The Tempered Suite


For microtonal guitar


16 min.


microtonal guit


Commissioned by
Petri Kumela

Premiered by
Petri Kumela
Nov 28 2019
Music Centre
Helsinki, Finland

What could the Baroque Dance Suite look like if updated to this day? I pondered this question as I composed the work for microtonal guitar. The piece updates the baroque dance suite not only in its musical language, but also in the selection of dances and the tuning of the instrument.

The piece is played on a microtonal guitar that has individually movable frets for each string, which enables moving towards (and past) the temperaments of the baroque. The guitar is tempered according to Rousseau’s tempérament ordinaire, which I have in addition spiced up with undefined microtonal pitches for interference.

A more direct frame of reference for the Baroque dance suite is the lute series in G minor by the French Baroque composer François Dufault.

The Baroque-era tuning and dances are accompanied by electronic dance music genres trance, disco and house. The dance music of the 70s, 80s and 90s become a part of the updated dance suite, resulting in a kind of hybrid of twisted shadows from the original genres of electronic dance music and baroque dances. The title of the piece, The Tempered Suite, therefore refers to a kind of retuning of both the guitar and the entire dance suite.

The work is dedicated to guitarist Petri Kumela.

The movements are:

I. Trance
II. Allemande
III. Courante
IV. Sarabande
V. Disco
VI. House
VII. Gigue

Past Performances

Nov 28 2019
Petra Kumela
Music Centre
Helsinki, Finland

Sheet Music

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