Score

[Arranger]

Flute

3 &4

53 Tones Scales

Microtonal Limits Circle of 4ths/5ths as 22nds/31sts

by Ron Porter ©copyright 2012 Ronald L. Porter trubroadband@hotmail.com all rights reserved

..

In music, 53 equal temperament, called 53-TET, 53-EDO, or 53-ET, is the tempered scale derived by dividing the octave into 53 equal steps (equal frequency ratios). Each step represents a frequency ratio of 21/53, or 22.6415 cents, an interval sometimes called the Holdrian comma.

©copyright 2012 Ronald L. Porter trubroadband@hotmail.com

2

53 Tones Scales

4

Fl.

& ..

Same tones with in each measure

œ
C 0

#‹‹‹ œ
E7#s

b∫∫∫ œ
error A8bs

4 4 ˙
F 22

#‹‹‹ ˙
A7#s


Bb 44

#‹‹‹ ˙
D7#s

There are limits within this software program. It can only show a maximum of 7 sharps or 7 flats. So where there should be 8 sharps or 8 flats; I have notated with an error indicator. The pitches used are based on the 12 tones tempered scale.

53 Tones Scales

3

7

Fl.

&


Eb 13

#‹‹‹ ˙
G7#s


Ab 35

#‹‹‹ ˙
C7#s


Db 4

#‹‹‹ ˙
F7#s

EACH MEASURE REPRESENTS THE SAME TONE IN THE CIRCLE OF 22NDS / 31ST IN 53 TONES VOICING.

4

53 Tones Scales

10

Fl.

& b˙
Gb 26

‹‹‹ ˙
B6#s


Cb 48

‹‹‹ ˙
E6#s


Fb 17

‹‹‹ ˙
A6#s

History: Theoretical interest in this division goes back to antiquity. Ching Fang (78–37 BC), a Chinese music theorist,

53 Tones Scales

5

13

Fl.

& ∫ ˙ ‹‹‹ ˙
Bbb D6#s 39

∫˙

‹‹‹ ˙

∫˙

‹‹‹ ˙

∫˙

‹‹‹ ˙

∫˙

#‹‹ ˙

Ebb G6#s 8

Abb C6#s 30

Dbb F6#s 52

Gbb B5#s 21

observed that a series of 53 just fifths ((3 / 2)53) is very nearly equal to 31 octaves ((2 / 1)31). He calculated this difference with six-digit accuracy to be....

6

53 Tones Scales

18

Fl.

& ∫ ˙ #‹‹ ˙
Cbb E5#s 43

∫˙

#‹‹ ˙

b∫ ˙

#‹‹ ˙

b∫ ˙

#‹‹ ˙

b∫ ˙

#‹‹ ˙

Fbb A5#s 12

B3bs D5#s 34

E3bs G5#s 3

A3bs C5#s 25

..... 177147 / 176776. Later the same observation was made by the mathematician and music theorist Nicholas Mercator (c. 1620–1687),

53 Tones Scales

7

23

Fl.

& b∫ ˙

#‹‹ ˙

b∫ ˙

‹‹ ˙

b∫ ˙

‹‹ ˙

b∫ ˙

‹‹ ˙

D3bs F5#s 47

G3bs B4#s 16

C3bs E4#s 38

F3bs A4#s 7

who calculated this value precisely as .... (353 / 284 = 19383245667680019896796723 / 19342813113834066795298816), which is known as Mercator's comma.

8

53 Tones Scales

27

Fl.

& ∫∫ ˙

‹‹ ˙

∫∫ ˙

‹‹ ˙

∫∫ ˙

‹‹ ˙

∫∫ ˙

‹‹ ˙

B4bs D4#s 29

E4bs G4#s 51

A4bs C4#s 20

D4bs F4#s 42

Mercator's comma is of such small value to begin with (≈ 3.615 cents), but 53 equal temperament flattens each fifth by only 1/53 of that ....

53 Tones Scales

9

31

Fl.

& ∫∫ ˙

#‹ ˙

∫∫ ˙

#‹ ˙

∫∫ ˙

#‹ ˙

b∫∫ ˙

#‹ ˙

G4bs B3#s 11

C4bs E3#s 33

F4bs A3#s 2

B5bs D3#s 24

comma (≈ 0.0682 cent ≈ 1/315 syntonic comma). Thus, 53 equal temperament is for all practical purposes equivalent to an extended Pythagorean tuning .....

10

53 Tones Scales

35

Fl.

&

b∫∫ ˙

#‹ ˙

b∫∫ ˙

#‹ ˙

b∫∫ ˙

#‹ ˙

b∫∫ ˙

‹˙

D5bs G3#s 46

A5bs C3#s 15

D5bs F3#s 37

G5bs Bx 6

After Mercator, William Holder published a treatise in 1694.... which pointed out that 53 equal temperament also very closely....

53 Tones Scales

11

39

Fl.

& b∫∫ ˙

‹˙

b∫∫ ˙

‹˙

∫∫∫ ˙

‹˙

∫∫∫ ˙

‹˙

C5bs Ex 28

F5bs Ax 50

B6bs Dx 19

E6bs Gx 41

approximates the just major third (to within 1.4 cents),...

12

53 Tones Scales

43

Fl.

& ∫∫∫ ˙

‹˙

∫∫∫ ˙

‹˙

∫∫∫ ˙

∫∫∫ ˙

A6bs Cx 10

D6bs Fx 32

G6bs B# 1

C6bs E# 23

and consequently 53 equal temperament accommodates the intervals of 5-limit ... just intonation very well...... ...

53 Tones Scales

13

47

Fl.

& ∫∫∫ ˙

b∫∫∫ ˙

b∫∫∫ ˙

b∫∫∫ ˙

F6bs A# 45

B7bs D# 14

E7bs G# 36

A7bs C# 5

This property of 53-TET may have been known earlier; Isaac Newton's unpublished manuscripts...

14

53 Tones Scales

51

Fl.

& b∫∫∫ ˙

b∫∫∫ ˙

˙

b∫∫∫ ˙

˙

b∫∫∫ ˙

˙

D7bs F# 27

G7bs B 49

C7bs E 18

F7bs A 40

suggest that he had been aware of it....

53 Tones Scales

15

55

Fl.

& b∫∫∫ ˙
error B8bs 9

˙
D

b∫∫∫ ˙
error E6bs 31

˙

..

w
C 0

as early as 1664–65.

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