A part of me is tempted to write some sort of western music theory textbook, but with the concepts re-imagined to work better with the computer medium.

In the early 20th century a lot of folk music (being based on voice) contained notes and which evoked emotions which don't exist in modern music. Many are in-between notes in the 12-note scale. The traditional blues scale is the most notable example. The third is in-between a major and minor.  Blues guitarists have been trained to "stretch" the minor third just a smidgen to compensate. Country singers of 30-40 years ago who learned to sing traditional music from their relatives often sounded out of tune with a backing band - because they were. They hit all the right notes, but the rest of the band didn't.

For sure! Thanks for the examples. I didnt know about the country singers.

In practice, intonation in western classical music is actually very fluid. When I played in orchestras, we were always told to play major thirds a little bit sharper, and minor thirds a little bit more flat. It's pretty natural to make leading tones a bit sharper before hitting the tonic.

It's also pretty common for orchestras to tune to concert As that are sharper as they are "brighter". 442hz is pretty common.

Equal temperament is still a relatively new concept. One that was primarily invented for pianos and other keyboard instruments.

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