Exploration of the musical resources of diverse tunings has long been one of the attractions of the electroacoustic medium. Unfortunately most recent synthesis equipment has either accepted the equal-temperament convention unquestioningly, or has at most permitted the composer to construct tuning tables that are limited to one or a small number of pitch sets. This paper proposes a more flexible system of relative tunings unrestricted by such concepts as ‘scales’ or octave identity. Relative Ratio Tuning, according to the author, provides a theoretical framework for the design of arbitrarily complex tuning systems as well as real-time techniques for their implementation in computer-music systems.
Manuscript solicited by David Rosenboom.