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"The number of pitches is infinite ... just because more importance is placed on the Western system today does not mean it's the best." Johnny Reinhard
Johnny Reinhard (1956- ) is a microtonal composer, virtuoso bassoonist and conductor. Having studied at the Manhattan School of Music he became interested in developing the bassoon compositionally and began to experiment with the use of microtones. His appreciation of microtonality developed during his fellowship at Columbia.University when he began to conduct extensive research into microtonal music in other cultures. This created his belief that all music is microtonal, . He formed the American Festival of Microtonal Music (AFMM) in 1981 to showcase past and contemporary microtonal music and to introduce microtonality to the listening public. Now a prolific composer, Reinhard continues to perform, promote and lecture in his hometown of New York and all over the world.
Through his direction of the AFMM and his other individual efforts, Reinhard has almost singlehandedly revived public awareness of microtonality in the 21st century
Microtonal Music, and the
128 Tuning System
Arnold Schoenberg, 1910: “dissonances are the more remote consonances of the overtone series”
Johnny Reinhard, 2010: "I began carefully plotting out the 128 pitch harmonic series scale with secure and reliable bassoon fingerings invented to service throughout the instrument’s entire range."
Microtonal music is music which is not based on the 12-tone equally tempered scale which is so prevalent in western music. It is not constrained to any style or time period.
8th Octave Overtone Tuning
A paper discussing the development and precursors of the 128 Tuning System,
by Johnny Reinhard
By using only the information found in the harmonic series – also known as the overtone series – 128 distinct pitches are found outlined in its eighth octave. These 128 pitches constitute “definitive consonance.” Read the rest of Johnny's article...
Johnny Reinhard's Raven CD details
On July 4th 2005 the Stereo Society released Johnny Reinhard's new realization of Charles Ives' Universe Symphony
Johnny Reinhard's realization of Ives' Universe Symphony
The subject of this essay -- polymicrotonality -- never shows up in a dictionary, although it has real meaning for my music compositions. When performing extemporaneously as a bassoonist, I couldn't imagine improvising sans microtones. The complex world in which we live requires a new music that reflects what is special in this millennial era and, paradoxically, need not be overtly complex in its delivery. The insistence of a single tuning simply does not attract my aesthetic compass. Most significantly... Read more
September 25th - 27th 2105: Winston-Salem,
Watch this space for details
Performances and workshops featuring around twelve musicians, including bassoon, sax, clarinet, guitars, basses and electronics.
Performances at (to be confirmed):
Winston Salem church
Wake Forest University
26th September, afternoon: Workshop at the University of North Carolina, School of the Arts
February 13th - 14th 2016, Sowieso,
A large group of musicians has been assembled, to play and record in 128 tuning
NYC Event - to be confirmed
Amsterdam - to be confirmed
MicroFEST NYC 2015 • March 27-29
AMERICAN FESTIVAL OF MICROTONAL MUSIC (AFMM), under the direction of Johnny Reinhard, presented three concerts at Spectrum, located at 121 Ludlow Street, second floor, in Lower Manhattan.
One of many highlights was the world premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’s solo for bassoon in 128 note tuning [formed by the eighth octave of the harmonic series] FOR JOHNNY REINHARD, performed by its dedicatee, on the Friday, March 27th
Watch the video of Johnny playing his composition Zanzibar
The AFMM was founded in 1981 by Johnny Reinhard to showcase past and contemporary microtonal music and to introduce microtonality to the listening public. Now a leader in new music activity, the AFMM produces concerts of Microtonal Music internationally. As well as putting together seminars and symposia on Microtonal Music, the AFMM maintains a loosely organized ensemble of virtuoso musicians who often perform in the concerts.
To the American Festival of Microtonal Music external site
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