Kyle Gann:

Tuning for Ghost Town

The tuning for Ghost Town is about as simple as just intonation gets: a regular, diatonic scale in E minor, but in septimal tuning, which means that intervals based on the number 7 are substituted for those usually based on five - that is, 7/6 for 6/5, 14/9 for 8/5, and 7/4 instead of 9/5. The only peculiarity is that there are two versions of A - 4/3 and 21/16 - so that one will be consonant with E 1/1, the other with D7 7/4.

Pitch:EF#+G7A7+ ABC7D7
Ratio:1/19/87/621/16 4/33/214/97/4
Cents:0204231471 498702765969

I have notated the scale in Ben Johnston's excellent microtonal notation, in which:

+ raises a pitch by 81/80 (21.5 cents)
# raises a pitch by 25/24 (71 cents)
7 lowers a pitch by 35/36 to get a seventh harmonic (-49 cents)
F-A-C, C-E-G, and G-B-D are all perfectly tuned 4:5:6 major triads.

(If you don't have enough experience with just intonation to make sense of these charts, try reading the step-by-step Just Intonation Explained section.)

This scale accounts for all the tuning in Ghost Town except for the sampled goose calls, which are tuned to a segment of Harry Partch's 43-tone scale from 1/1 up to 7/4.

Kyle Gann

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