A little while back Tyler Cowen introduced us (or at least me) to the Bohlen-Pierce scale of music. Looking more into it I came across this series of videos explaining the history of the scale and exhibiting some examples of music made with it. Along the way there is the joy of meeting (with a sidetrack into chaos theory), and the heart wrenching failure to reconcile two microwave engineers before the more dickish one died. With such geekery you might expect someone to have an appearance which closes off more popular interests, but she’s quite easy on the eyes. I forgot about it for a while, but then decided to check out what other playlists were on her user page and saw the image of Thomas Freaking Sowell! Plus, in the user description there’s talk of futurism & cryonics. It’s almost as if I made someone up, but if I had done that there wouldn’t have been a cat.

As long as we’re on the subject, the Hanson-recommended “Werckmeister Harmonies” is named after a music theorist that one character blames for ruining all music since. Andreas Werckmeister coined the term “well-temperament”. Jan Swaffer of Slate gives a tour of equal temperament and its discontents here, with some examples to hear contrasting tunings of the same piece. If you like that, you may also enjoy her earlier piece on old-timey pianos.

UPDATE: On a final musical note, I should have used the opportunity yesterday to give a hat-tip to Fabio Rojas for pointing out an online guitar-hero substitute for those of us to cheap to buy the actual game and too snobby to play anything other than songs personally uploaded.

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