Quarter-Tone Dissertation

Example 1.7

Julián Carrillo, Horizontes, harp, 5 measures after rehearsal letter E (Misterioso)

This harp part is written for 96-note equal temperament (sixteenth tones), requiring integers 0 through 95. This particular passage only uses the even integers, so it could be expressed as 48-note equal temperament. Carrillo believed that his integer notation would make his music more accessible to readers with no musical training; he believed that reading his scores would be as easy as reading the newspaper. While the integer notation does provide an unambiguous way to represent precise microtones, it creates some serious obstacles for performers. I can't imagine trying to sight-read a passage like this one. At least Carrillo uses a conventional 5-line staff here instead of the one-line-per-octave staff we saw in Example 1.6b.

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