Understanding King Gizzard’s Microtonal Music | Lie Likes Music

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are an Australian rock band formed in 2010 in Melbourne, Victoria. The band consists of Stu Mackenzie (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, flute, sitar), Ambrose Kenny-Smith (vocals, harmonica, keyboards), Cook Craig (guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals), Joey Walker (guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals), Lucas Harwood (bass, keyboards), and Michael Cavanagh (drums, percussion). They are known for exploring multiple genres, staging energetic live shows and building a prolific discography, having released twenty studio albums, ten live albums, two compilations and three EPs.

Microtonal music or microtonality is the use in music of microtones—intervals smaller than a semitone, also called “microintervals”. It may also be extended to include any music using intervals not found in the customary Western tuning of twelve equal intervals per octave. In other words, a microtone may be thought of as a note that falls between the keys of a piano tuned in equal temperament. In Revising the musical equal temperament, Haye Hinrichsen defines equal temperament as “the frequency ratios of all intervals are invariant under transposition (translational shifts along the keyboard), i.e., to be constant. The standard twelve-tone equal temperament (ET), which was originally invented in ancient China and rediscovered in Europe in the 18th century, is determined by two additional conditions. Firstly the octave is divided into twelve semitones. Secondly the octave, the most fundamental of all intervals, is postulated to be pure (beatless), as described by the frequency ratio 2:1.”

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