Cyrus started the sexually (and psychedelically?) charged performance with her song “We Can’t Stop” and was joined onstage by Thicke to perform his song “Blurred Lines,” the video for which featured nude models walking around a studio. During this televised barrage of near-nude twerking and tongue-flashing, apparently a record-setting 306,000 tweets were being published every minute.
In my 2008 piece for Greek Byzantine choir and strings, Nativity Kontakion, I discovered a beautiful harmonic structure based around the Byzantine whole step you get when you divide the octave into fourteen 72nds — a bit wider than the whole step on the piano, which is twelve 72nds of an octave wide. Invert that wide “14/72” whole step, and you get a minor seventh narrower than the usual one. It so happens that this narrower minor seventh is almost equivalent to the seventh partial — one of those pure, God-made mathematical ratios that fell out of favor when equal temperament took over.