Explore musical scales as they appear within traditional music from different cultures.
Developer and musician Luke Phillips’s latest creation is a beautiful collection of musical scales highlighting them as they appear in different cultures around the world.
OMNI is a minimally designed web app, providing you with a simple set of tools, a harp of notes initially set at 3 octaves (though can be changed in the settings), a pitch constellation circle to show which notes are being hit in the scale (you may have seen something similar to these explaining specific color schemes) & a sustain x reverb box, to change how the sounds come across.
The app’s design is the perfect mixture of minimalism that meets practicality, serving across its goal which gets across how each specific scale is heard.
Each scale (and there are 40 here!) has a brief description as well, providing insights into their origins, for example:
Mbira: A tuning from an African N’Gundi Mbira instrument (thumb piano).
Olympos: Scale of an ancient Greek flutist Olympos, 6th century BC as reported by music theorist, Harry Partch.
Luke has generously open sourced the project as well, which is well worth the look, especially considering the expansive and well-informed use of the web audio API (without Tone.JS)
Of course, if you’re the kind of person that enjoys audio experiments, you should definitely check out Luke’s other musical explorations, which are all fantastic.