Music of the Xcathli Republic refers to both the presents musical styles of the Xcathli, as well as music under the Old Government system (pre-8157), the United Republic of Xcathlia, and smaller sub-planetary styles before global unification. The Xcathli Republic has retained a very defined musical style that dates back to their early history. These stylings have been spread to the rest of the Intergalactic Confederacy, with some civilizations adopting Xcathli music as a subset of their own styles, while others have stuck to the ancient music style of pre-interstellar humanity.
Xcathli music is built primarily around two scales: the pentatonic im'ri, and the hexatonic kuul'ji scales. These two scales make up the majority of music in place of major and minor scales. They were first theorized approximately 350,000 years ago, when musician Ai Phiryyk pinpointed their specific notations.
The Im'ri Scale
The im'ri scale contains the following scale degrees (examples shown for an im'ri scale starting on C)
- I, the tonic note (C)
- II, a minor third above the tonic note (Eb)
- III, a perfect fourth above the tonic note (F)
- IV, a minor sixth above the tonic note (Ab)
- V, a minor seventh above the tonic note (Bb)
These notes are the same as those in a major pentatonic scale starting on the IV degree, but the fact that the scale is built on I instead of IV gives a different atmosphere to the scale itself. For example, if a C im'ri scale were to play a C, then a C minor chord (i) would be used instead of the Ab major (IV). This is done to present the C as the tonic note.
Despite the minor tonic chord, the im'ri scale is used in place of the major scale in human music. One of the components that retains this is that the leading tone is almost never used. When the leading tone is used to resolve into a minor chord, the scale becomes minor in turn. However, using the V scale degree a major second below the tonic allows for the scale to be major. This works for the same reason the pentatonic scale of the IV degree works.
The Kuulji Scale
The 'kuul''''ji scale contains the following scale degrees (examples shown for a kuul'ji scale starting on C)
- i, the tonic note (C)
- ii, a major second above the tonic note (D)
- iii, a minor third above the tonic note (Eb)
- iv, an augmented fourth above the tonic note (F#)
- v, a perfect fifth above the tonic note (G)
- vi, a minor seventh above the tonic note (Bb) NOTE: Alternatively, in a demo-kuul'ji scale, the leading tone (B) can be used.
The iii and iv degrees allude to a harmonic minor scale built around the v chord, but the scale continues upwards. By using the vi degree, the scale is resolved for a second time, into the tonic note.
Several instruments are used traditionally in Xcathli compositions:
- Lych, the most common Xcathli instrument. A one-stringed instrument played by strumming the string at specific positions (Range: F1-F4)
- Venniphone, a woodwind instrument played by blowing through a chamber filled with strings. Different tones are played by pushing in specific strings (Range: C1-C8)
- Sopranino venniphone (E5-C8)
- Soprano venniphone (B4-E7)
- Alto venniphone (B3-G6)
- Tenor venniphone (D3-C6)
- Baritone venniphone (A2-G5)
- Bass venniphone (C2-A4)
- Contrabass venniphone (G1-C4)
- Subcontrabass venniphone (C1-E3)