O'Reilly logo

Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

25. Intonation

Intonation concerns the fine points of how a scale is tuned. The 12-tone chromatic scale used in Western music is tuned according to the system of equal temperament. In this system the octave is divided up into 12 mathematically equal semitones. The reality of tuning is that this represents only one option and represents a compromise to what is actually possible. Another kind of tuning is called just intonation. This favors pure intervals as defined by their ratios—in other words, perfect fifths of 3/2, major thirds of 5/4, major sixths of 5/3, and so on.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required