OWT: A Real-Time Optimal Tuning Application

W. Pan, M.K. Johnson, L. Polansky, D. Rockmore and D. Repetto

International Computer Music Conference, Belfast, Ireland, 2008



This paper presents a software application for computing optimal tuning systems in real-time, complete with a graphical user interface and MIDI player. The optimal tuning systems are created from a framework, proposed by us, that formalizes historical and cross-cultural criteria. The parameters of the system are a fixed number of pitches, a repeat factor, an ideal tuning set, and weights for keys and intervals. This framework allows for an efficient least-squares solution to a tuning problem, thus enabling real-time control of the parameters. With this software, a user can visualize, modify, and hear optimal tuning systems while the music is playing.