three people jamming at his house at some random point in time.

Porcupine

Origin: 1999? Herman Miller

Meaning: Named after Herman Miller's Mizarian Porcupine Overture in 15-EDO.

Quadritikleismic

Has a kleismic generator, so that (6/5)^6 = 3, and four periods per octave, therefore quadri-.

Rodan

Named by Gene Smith after a Japanese fictional monster. A daikaiju name, from the 8/7 generator.

Semaphore

Meaning: semi-fourth, i.e. half of a 4/3.

Semisept

Meaning: semi-(septimal major sixth), i.e. half of a 12/7.

Sensi

Originally semisixths, but after it was decided that "bi" or "semi" should be half for periods and "hemi" should be half for generators, that was contracted to sensi.

Slendric

Named after slendro which it resembles very little. (According to Raden Machjar Angga Koesoemadinata's findings regarding Sundanese gamelan and Western findings regarding gamelan in general, real slendro is almost definitely within the 9&17 temperament area.)

Squares

Named from the fact that the wedgie is <<4 16 9 ...||, which is 2^2, 4^2, 3^2.

Starling

The 126/125 planar temperament, named after Herman Miller's Starling scale.

Srutal

A name proposed by Paul Erlich because the 22-tone MOS looks a lot like the Indian Shruti scale.

Superkleismic

The 6/5 generator is ~322 cents, sharper than the kleismic 6/5, hence "super-". Can be restricted to 2.7.11 (orgone) or 2.5/3.7.11 (magicaltet).

Superpyth

Meaning: fifths are wider than Pythagorean, hence super-Pythagorean or "superpyth"

Tetracot

Meaning: 3/2 is divided into 4 equal parts, hence "tetra-". Not sure why "-cot" (see Dicot above).

Triforce

Triforce has 3 periods per octave, hence tri-.

Tritikleismic

Tritikleismic has a kleismic generator, so that (6/5)^6 = 3, and 3 periods per octave (therefore tri-.)

Valentine

Named for Robert C Valentine.

Whitewood

Meaning: Black keys are to Blackwood as white keys are to Whitewood.