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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
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
Watch the video of Johnny playing his composition Zanzibar
A new book
Johnny is delighted to announce that his new book Bach and Tuning has been published by Peter Lang. We'll let you know where you can buy it as soon as it's in print; in the meantime find out about the e-book here.
A new Soundcloud page, presenting Mozart and Mendellsohn.
Videos from the AFMM archves
Johnny is planning an upload of a massive 40 rare recordings from the AFMM archives to the AFMM's Pitch YouTube channel.
New microtonal works
The AFMM commissions for new microtonal works featuring bassoon have successfully concluded with:
November 11 at 7:30 PM at Lefrak Concert Hall, Queens College, Flushing, NY:
Concert featuring the Charles Ives Concord Sonata in extended Pythagorean tuning for two pianos, to cover 25 distinct pitches.
"The reason for this performance of the Ives classic is to experience the sounds that the composer had imagined through the piano".
Read the Press Release for more details.
March 12: Gallery MC, 549 W 52nd St, NYC
A joint concert with Composers Concordance. Jon Catler joins Reinhard for a full evening of microtonal music, featuring new works by a plethora of veteran microtonalists. Find out more here
April: Odessa, Ukraine: Two Days And Two Nights for New Music, part of the 23rd International Festival of Modern Art. Reinhard to perform a solo microtonal programme.
August: Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow:
Angel Blanco joins Reinhard for two concerts.
With more details coming soon about appearances at a festival in Helsinki, and in Ohio, South Carolina and, Georgia.
2016 American Festival of Microtonal Music in Berlin
Under the direction of Johnny Reinhard,
and co-produced by Philipp Gerschlauer, the AFMM presented two concerts in Berlin: February 17 and 18..
Find out more here, including programme and performer details.
Watch the video of Johnny playing his signature compostion, Dune, at the Berlin Microfest:
Winston-Salem Microfest, Septermber 2015
AMERICAN FESTIVAL OF MICROTONAL MUSIC
Watch the performance of "for Johnny Reinhard" by Georg Friedrich Haas for solo bassoon in 128 tuning. The performance was from the final night of the MicroFest.
Click here for the full programme of events
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