The Asymmetric Scales Of Wendy Carlos

This video, via music theory video blog 12tone, takes a look at the ‘broken’ scales of Wendy Carlos, or as Carlos describes them, Three Asymmetric Divisions Of The Octave.

In her introduction to these scales, Carlos notes that most of the historical work in tuning theory has focused on whole number integer divisions of the octave. This has practical drivers, like the need to transpose or double instruments in different octaves.

Carlos decided to explore Asymmetric Division of the octave, which allows for scales that are ‘exotic and fresh’, but results in ‘broken’ octaves that are widely out of tune.