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The Quintar


Allright, here goes nothing:

I'm working on 4 prototypes of what I call a Quintar. Basically it's a seven string guitar tuned in fifths, starting with a low C (one step above a low B of a five-string bass). The highest string is a F#, one tone above a high E string of a regular guitar.
The first part of the name "Quintar" is referring to "quinta", the latin word for five, "tar" comes from guitar.
This video shows prototype 0, which has 12-tet fretting, but it give an impressions of where it's going.

There are a few features that are different from a regular (bass)-guitar:
- Fanned frets: stringlengths will vary from 30.6" on the bassside to 26.2" on the trebleside.
- Logarithmic increase of distance between strings: therefore I can play chords more easily on the higher strings and use bass techniques like slapping for the lower strings
- Strings as moving-coil pickups, creating a polyphonic pickup

For two of the prototypes I want to make a xenharmonic fretboard: - one 31-tone and one with Bohlen-Pierce scale with 39 frets/tritave.

I've created the drawings of the guitar with a (amateuristic) script, which can be inserted in the free 3D-CAD program FreeCAD. One of the advantages of using a script is that I can alter several parameters without have to redraw the instrument myself.

I'm planning to make this an open source hardware project.


Reading your MIMF thread i wondered if you knew the golden ratio can also be expressed as a musical interval. Because the ratio is irrational it is actually a highly dissonant interval, it's a slightly flat neutral sixth, 833 cents. There are many ways of building a tone system from that interval, the obvious choice would be 36ET because it can acheive an exact 833 cent interval. 36ET also contains the jazzy/bluesy blue notes and a near-exact 7th harmonic.
If you use a subset of 31ET you will be limited to the modes of that subset, and not able to modulate from, for example, just intonation C major to just intonation Eb major.

I've thought of it a while ago but let the thought go. I recently read that Bohlen also proposed a scale based on the golden ratio. It would for sure yield a very interesting subset.
Unfortunately I don't have the time on hands to make an in-depth comparison of the different temperaments. Alas!

For now, I want to experiment with the 31-tet because it gives me the opportunity to play songs with violin and voice, without having to learn a lot of new fingerings. (although it is completely irrelevant, - as a dutchman- I think it's kind of cool that this subset is popularised by two dutchmen ).
The BP scale, I choose because I really liked the sound of it (although I like the just variant even more).


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