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Equal Temperament and Just intonation Feature based analysis of Indian Music |

Dr. D.V.K. Vasudevan (ViolinVasu), working as Music Teacher in the Campus School of University of Hyderabad along with Dr. M. Nagamani, Asst. Professor, School of Computer and Information Sciences (SCIS), University of Hyderabad  has virtually presented a research paper titled “Equal Temperament and Just intonation Feature based analysis of Indian Music” on 22nd October in 14th IHCI conference 2022 (International Conference on Intelligent Human Computer Interaction) organised in Tashkent On 22nd October.


          Dr. D.V.K. Vasudevan                                                                 Dr. M. Nagamani

The session was chaired by noted Educationists and Researchers in the field of Computer Science Dr. Nagarajan Prabhakar from Florida International University, USA and Dr. Jong-Hoon Kim from Kent State University, USA. Dr. Vasu has been working in the University since 2004. He also served the university as Cultural Coordinator,  introduced and taught the first ever music  credit course in CIS in the university of Hyderabad. He has been researching on Music teaching in formal education system in India.  He research includes curriculum development, course design, methodology to be followed at school, college and University level and interdisciplinary research. He also advocates the need of policy change to reliaise the importance of bringing Art and Music education into formal education system  at the decision makers level for the entire country. He has published several books and research papers in international conferences and journals. He has been invited by various universities and institutions in India and Abroad to perform, felicitate and also to  present his research work. He has  thousands of followers across the globe for the free service and guidance he is providing through free music tutorials on various digital platforms.


This is a well-known fact that Indian music is based on just intonation, and most western music is based on equal temperament. However, since the inception of electronic music, the west has been ahead in designing electronic instruments (e.g., keyboard) and software (e.g., Ableton Live) to process music. The Indian cinema music, as well as a lot of fusion music, is increasingly using these instruments and software designed by the west primarily tailored for Western music (Equal temperament). Therefore, it becomes necessary to quantify how significant the compromise is when using this software or instruments for Indian music production. We found that even though several articles state the difference between the two types of scales (just intonation and equal temperament), there is no single comprehensive study that actually conducts experiments and reports the difference. For the best of our knowledge, we are the first to conduct such a study. In this work, we compare equal temperament and just intonated scales by experimenting with various Indian instrumental and vocal music. We found that in the case of primarily instrumental music, the compromise is little, but in the case of vocal music, the compromise is significant. By analyzing the frequency values, we were also able to discover interesting patterns in the musical notes (of Indian music) which were ‘closer’ to the corresponding equal temperament notes than just intonated notes. For the extent of this work, we only analyze plain notes (i.e., we do not analyze musical notes which have ‘gamakam’ or ‘meend’). Since this work deals with only plain notes, it applies equally to Carnatic and Hindustani music. Finally, we release the dataset to the public to promote further research in this direction.

About University of Hyderabad

The University of Hyderabad is an institute of post-graduate teaching and research. The school was established by an act of the Parliament of India in 1974 as a Central University. Over the years, it has emerged as a top ranking institute of higher education and research in India. The university also offers courses under distance learning programs. The university is a member of the ‘Association of Indian Universities’ (AIU), the ‘Association of Commonwealth Universities’ (ACU) and ‘International Council for Distance Education’. An Academic Staff College has been functioning on the university campus since 1988 under the UGC scheme for improving the standards of teaching in colleges and universities. The college organizes orientation and refresher courses for college and university teachers.

For more information, visit: University Of Hyderabad

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