Just Intonation problem

• Nov 12, 2011 - 18:50

You used the latest "Scales" plugin?

Which temperament did you apply?
I used the 35 Keys temperament

What version of MuseScore are you using?
Version 1.1 (Recent one)

Can you attach a score to this thread (that you have tried to add a temperament tuning to)?
Well, I was going to create a Just Intonation version of my work, Bassoon. But no I cannot attach that score for I didn't upload it to the Musescore.com website.


In reply to by ARobinsonization

I noticed you didn't answer one of the questions: "Please describe the step-by-step actions for others to reproduce the problem." Without this it difficult to know what steps might be missing, but here's my random guess: I suspect that you clicked "Done" instead of "Apply selected temperament to the score". If my guess is correct let me know, otherwise please describe the step-by-step actions for others to reproduce the problem.

(Also for my own reference, here's the original thread: http://musescore.org/en/node/13136 )

In reply to by David Bolton

Here is my step-by-step answers of what was I doing:

1. Went to download "Just Intonation"
2. Extracted the JI files
3. Copied it into my musescore plugins
4. Went to Temperament tuning plugin on musescore
5. Applied "Pythagorean tuning" as temperament into my score
6. When I entered the notes, it didn't sound the way I wanted to
7. Went to Temperament Tuning plugin again
8. It restarted to "Equal Temperament" tuning

Does that answer your question? May not have been a screen cast, but maybe we can now find the answer to this dilemma.

In reply to by ARobinsonization

The plugin only affects existing notes, so you need to run the temperament tuning plugin after you have entered all the notes. Reselect Pythagorean tuning, and click "Apply selected..."

If you want to visually check that it worked right click on a note and choose Note Properties. After a temperament is applied the Tuning Offset should be something other than "0.00 cent" for most notes.

In reply to by ARobinsonization

I have been playing with the demo (Moussorgsky) score on 1.1 and applying pythagorean. The note offset is clear, but the chords sound the same (at least to my novice's ear). I went trawling the web for resources and found I could hear the difference between pythagorean and equal temperament there. So I exported two midi files (one pythagorean and one equal) and played them both at the same time on quicktime (changing the prefs so both would sound. They sounded to be in perfect unison to me.

Then I created some nonsense scales and followed the same procedure. Again, the offset was there on the display, but the files sound the same

Attachment Size
pyth.mid 561 bytes

In reply to by nikow

That is because tuning information is transmitted as a MIDI Tuning Standard Bulk Dump.

It is not normally stored in the SMF (Standard MIDI File)

The reason for this is that the instrument may not support MTS messages - I think that is unlikely in terms of most computer softsynths most of which barely support GM.

Also, the frequency data is sent as a System Exclusive Bulk Dump, which requires a manufacturer recognition byte in its header. It would be impossible to know which manufacturer byte to put in the header as the system the SMF would be played back on would be unknown.

Really MIDI is not suitable for what you are trying to do - it's a stream of performance data, to a previously setup MIDI instrument - if you want different tunings they have to be done at instrument level - not at SMF level.

Have you tried exporting as WAV or OGG? These are both audio formats which will contain any changes in tuning you have made.


In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Source: //xenharmonic.wikispaces.com/DAWs


Plugins which are microtuned via MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard).

Some plugins can accept MIDI data in the form of SysEx messages. These messages contain the tuning data. The issue with this method, is that many DAWs filter out SysEx messages. However some plugins, such as those created by Xen- Arts, allow the user to load a MIDI file (containing he SysEx messages within) directly into the plugin, thus bypassing the restriction from the DAW. Such MIDI files can be generated by Scala).

One benefit of using MTS is that tunings can be changed during the course of a piece. This gives much flexibility in tuning for the composer. MIDI Tuning is also highly accurate.
Furthermore, he user can send one set of MTS messages to several plugins/hardware synthesizers at once, thereby making the tuning process relatively convenient. However since any DAWs filter out these messages, the real benefit of MTS can not be realized by everybody.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

You can create your own historically authentic videoscores (e.g. using Bach/Lehman "Well-Tempered Clavier" Temperament) using Pianoteq (i.e. software-modelled piano). Find the portable version below) and loading a .scl (scala file) i.e. a file that contains the intervallic cent values from the first note of the scale. The .scl file containing the 12-note equal Temperament chromatic scale would look something like this: (This .scl file is JUST a plain text file with .scl extension)

! Equal Temperament.scl
Equal Temperament
so this means: 100 cents (i.e. one E.Tempered semitone) for the second note counting from the first note of the scale or tonic, 200 cents for the third note -counting from the first note, 300 cents for the fourth note -counting from the first note, etc.

The FINALLY CORRECTED Bach/Lehman WTC temperament scl file is this (It contains the interval values in cents for the second to the upper octave, in the same fashion as the Equal temperament example bove) I have worked it out reading a lot from Lehamn. More on that later).

! Lehman 1722-Bach.scl
Bach/Lehman 1722, WTC temperament after Bach's signet

Download Pianoteq:


Download Pianoteq (Portable version): for when you're "out and about"

What is Scala (software programme)
Melodyne (Portable version):

Load a wav 16 bit WAV file and change the pitch of individual notes, change the tuning system to a different temperament, then save it as a midi:
You can choose from over 4000 scales including many historical temperaments just:
1) Download this zip file

2) and uncompress it.

3) Open Pianoteq and Click on the Tuning panel, click on "equal" under scale and select "load form computer" to load the scale (.scl file)

See the pictures to clarify these instructions:

Select Pianoteq and click trial


Close Welcome window.

PianoteqCloese Welcome window.jpg
click on Tuning panel on the left

It will open this options. - Select Tuning click on default


Here is a short description of these 4000+ scales


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