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[ PREV | TIME-LINE | NEXT ] (The original video documentary covering this segment can be viewed here.)

Scales made out of equally-spaced notes havenít always been the vogue. During the last thousand years, hundreds of different scales have been used. What makes one different from another?

Tantrum , a piece of software I wrote, shows the out-of-tune-ness of all the major and minor triads available in a 12-note scale with a given tuning:

With this, itís easy to get a feel for the kinds of trade-offs there are between scales; some scales will be very good for a small number of triads, others will be acceptable (but not great) for a large number of triads.