Quarter-Tone System

Quarter-Tone System

 

a tonal system based on the division of the octave into 24 equal intervals of a quarter tone instead of the usual 12 halftones. Theoretical work on the quarter-tone system began in 1910, and several composers have used the system in their works. The most prominent exponent of the quarter-tone system was the Czech composer A. Hába. In the USSR, A. M. Avraamov and G. M. Rimskii-Korsakov experimented with the quarter-tone system.

REFERENCES

Hába, A. “Garmonicheskaia osnova chetvertitonnoi sistemy.” K novym beregam, 1923, no. 3.
Shtein, R. “Chetvertitonnaia muzyka.” Ibid.
Rimskii-Korsakov, G. M. “Obosnovanie chetvertitonovoi muzykal’noi sistemy.” In the collection De musica, fasc. 1. Leningrad, 1925.
References in periodicals archive ?
7 was performed, the first written in the quarter-tone system. 1924 saw the first public presentation of the quarter-tone grand piano, constructed by the August Forster company following Haba's instructions.
Haba had already composed an opera each in the half-tone and quarter-tone system, so he opted for sixth-tones, which he could recognise safely thanks to his perfect pitch.
Insofar as the authentic responses of Haba's pupils have come down to us, summarising how they saw the value of his teaching, they echo the opinion of Mykola Kolessa, who wrote to Haba on the occasion of his seventieth birthday: "Your works and the creative methods to which you introduced us [...] in your very interesting lectures and creative discussions, have left deep traces in me, even though I haven't in fact used the quarter-tone system in my own work as a composer.
This radical option is exploited to the full: when Haba sets out the possibilities for the maximum construct exploitation of the different tone systems, he speaks of seven-tone chord in diatonics, twelve-tone chord in chromatics, twenty-four tone chord in the quarter-tone system and so on.