Unless you spent a lot time playing clarinet in high school, there is a good chance you don’t think much about scales in music – like, are there only 12 notes in an octave, the way you see…

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25 thoughts on “Secret notes your piano is keeping from you

  1. 0zzyQsbourne says:

    I did twelve tone for my senior project, it was a good time but very time
    consuming, its more like constructing a puzzle then other written forms of

  2. lCharles445l says:

    I was half expecting you to zoom into the word “frequencies” at 6:22, haha.
    Color boils down to the frequency of light, and different tones in music
    are different frequencies of sound.

  3. KiLLclangames says:

    Let’s break this down scientifically a tone is a set sound in which the ear
    hears so then we have to break down the word sound a sound is vibration
    moving at a certain frequency so now in a waveform they your ear then
    receives and changes into sound. So if you take frequency ranging from 1
    Micro Hertz to 60 megahertz which sounds will you hear. Wonder if the
    decibles are sub decibels and what if they are over 60 decibels. For
    example take your hand and play a beat on your counter you’ll notice each
    hit sounds slightly different listen very closely and you’ll hear that each
    hit has its own unique pitch so.
    After reading what I have just wrote do you understand that a true scale of
    each individual frequency would be massive so using the eastern scale just
    simplifies things for people who need them simplified

  4. DarkGoldBK says:

    3:50 that guitar sounds so demented and crazy-like. If slipknot had one of
    those just imagine the possibilities. I’d be one happy boy let me tell you.
    Haha. I need more.

  5. kingemocut says:

    i always prefer bands like Last Sacrament. the slides always remind me of
    when i was younger, and more carefree. it just makes me feel a lot more

    and i’ve never been much of a muscition, but i’ve known about microtones
    since my ma is a artist and a muscition. 

  6. Max Nimmert says:

    Why no love for peddle steel or fretless guitars? Or auto bending guitars,
    they can all give you the same(and in my opinion better) results. Actually
    you could probably do whole episodes on molding instalments. So what I am
    saying here is more, please!

  7. Lucieniibi says:


  8. GNRlova23 says:

    One song I remember in particular that felt insanely weird but
    awe-inspiring to listen to was Tool’s Eulogy, mainly because of the way the
    singer sort of twists and warps the note of his voice in the chorus. It
    sounds so creepy, but the exact notes feel handpicked when sung with the

  9. Uselube says:

    It’s not really that there are “more notes”. Pretty much any interval that
    sounds consonant and is musically useful is represented by one of the notes
    in the 12-tone equal temperament, it’s just that on a microtonal instrument
    you can approximate some of the intervals a lot more precisely. The overly
    sharp dominant 7th you hear on your piano can be played almost exactly in
    harmony on the Tonal Plexus.

  10. Florian Fahrenberger says:

    While experimenting with microtonal scales is fun and I certainly don’t
    want to discourage it, there absolutely is a reason why most peoples’ (and
    not just western) music ends up with the same or very similar scales. It’s
    just the natural physics of the acoustic waves. Each note played on an
    instruments consists of the base frequency and many overtones (or
    harmonics) that are just multiples of the base frequency (e.g. 440 Hz for A
    and then 880, 1320, 1760 Hertz, …). And if you look at these overtones,
    the first twelve of them (except for the weird seventh) will make up the
    normal 12-tone-scale we are used to hearing. Any harmonics above these 12
    are usually very high pitched and so quiet that humans can’t detect them

    So, what I’m saying is: If you for example pick a string, you are really
    not hearing one single note, but many. And the spectrum you hear does
    already make up the so-called “western scale” that we are used to and that
    many disconnected tribes all over the world figured out. Going away from
    this scale can be considered (to put it carefully) experimental or (to put
    more harshly) breaking through the boundaries we are suggested by
    acoustical physics.

    All this being said, I still wonder even today whether microtonal music
    sounds so weird and off-tune because it breaks the natural scale suggested
    by harmonics or because we are just so very used to the sound of the
    western scale from even before birth… and honestly, I don’t know the

  11. oscargordon says:

    I saw Harry Partch and his Ensemble many more years back than I can
    remember. It was one of, if not the most awesome concert I have been to.
    Not only are all of his instruments works of art, the music was “trippy”
    and “out-of-this-world” as we use to say.

  12. Yoshio Tamiya says:

    Impossible colours? I think not! I made a paint once that could only be
    described as “fluorescent brown”. It was hideous!

    About microtonal instruments: Couldn’t we say that a fretless bass, a
    Theremin, or a drum were microtonal and only the manner of operating them
    was conventional? I used to retune one or two of my drums for a specific
    song in order to create a dissonance that I suppose could be described as
    microtonal. Otherwise, I had them form a “proper” chord.

    I’ve always liked that Black Flag song, btw. Never knew what it was called

  13. ACoolStupidDog says:

    You could have touched on fretless basses (or other fretless instruments).
    As a fretless bass player, I can tell you that it permits you to use a much
    more “wide” approach to the instrument, although it can also sound terrible
    and random if played imprecisely. Jeoren Paul Thesseling (ex-Obscura) uses
    the micro-tonal system a lot in his work, though more subtly than Last
    Sacrament, and it adds an oriental vibe to his works sometimes, I recommend
    listening to him. 

  14. Nick Merrick says:

    ‘you kind of have to be super serious about modding all your shit’

    hahahaha this is a great episode. really clear and concise explanation of
    what microtonal music is without all the bs mysticism you find on a lot of

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