The Just Intonation Automat – a Musically Adaptive Interface

Joran Rudi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The first known dedicated music technology that was developed in Norway was an adaptive automat for just intonation made by Eivind Groven (1901-1977). In his work as radio pioneer, composer, musician and developer, Groven was mainly interested in folk music and its inclusion in the emerging modern society, and his inventions aimed at making just intonation commonplace in radio transmissions and church services, as well as in orchestral music. Groven's technology development had a musical rather than technical basis, and this article aims at explaining his motivations and aims while presenting the technical achievements in their contemporary context of the development of broadcasting and early electronic instruments. Paradoxically perhaps, Groven was uninterested in the possibilities for an entirely new music that electronic means allowed for, and which occupied composers working with electro-acoustic genres. Instead he wanted to promote the inclusion of a much older music paradigm in contemporary music - an interesting perspective for a music technologist. The adaptive automat has since its first functioning version in 1947 been modernized twice, and currently exists in a digital and portable version. Thus, Groven's vision of making just intonation available to large groups of users has finally been realized, putting new composers in contact with this part of the world musical heritage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication41st International Computer Music Conference, ICMC 2015
Subtitle of host publicationLooking Back, Looking Forward - Proceedings
EditorsRichard Dudas
PublisherInternational Computer Music Association
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)0984527443, 9780984527441
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event41st International Computer Music Conference: Looking Back, Looking Forward - Denton, United States
Duration: 25 Sep 20151 Oct 2015
Conference number: 41

Publication series

NameInternational Computer Music, Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2223-3881


Conference41st International Computer Music Conference: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Abbreviated titleICMC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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