[Smt-talk] Quarter-comma meantone and augmented sixth chords

Eric Knechtges eric.t.knechtges at gmail.com
Thu Aug 26 08:16:59 PDT 2010

Thank you for those of you who have responded already.  Just to clarify why
I was asking:

A number of just intonation zealots have remarked that a QCM tuning of a
German augmented sixth chord is a fairly close approximation of overtones 4
through 7 in the harmonic series... and some sources go so far as to say
that composers actually *intended* that quality of sound for the Ger+6,
distinct from the enharmonic dominant seventh.

I find this line of thinking suspect, since I'm not sure that there was much
historical overlap between QCM and the German sixth.  I can believe it might
have been intended in Gesualdo, given his improvisation and experimentation
on Vicentino's microtonal harpsichords... but I'm not sure about other

Eric Knechtges, DM
Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Composition/Theory
Northern Kentucky University
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