Diatonic comma

After playing the Circle of Fifths, i.e., twelve ascending perfect fifths, followed by seven descending octaves, the pitch discrepancy between the ending note and the starting note is called the diatonic comma, or the Comma of Pythagoras. This discrepancy amounts to a little over 1%, or about one-sixth of a half-step and gives rise to various temperaments in an attempt to distribute the error as harmoniously as possible.

See scale constructionsyntonic comma.

« Back to Glossary Index
%d bloggers like this: