Hans Straub - Val Fedoz


"Val Fedoz" is a piece using porcupine temperament, a regular temperament supported by 22-equal tuning. More specifically, it uses the porcupine[7] scale, consisting of one major wholetone (4 steps of 22edo) and 6 minor wholetones (3 steps). All melodies and harmonies are strictly held in one of the various modes of porcupine[7]. Special attention was paid to modulations (change from one porcupine[7] scale to another). The regular temperament paradigma offers a canonical modulation schema - the well-known circle of fifths in the case of meantone temperament; the analogon in porcupine temperament is a circle of minor wholetones. As in the meantone case, there are "neighbouring" tonalities where the modulation of one to the other is done via alteration of one note. The concrete modulation patterns are different, of course. The measure is 11/8, suiting the tuning. The title refers to the val Fedoz valley in the swiss alps, close to Sils Maria. The main theme of the piece was composed during a hiking tour there.

Tuning information:

! 12porcupine22tet.scl ! 12 element porcupine subset of 22edo 12 ! 163.64 218.18 327.27 381.82 490.91 545.45 709.09 818.18 872.73 1036.36 1145.45 2/1

Composer bio:

Professional education: study of mathematics and computer science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich (1984-1989), with a masters thesis in the field of mathematical music theory (Professors: Juerg Marti and Guerino Mazzola). Musical education: 9 years of classical piano lessons. Apart from this, no professional music education. I would call myself an advanced amateur and a self-taught composer. From my education sketched above stem my preferred instrument (piano) and a preference for mathematical methods in music. It is the latter that led me to microtonality, since mathematical models of musical phenomena often can be extended naturally to microtonal music, thus offering hints on how to make microtonal music (e.g. how a microtonal modulation could be written), and, in turn offering possibilities to test the validity of the mathematical models.