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Ball State hosts Xenharmonic New Music Showcase

The Xenharmonic New Music Showcase 2018 features composers from all around Indiana, as well as from Denver, Colorado and Boston, Massachusetts. BSU graduate student Stephen Weigel will be performing as well, and was able to answer a few questions for us.

Xenharmonics refers to any music that does not stick to the 12-tone system that most people know. The music is mostly performed in traditionally non-European music. However, simply departing from the traditionally contemporary western tuning systems is not the only feature of modern xenharmonic music.

"It’s actually the deliberate usage of a plurality of tuning systems that is not... Electronics and technological advances have enabled people to play in any tuning system they like." said Weigel. “I find that tunings illicit different moods.” 

And mood is a big focus for xenharmonic music. Traditionally, most 12-tone music is either major or minor, which tends to sound happy or sad respectively. Because xenharmonic music doesn’t follow the same system, composers create pieces that bring about different feelings from listeners.

“Why would you have only major and minor when you could have everything?” Weigel said. “That’s why I use xenharmonics."

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15 in Sursa Hall.

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