Q: Can the music of a Muzundrum game actually be played?
A: You bet. The honeycomb can be read like sheet music from left to right, or you can pick and choose what to play and how. The Musicians Dice were originally developed as a compositional, improvisational, and music-educational tool; you can do all sorts of things with them. Check out MusiciansDice.com for ideas.
Q: Where can I learn more about scales and triads?
A: To learn more about scales and triads in the context of Muzundrum, visit the Building Scales and Building Triads pages. To learn more about scales, triads, and music theory in general, please visit our Music 101 page.
Q: Why doesn't Muzundrum allow more exotic scales, and four and five-part chords?
A: One of the greatest challenges in developing Muzundrum was deciding what to leave out. If we allowed any old kind of scale or chord, the game became more about deciphering what we were looking at than actually playing; it also made it too easy to play just any die anywhere. We ended up saying things like, No, that's a fourth position C# Major 13th with a sharp 11 and no third... thats legal, isnt it? Things just got too complicated, and the game stopped being as fun.
For the truly adventurous theoritician, we have developed a Master Level game that includes harmonic minor, major pentatonic, whole-tone, and chromatic scales, as well as augmented and inverted triads. If youd like to get a taste of it, theres a free PDF of the instructions available on the Master Level page, as well as a video of it being played. (Master Level is played with the same equipment as Basic Level the rules are just harder. Master Level can, however, optionally be played with an extra set of dice if you buy an extra set, the Master Level instructions come with it.)
Q: Why do the dice say Muzoracle on them?
A: The Muzoracle is a system of divination developed by composer J S Kingfisher, a kind of musical cross between the Tarot and the I Ching; the Musicians Dice were created as part of that system. As the Muzoracle was taking shape, the Musicians Dice emerged as a compositional and educational tool in their own right. Later on, Muzundrum emerged in turn from the Musicians Dice.
Q: Whats that flower-thing on the front of the box?
A: Because of where it comes from and what it is, Muzundrum, like the Muzoracle, has a sacred dimension. Major scales and their triads arise from the Harmonic Series, which is itself a map of our vibrating universe. The shape of the Musicians Dice the dodecahedron is one of the five Platonic Solids, the congruent polygons that have intrigued and inspired philosophers and geometers for thousands of years. The dodecahedron was particularly sacred to the Pythagoreans, who equated it with the fifth element, which is Aether, or Spirit. Pythagoras is credited with the discovery of the Harmonic Series, and is considered by many to be the father of Western music.
The Muzundrum Flower is based on a dodecahedron as it intersects with something called Metatrons Cube; it is emblematic of the connection between the Golden Spiral found in galaxies and the like and the harmonics of which our music and our world are made.
See also: Save the Bees
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Principal photography by Hugh Shining Moon. Site design by J S Kingfisher and Art101.com.