Works for the Clavemusicum Omnitonum (Harpsichord with 31 keys per octave)

Started by rappy, September 06, 2022, 02:27:46 PM

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In 1555, Nicola Vicentino wrote about a new harpsichord: "Et con l'inventione di vno nvovo stromento, nelqvale si contiene tvtta la perfetta mvsica, con molti segreti mvsicali"
The instrument he describes should contain 31 keys per octave, and in fact one original instrument of this kind has survived, which has been built by Trasuntino in 1609. Markus Krebs has built a copy in 2016 which is now located in Basel, Switzerland.

I wrote some pieces for that instrument during the last years which I like to share. These three preludes are brand-new:

Prélude 1:

Prélude 2:

Prélude 3:

I've written a short introduction into the pieces:

QuoteThese three Préludes are written for the Clavemusicum omnitonum in 31-meantone temperament, which allows septimal intervals to be treated as enharmonically equivalent to familiar chromatic ones (e.g., the harmonic seventh as an enharmonic equivalent of the augmented sixth, and the septimal major third 9:7 as an enharmonic equivalent of the diminished fourth). The harmonic language could be thus regarded as a kind of septimal ,,hypertonality".

No. 1 highlights the »wolf fifth«, which is smoothly integrated into the world of septimal harmony through its enharmonic equivalence with the septimal fourth (21:16). It furthermore forms a perfect (meantone) fourth with the just seventh in a 7/4-chord, which is (in 5-limit) a characteristic and particularly beautiful sonority of French baroque harmony.

No. 2 explores the enharmonic equivalence of the diminished fourth and the septimal major third and introduces ,,Bachish" progressions of diminished seventh chords, which in meantone temperament results in distinct sonorities for each inversion.

No. 3 makes use of further foreign intervals with a certain ,,mystic" quality, such as the double-diminished fourth, which lies between the minor and major third and can also be seen as a secondary septimal interval, being the distance between a just seventh and a diminished fifth or a minor ninth, respectively.

The score ist also available:

I've also written a duo with viola da gamba, inspired by the historical model of an allemande:

Here's a Sarabande:

And here are my first attempts, two short pieces I composed in 2019:

I hope you enjoy this maybe at first a bit foreign-sounding, neither (in a conventional sense) tonal nor atonal music.