Intervalon 2D-Interval Explorer
Nature breezes What, Row row row a boat,
vibrating in rings and arches; Gently up the stream,
Listen straight up for Merrily merrily merrily merrily Life is but
Intervalon is a musical instrument software that works on a Windows PC/tablet (technically a Win32 desktop application with Touch interface support).
It can be played by touch (best if you have a touch screen monitor or a tablet) / PC-keyboard keys (very good, mappings flexible) / a mouse.
I hope you enjoy playing it.
(You can jump to the download section dozens of lines below.)
It is subtitled 2D-Interval Explorer. Yes, try consider, please:
Musical intervals, a second, third, fifth, octave, and so on, are the most easy when they are thought of as Two-Dimensional.
I say this because, traditionally intervals have been understood as 2D-like things, D# and Eb flatly discrete, but today too many people think just otherwise.
The idea of 2D Interval
- has long been around, for centuries, since when C-D-E and F-G-A began to be sung straight, regular.
Meantone, granted not restricted to 12 (or any number) keys per octave, is the very embodiment of it.
If you sing or play thus regularly (and not in 12ET) for years, a sense of an 2D space would build up gradually, wherein intervals can reside stable, easy, even touchable, then follows cadenza, kontrapunct, inner voices.
- An interval can be represented technically as coordinates (a,b), where a and b are any two basic interval elements.
If you pick out a second and a minor third as the two basic interval elements, (1,0) and (0,1) respectively, then a fifth is (2,1), two seconds and one minor third, and an octave is (3, 2), three seconds and two minor thirds.
- Harmonic-Series tones can also be residents in this 2D space, getting assigned 2D intervals relative to the primary tone, possibly with fractional elements.
Intervalon is designed to be purely true to it.
- Tunings, straight ones such as meantones and Pythagorean, and additionally irregular (undulated) ones such as Werckmeister and Vallotti, are defined 2D-interval wise.
- The board note-key buttons will represent 2D-intervals thus tuned.
Note-key points are plotted so as to be mapped linearly to the set ( 2D-Interval, Cents (pitch height) ). That is,
note-key points of C, D, and E are plotted on a straight line only if D is tuned at the just center (mean) point of C and E (Meantone).
Everybody likes this, f(x+y) = f(x) + f(y). Buttons are drawn as Voronoi cells.
- You can also play Harmonic-Series tones, their buttons justly positioned on the board.
- Play under a moderate sound volume. Do not play too long hours at a time; Take enough breaks.
- If instrument sounds are unpleasant in any way, stop playing immediately.
- Download the linked zip file (Intervalon20170114.zip, 7.3MB) containing the latest Intervalon folder.
- (After malware scan,) unblock the zip file (right-click -> Properties -> Unblock), and unzip it (right-click -> Extract All).
- The folder has in it Intervalon.exe, three DLL's, 'Soundfonts to use' folder, Intervalon.ini, and a text file with additional info.
You can put it (or later move it) anywhere you have write-permission (for .ini file to be updated. Windows Registry is not used).
- Open Intervalon.exe. Administrative privileges are never required. The board window appears.
Now you can play (just press note-key buttons), and change settings.
Messages are displayed at the bottom of the window.
- Enlarge the window by the Windows standard operations.
- Press 'Opt. board' (board options) button at the top-left corner of the window.
If the window is not vertically large enough to show all options, you can kind of scroll by pressing the twin buttons at the right of 'Opt. board' button.
Double-arrow buttons go forward/backward with larger steps.
Hide/Unhide options by 'Hide' button at the top-right corner of the window.
- Adjust scaling by the buttons on the scaling line.
- Change orientation, aspect ratio, rotation. A couple of prototype patterns (Layout profiles) are provided.
Note that you can easily cover six octaves range or more, even with a small-size monitor (the case with tablets), by changing aspect (xy) ratio.
- Save the settings into .ini. file by pressing 'save board options...' button.
- Press 'Opt. sound' (sound options) button.
Tunings are defined in .ini file (editable by hand in your favorite text editor).
Intervalon generates sound by way of Midi; It has in it a mini synthesizer (select a soundfont to use), or connects to an external software/hardware multitimbral synth (select a midi-out device). A small soundfont of my compilation/modification is included in the folder. (It will be updated fairly frequently.)
- Change tunings, soundfont/midiout-device, instruments, and so on.
- You can optionally choose audio via WASAPI, Windows audio facility for high quality and low latency.
(Use WASAPI with only trusted soundfonts. Only exclusive mode is supported at present.)
- Save the settings into .ini. file by pressing 'save sound options...' button.
- To play Harmonic Series Tones, press the button 'Harmonic Series Tones' or 'PAD' in board options.
- Specify the primary (first) tone by mounting a Harmonic-Series tone note-key on any board note-key, by 'Drag'.
- In keyboard-key playing, you can use keyboard-key assignments for them.
Switch the current key-assignment-set by keyboard-key shortcut Shift + Z and Shift + X.
License of this software
Copyright © 2015 Kazuhiko Shirai.
Intervalon is freeware. It can be used anyway.
Redistribution is prohibited.
The software is provided as is without warranty of any kind.
Use it at your own risk. The author is not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from the use or misuse of it.
Meantone the author uses most often:
It is just in between of Pythagorean Tuning (with pure 5th) and 2/7 Meantone which is in turn just in between of 1/4 Meantone (with pure Maj.3rd) and 1/3 Meantone (with pure Min.3rd).
7/48 = ( (1/3 + 1/4) / 2 ) / 2 (This makes 5th 698.81867 cents, fairly near to 1/7 (=7/49) comma meantone.)
It has 5th/4th and 3rds/6ths equally less pure, supposedly making intervals 2D-ness most protected.
(N.B. here, Meantone is not a means to approximate Just-Intonation singing/playing like Helmholtz.)
From the viewpoint, 12-tone equal temperament (as a kind of Meantone) has 5th too pure, and tends to single-dimensioned-ness too much.
Composers the author admires:
Palestrina, Alessandro Scarlatti, Handel,
Beethoven, Muzio Clementi,
Brahms, Mahler, Manuel de Falla, Furtwängler
by Kazuhiko Shirai. mail: email@example.com
last updated 2017/01/14.