Tag Archives: Jen Shyu

Pi Recordings: A Home For Musicians Pushing Jazz Forward

Pi Recordings

Pi Recordings’s Seth Rosner and Yulun Wang will never forget the day they called Henry Threadgill to tell him he had won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music; he was only the third jazz artist to do so.

“We were so excited, we were tripping over each other trying to tell him about it,” laughs Wang. “And Henry was getting madder and madder, because he had no idea what we were talking about!”

Once all became clear, the mood was jubilant. “He’s really trying to invent his own musical language,” says Rosner of the master composer, saxophonist, and flutist. “For the Pulitzer people to finally recognize him for tackling this challenge—it’s definitely one of the prouder moments of my life.”

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A Brief Introduction to Microtonal Music on Bandcamp

Last Sacrament

Last Sacrament

Believe it or not, the basics of music—like the way an instrument is tuned, or even what’s considered “in tune”—is not an exact science. It’s not even objective or universal. Systems vary from people to people, culture to culture, and have a tendency to change over time. In Western music, the current tuning system—at least according to some academics—dates back to 1917 with the publication of William Braid White’s Modern Piano Tuning and Allied Arts. The system became standardized around then, and Western artists came to rely more and more on a set of fixed pitches spaced at equidistant intervals, as on the keys on a piano. But even though a piano keyboard represents a rigid arrangement of fixed pitches, your ears can discern another 20 pitches or so between each key. And those notes—the ones that fall in the cracks—are called microtones.

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