Western world tunning?


Subject: Western world tunning?
From: Jay Smalridge (inadaze@mac.com)
Date: Fri Jun 18 2004 - 13:14:12 EDT


Hello,
Somebody recently asked me why the western world divides up our octave into twelve portions? I began to research on the web only to find that the majority of files basically said "Its just because it is" or they over estimated my vocabulary skills (mesuring the interval in Cents?).
I was wondering if anyone could tell me, or point me in the right direction of information:
-why it is divided into 12 semitones,
-why it is based on 440Hz tunning,
-why is there no E# nor B#...
-why do different parts of the world have more intervals in an octave...

I figure that these are answers anyone interested in sound should know(I am frankly kind of embarassed that I don't).

Thanks,
Jay



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