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Encyclopedia of Microtonal Music Theory

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microtemperament / microtempering

[Joe Monzo, [adapted from Dave Keenan, Yahoo tuning-math group, message 7578]

A microtemperament is a temperament where the consonances sound justly intoned to most listeners in ordinary musical use. The allowed errors in the approximated ratios are therefore somewhat context-dependent but would typically be less than 2.8 cents.

A JI tuning might be microtempered to increase the number of available concords or to regularise the scale for some purpose such as allowing more full-width continuous frets on a stringed instrument. Microtemperament may also be used to introduce deliberate slight mistunings to avoid phase-locking when a JI tuning is implemented on an electronic instrument.

A microtemperament may be equal, linear, planar or of any dimension less than that of the JI scale being approximated.

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