How much can we develop a purely melodic theory of microtonal music? Can we completely emancipate melody from harmonic constraints by using only inharmonic timbres?
We'll probably not answer this lofty question in our lifetimes, but let's take some motivation from it at least.
The simplest case to analyze is MOSes. We'll limit ourselves to MOS patterns from 6 to 10 notes; we'll ignore quasi-equal MOS patterns (such as 6L 1s) and ones found in 12edo like 5L 2s. These patterns are:
- 6 notes: 4L 2s
- 7 notes: 2L 5s, 3L 4s, 4L 3s
- 8 notes: 3L 5s, 5L 3s, 6L 2s
- 9 notes: 2L 7s, 3L 6s, 4L 5s, 5L 4s, 6L 3s, 7L 2s
- 10 notes: 3L 7s, 4L 6s, 5L 5s, 6L 4s, 7L 3s, 8L 2s
For each MOS pattern I'll try writing a tune in it and tune the piece to two different generator sizes: "boundary of propriety" (L/s = 2) and "maximally expressive" (L/s = 3).