Fragments of a Bohlen-Pierce Composition (Pt 1)

I’ve recently been invited to compose a piece for the first symposium on the Bohlen-Pierce scale, which takes place in Boston a month from now. This will be very challenging personally since I’ve never composed using this tuning. I’ve decided, after a little encouragement, to blog about my progress.

I’m doing the piece with Csound, which should come as no surprise. Minus a few scribbled notes in my journal, I have no idea what I’m going to do or where I expect this piece will sound like a month from today. Since time is of essence, I’ve started putting some code into a text file, and have come up with this csd: bp_day_1.csd.

At this point, it produces a series of random just intonation Bohlen-Pierce notes, which are  fed to a monophonic FM portamento synth, and processed with a delay and a reverb unit. A humble beginning for sure.

3 thoughts on “Fragments of a Bohlen-Pierce Composition (Pt 1)

  1. Hi Jake!  I’m also working on a piece for the conference. :)  I’m leaning on using the equal tempered version at the moment.  Anyways, I tried to run your file but it crashed here using both old and new parser.  Not sure if it’s just the build of csound I have here or not.  Otherwise, will be interested to follow your progress!



  2. I’m looking forward to hearing your piece! I don’t think I’ll be able to fly out to Boston, so hopefully you’ll be able to send me a copy if I’m stuck here in Fresno.  :)

    Out of curiosity, what platform are you running it from. I’m running 5.11 on OS X on two different computers, and both render the CSD with no problems. Though I have had this type of thing pop up before where my CSD would run for me, but not for others on other types of systems. See here.

  3. I was on Windows XP SP3 with a self-compiled Csound with latest from CVS.  I’m wondering if something broke.  I guess we’ll find out when 5.12 is released on OSX.  BTW: didn’t know you were in Fresno!  I was in Berkeley up until July and am now in Rochester, NY.  My wife and I are planning to drive up to Boston and will send any details about the conference!