File Format

The file format used in Concert Pitch is very similar to the format used in Scala. The rules are a few but quite simple.

  • The files are human readable text-files.
  • There is one scale per file.
  • Lines beginning with an exclamation mark are regarded as comments and are to be ignored.
  • The first (non comment) line contains a short description of the scale. The description is only one line. An empty line is regarded as an error and will be rejected.
  • The second line contains 4 character long identifier, which is has to be unique within the set of defined temperaments. It is up to you as a user to honour this rule.
  • After that come the pitch values, each on a separate line, either as a ratio or as a value in cents. If the value contains a period, it is a cents value, otherwise a ratio. Ratios are written with a slash, and only one. Integer values with no period or slash should be regarded as such, for example “2” should be taken as “2/1″. Anything after a valid pitch value should be ignored. Space or horizontal tab characters are allowed and should be ignored. Negative ratios are meaningless and should give a read error.
  • The first note of 1/1 or 0.0 cents is implicit and not in the files.
  • The last note is always 2/1 or 1200.0 cents in the files.
  • Files which are incorrectly formatted result in a ‘error in file format’ and are rejected.

As an example, Maria Renold’s “Scale of Twelve Fifths” will illustrate the temperament file format.

Example Temperaments

The following are a few ready-to-use temperaments for you to experiment with or just to use as a template for your own creations.