“DODECATONAL MUSIC” is the term for music that is not microtonal


DODECATONAL MUSIC” is the term Michael W. Dean from BipTunia coined to mean “12-tone equal temperament music, as opposed to microtonal music.”

The Dodeca- prefix is from the Greek cardinal number prefix series for “12”:



It is a more exact and elegant, yet also simple, solution than saying “non-microtonal music.” Especially since the phrase “microtonal” was created to mean “as opposed to “normal” (Dodecatonal) music that is in 12-tone equal temperament.”

All music was “microtonal” before the advent of 12-tone equal temperament. 12-tone equal temperament has become nearly universal in all western music; from the Beatles to the Sex Pistols to jazz to folk to modern classical to modern hip-hop.


The Dodecaprefix is pronounced the same as the first half of the word dodecahedron. This word means any polyhedron with twelve flat faces. It’s commonly used for the 12-sided die used in fantasy board games (short pronunciation video here):

This BipTunia song is Dodecatonal Music, and includes the pronunciation of DODECATONAL right up front. It’s a sample of Phil Wormuth, poet laureate of BipTunia.

It’s a nifty word, and rolls off the tongue in a rhythmic manner.

DODECATONAL MUSIC is not to be confused with Dodecaphonic music, i,e. 12-tone serialism.

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