In many of my lectures I have talked about the notes we – living in Western Culture – have lost. The notes that are “allowed” in Western music – the 12 notes of the piano, are very limited pallet of sounds.
Actually, several hundreds years ago we still had more than the 12 piano notes even in Europe. But in the last 400 years the micro tones, or the notes in between the piano keys have vanished from the vocabulary of musicians and cultures in the West. We still have the micro tones – for example the notes in between C and D, or between Do and Re – we do still have them, in the Middle East and in Asia.
I play some of these notes on my Oud, as it is a fretless instrument and one can slide on the strings and play any note beyond and above the limited 12 notes of the piano. You can hear it on the CD Under the Olive Tree – Najwa Gibran & The Yuval Ron Ensemble in the song “Walla Zaman,” you can hear it on the CD Oud Prayers On The Road To St Jacques – Yuval Ron in the track “La Illah” (which was recently was included in a the soundtrack for the Mark Magidson film Samsara).
My friend Steven Taylor explored this world of micro tunings through a very special teacher, most people never heard about. You can learn about this amazing man and his sonic world, in a new video and web site Stephan created with my friend Gary David and another fellow musician. This is not only a super cool video and a great service for the development of music composition and performance in the West and beyond, but also a spiritual cosmological perspective on music making.
Re-posted with permission from Yuval Ron’s Blog.