New Toy! has something I've wished for for years: a freeware MIDI sequence editor that provides a way to edit pitch bend data. Using it this week, I've finally created some examples of tuning systems used in Georgian songs. Here are two songs in my best guess at the scales Svan musicians intend to use, complete with imperfect octaves: If you play these with Beatnik, I particularly like its very coarse so-called "viola" sound on them. The zari isn't quite done; I need to make some tempo changes to it add the falling tail-offs at the major cadences. Here's the latest version, but the falls are kind of stinky and stupid-sounding because they're limited to a whole-step range.

Here are comparative versions of the Kakhetian setting of motsikuli kristesagan (the kontakion to Saint Nino):

Beatnik isn't quite so friendly to this song, though I suppose its reverb hints at the sound of the churches it should be sung in, and its raucous oboe sound is appropriately duduc-like. The plain old built-in patches in my ESS sound card give it a much more respectful, apathetic treatment.

All the ratios and logarithms and MIDI event values that went into these sequences are here. The tables at the bottom give the pitch bend values for each degree of each scale.

If you play these on a real instrument with patches of your own devising, remember, General MIDI assumes a fixed pitch-bend range of 2 half-steps. I won't be held responsible for the tunings if you use some other range!

31 March 2002
Updated 9 April 2002
Kartuli Ensemble

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