HistoryThe American Festival of Microtonal Music, Inc. (AFMM), was founded by Johnny Reinhard to showcase past and contemporary microtonal music and to introduce microtonality to the listening public. Through his direction of the AFMM and his other individual efforts, Reinhard has almost singlehandedly revived public awareness of microtonality in the 1990's. The AFMM has become a leader in new music activity today.
Reinhard, born in 1956, formed the AFMM in the Spring of 1981 while he was pursuing postgraduate studies. At this time, Reinhard conducted extensive research on microtonality. The philosophy of microtonality contends that alternatives exist to the traditional Western 12-tone equal temperament system. Johnny Reinhard asserts that: "The number of pitches is infinite ... just because more importance is placed on the Western system today does not mean it's the best." Furthermore, he believes that all music is microtonal. Reinhard is not alone in his beliefs; he derives his philosophy from the pioneering work of composers and musical theorists dating back to antiquity.
The AFMM produces concerts of Microtonal Music internationally. Microtonal Music is Music which is generally not based
on the 12-tone equally tempered scale which is so prevalent in western music. It is not constrained to any style or time
period. Concerts have included traditional music, rarely performed pieces, lots of original pieces, theatrical pieces,
audience participation, ensemble work, well-known classics in original tunings, microtonal rock, hoomi singing, music
for Homemade instruments, and of course lots and lots of bassoon music. Each concert has been digitally recorded and
since 1985 or so, also videotaped. The AFMM maintains a loosely organized ensemble of virtuoso musicians who often
perform in some combination or another in the concerts. The AFMM also puts together seminars and symposia on
In the beginning
First page of 128-Tuning worksheet
Board of Directors
Edgar (Ted) E. Coons, Jr. is a neuroscience psychology professor at New York University. Since discovering the music of Carrillo while a Texas student, Ted went on to create with Thais Lathem the
Electric Circus in the '70s. Mr. Coons is now President of the American Festival of Microtonal Music, and sits on several Boards.