Advertisement

Temperament in Tuning Systems of Southeast Asia and Ancient India

  • Rolf BaderEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Current Research in Systematic Musicology book series (CRSM, volume 5)

Abstract

Tuning systems in many musical cultures in Southeast Asia as well as in India are often considerably different from Western tuning systems. Within these cultures, the literature as well as oral tradition on theoretical reflections of why choosing which tuning system are scarce. For Western scholars, only considering the pitches played or the tuning of instruments is not perfectly satisfying, as it lacks insight into the reasons for certain tunings. Still when considering ecological constraints, like ensemble setups, instrument building, or the acoustics involved, often the reasons for choosing a special tuning becomes clear. The paper presents examples from fieldwork in this regions between 1999 and 2014, and often finds musicians wanting to get close to just intonation, but deviating from it mainly because of three constraints: The need to switch between different ensemble types, constraints of instrument building, and acoustical constraints. The paper therefore suggests that many tunings in Southeast Asia are temperaments in the sense of compromises between a desired system, often just intonation, and such constraints.

Notes

Acknowledgements

My thanks to the performers and informants in Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, especially Kai Sokmean So Tia, Savuth Prum, Prof. Dr. Annang, Kyaw Zay, Na Na Masan New Songi, Hpung Taung La Hum Seuy Aung, Myittung Gam, the UNHCR people Paul Knudsen, Lu Zaw and Saw Yu for their wonderful music, support, ideas and patience. Also many thanks to Anton Isselhardt in Phnom Penh, whose excellent work and engagement in music, organization of music festivals, and musical exchange between Cambodia and Germany for many years enriches the musical scene in Cambodia a lot, and to my dear colleague Dieter Mack for his links and support. Also many thanks to all the others helping at and around the field works.

Supplementary material

464952_1_En_3_MOESM1_ESM.zip (582.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (zip 596389 KB)

References

  1. 1.
    Ellis AJ (1884) Tonometrical observations on some existing nonharmonic musical scales. Proc Roy Soc 37:368–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schneider A (2001) Sound, pitch and scale: From “tone measurements” to sonological analysis in ethnomusicology. Ethnomusicology 45(39):489–519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Williamson M (2000) Burmese harp, vol 1. Nothern Illinois Monograph Series of Southeast Asia, IllinoisGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Garzoli J (2015) The myth of equidistance in Thai tuning. Anal Approaches Music 4(2):1–29Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sethares WA (1998) Tuning, timbre, spectrum, scale. Springer, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Vetter R (1989) A Retrospect on a century of gamelan tone measurements. Ethnomusicology 33(2):217–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tenzer M (2000) Gamelan gong kebyar. The art of twenthieth-century Balinese music. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kunst J (1973) Music in Java, 3rd edn. Martinus Hijoff, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Helmholtz H (1863) Die Lehre der Tonempfindungen als physiologische Grundlage für die Theorie der Musik. Vieweg, BraunschweigGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nederveen CJ (1969) Acoustical aspects of woodwind instruments. Frits Knuf, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Benade A (1990) Fundamentals of musical acoustics, 2nd edn. Dover Publications, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bader R (2013) Nonlinearities and synchronization in musical acoustics and music psychology. Springer series current research in systematic musicology, vol 2. Springer, HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bader R (2009) Additional modes in a Balinese gender plate due to its trapezoid shape. In: Bader R, Neuhaus C, Morgenstern U (eds) Concepts, experiments, and fieldwork: studies in systematic musicology. Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt a.M, pp 95–112Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Savage PE, Brown S, Sakai E, Currie TE (2015) Statistical universals reveal the structure and function of human music. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1414495112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tallotte W (2015) Meaningful Adjustments: music performance and ritual action in a south Indian temple. Anal Approaches World Music 4(1):1–22Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fletcher N, Rossing Th D (2000) Phyics of musical instruments. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hughes DW (1992) Thai music in Java, Javanese music in Thailand. Two case studies. British J Ethnomusicol 1:17–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Miller T (2010) Appropriating the exotic: Thai music and the adoptation of Chinese elements. Asian Music 41(2):113–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jairazbhoy N (1971) The rāgs of North Indian music. Their structure and evolution. Faber and Faber, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rowell L (2000) Scale and mode in the music of the early tamils of south India. Music Theor Spectr 22(2):135–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Minder A (ed) (1998) The Saṅgītopaniṣat-sāroddhāraḥ. A fourteenth-century text on music from western India. Composed by Vācanācārya-Śrī Sudhākalaśa. Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pondus TH (1974) Bagpipes and tunings. Detroit monographs in musicology. Nr. 3, DetroitGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Harris I (2007) Buddhism under Pol Pot. Documentation Series No. 13. Documentation Center of Cambodia, Phnom PenhGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bizot F (2004) The gate. VintageGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sam S-A (2008) The Khmer people of Cambodia. In: Miller TE, Williams S (eds) The garland handbook of southeast asian music. Routledge, New York, London, pp 89–102Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Bader R (2011) Buddhism, animism, and entertainment in cambodian melismatic chanting smot. In: Schneider A, von Ruschkowski A (eds) Hamburg yearbook of musicology, vol 28, pp 283–305. Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt a.MGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Naing M (2000) National ethnic groups of Myanmar. Swift Winds Books, YangonGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sadam M (2013) Begin and becoming Kachin. Histories beyond the state in the borderworlds of Burma. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 242–253Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hertz HF (1902) A practical Handbook of the Kachin or Chingpaw language containing the grammatical principles and peculiarities of the language, colloquial exercises and a vocabulary with an appendix on Kachin customs, law and religion. RangoonGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hanson O (2012) The kachins. Their customs and traditions. Reprint of 1913. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lundström H, Tayanin D (1981) Kammu gongs and drums II: the long wooden drum and other drums. Asian Folklore Stud 40(2):173–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Obayashi T (1966) The wooden slit drum of the Wa in the Sino-Burman border area. Beiträge zur Japanologie 3(2):72–88Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lundström H, Tayanin D (1981) Kammu gongs and drums I: the kettlegong, gongs, and cymbals. Asian Folklore Stud 40(1):65–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Uchida R, Catlin A (2008) Music of Upland Minorities in Burma, Laos, and Thailand. In: Miller TE, Williams S (eds) The Garland handbook of Southeast Asian Music. Routledge, New York and London, pp 303–316Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    MacLachlan H (2011) Burma’s pop music industry. Creators, Distributors, Censors. University of Rochester Press, Rochester, NYGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Khin Myo Chit (1995) Colorful Myanmar, 3rd edn. Khin Myo Chit, YangonGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Roy M (2008) Cuban music: from son and rumba to the Buena Vista Social Club and timba cubana. Markus Wiener Publishing IncGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Zaw K (1981) Burmese culture. General and particular. Ministry of Information, RangoonGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rossing T (2001) Science of percussion instruments. World Scientific Publishing Corporation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Schneider A, von Ruschkowski A, Bader R (2009) Klangliche Rauhigkeit, ihre Wahrnehmung und Messung. In: Bader R (ed) Musical acoustics, neurocognition and psychology of music hamburger Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft 25, Peter Lang, Frankfurt a.M, pp 101–144Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Systematic Musicology, University of HamburgHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations