Beta Scale
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Beta Scale
Perfect fourth (just: 498.04 cents About this soundPlay , 12-tet: 500 cents About this soundPlay , Beta scale: 512 cents About this soundPlay )

The ? (beta) scale is a non-octave-repeating musical scale. In one version, it splits the perfect fifth (3:2) into eleven equal parts of 63.8 cents each.[] Another interpretation splits the perfect fourth into two equal parts,[1] or eight equal parts of approximately 64 cents each[2]About this soundPlay . This totals approximately 18.8 steps per octave. It may be derived from using 11:6 About this soundPlay  to approximate the interval ​,[3] which equals 6:5 About this soundPlay .

It was invented by and is a signature of Wendy Carlos and used on her album Beauty in the Beast (1986).

Although neither has an octave, one advantage to the beta scale over the alpha scale is that 15 steps, 957.494 cents, About this soundPlay  is a reasonable approximation to the seventh harmonic (7:4, 968.826 cents)[3][4]About this soundPlay  though both have nice triads[1] (About this soundPlay major triad , About this soundminor triad , and About this sounddominant seventh ).

The delta scale may be regarded as the beta scale's reciprocal since it is "as far 'down' the (0 3 6 9) circle from ? as ? is 'up'."[5]

interval name size
just ratio just
minor third 5 319.00 6:5 315.64 +3.35
major third 6 382.80 5:4 386.31 −3.52
perfect fifth 11 701.79 3:2 701.96 −0.16
harmonic seventh 15 956.99 7:4 968.83 −11.84

See also


  1. ^ a b Milano, Dominic (November 1986). "A Many-Colored Jungle of Exotic Tunings", Keyboard.
  2. ^ Carlos, Wendy (2000/1986). "Liner notes", Beauty in the Beast. ESD 81552.
  3. ^ a b Benson, Dave (2006). Music: A Mathematical Offering, p.232-233. ISBN 0-521-85387-7. "Carlos has 18.809 ?-scale degrees to the octave, corresponding to a scale degree of 63.8 cents."
  4. ^ Sethares, William (2004). Tuning, Timbre, Spectrum, Scale, p.60. ISBN 1-85233-797-4. Scale step of 63.8 cents.
  5. ^ Taruskin, Richard (1996). Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works through Mavra, p.1394. ISBN 0-520-07099-2.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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