It is perhaps only natural that the first attempt to combine the previously disconnected ideas and practices of microtonal music opened up a number of hitherto unexplored phenomena, while at the same time raising a whole host of new questions. For example, microtonality in Lithuania for a long time was associated only with the composers Jeronimas Kačinskas and Rytis Mažulis (b. 1961). On going deeper, it becomes clear that episodic attempts to use microtones are to be found in the work of Vytautas Barkauskas (1931–2020) and Jurgis Juozapaitis (b. 1942) in the 1970s, and then, after 1990, microtonality became widespread in the work of composers from different generations – from Rytis Mažulis, Onutė Narbutaitė (b. 1956), Šarūnas Nakas (b. 1962), Vytautas Germanavičius (b. 1969) to Marius Baranauskas (b. 1978), Egidija Medekšaitė (b. 1979), Justė Janulytė (b. 1982), Justina Repečkaitė (b. 1989), Simas Sapiega (b. 1990), and others. All the same, these individual expressions cannot be called a continuous trend in Lithuanian music.
Similarly, the splintered tradition of microtonality is characteristic of other countries from the Adriatic to the Baltic. Undoubtedly this was due to the lack of access to the microtonal music of the first half of the 20th century – it was not only in Lithuania that many works were lost or gathering dust in archives, often still waiting to be performed for the first time. Even with the help of historical microtonal music scores, a major obstacle was the lack of authentic historical instruments specially made to perform this music. For this reason, a musical image of the most influential movement in the region mentioned above – that of the Alois Hába school, based on specific performances, has not been recreated. More often it has been reconstructed based on the responses of contemporaries or the comments of that school’s representatives themselves and in performance it presents one with surprises. Surprises like that – or, to be more precise, unexpected impressions – were provoked by the premiere of Jeronimas Kačinskas’ Trio for trumpet, viola, and harmonium in the quarter-tone system (1933) in Vilnius in 2017. The composer had planned for his composition to be performed on quarter-tone instruments which he had acquired together with his fellow musicians. In the 1930s, he had formed a quarter-tone ensemble and planned international tours but failed to put that into effect.
The historic impulse of the pioneers of microtonal music as an inspiration for today’s movement is not limited to just Lithuania. Besides the oft-mentioned Alois Hába, one should also remember Georgy Rimsky-Korsakov, Arthur Lourié, and Arseny Avraamov in Russia, Julián Carrillo in Mexico, Ivan Wyschnegradsky in Paris, Jörg Mager, Richard Stein and Willi Möllendorf in Germany, Charles Ives and Harry Partch in USA, Adriaan Daniël Fokker in the Netherlands, Slavko Osterc in Slovenia, Franz Richter Herf and Rolf Maedel in Austria, as well as many others.
Festivals and other events of the growing microtonal music network provide the intriguing possibility of hearing the legendary compositions of the historical avant-garde and the post avant-garde and comparing expressions of microtonal music from different periods. The differences are obvious. If the microtonal music of the beginning and middle of the 20th century was a utopian space, then microtonality after the post-modern breakthrough was one of the mediums or techniques in coexistence with a host of other musical materials or systems. Another characteristic tendency is the poly-genre nature of contemporary microtonality, very often mixing the genres of art music, jazz, and world music. It has at the same time the inexhaustible ability to treat musical material with the purpose of overcoming the boundaries of the equal temperament of twelve notes per octave. Besides that, in the microtonal movement of the 21st century the performer is a no less important figure than the composer – it is no coincidence that today this music is very often created by composer-performers. It is also a fact that interpretations of classic microtonality from the beginning and middle of the 20th century merge into the historical performance movement. This was especially vividly illustrated by the concerts and projects dedicated to Harry Partch at festivals in 2019 for which the composer’s own authentic instruments had been carefully chosen (the Charles Corey lecture-recital at the Mikrotöne: Small is beautiful Symposium, International Ekmelic Music Society, Salzburg, 2019) or the specially recreated instruments to perform his music (the Scordatura Ensemble programme Harry Partch – Lecture 1942, MicroFest Amsterdam, 2019). A no less impressive expression is the attempt of contemporary composers to make the futuristic instruments of the past like Fokker’s organ or Carrillo’s piano ‘talk’.
The spread of opportunities to perform music live and the innovations in musical instrumentation are two of the additional factors in the revival of this phenomenon of microtonal music long held to be a niche activity. All the same, the most important driving force in today’s microtonal music movement is the radical change in global music practices – and at the same time the constant renewal and expansion in the imagination and experience of both creators and listeners.
Translated from the Lithuanian by Romas Kinka
 Leon Stefanija. Microtonality in Slovenia: The Concept and its Scope. In: Rūta Stanevičiūtė, Leon Stefanija (eds.). Microtonal Music in Central and Eastern Europe: Historical Outlines and Current Practices. Ljubljana: Ljubljana University Press, 2020, p. 45.
 Session ‘Microtonality in Central and Eastern Europe: Alois Hába’s school and beyond’ at the 45th International Baltic Musicological Conference Composition Schools in the 20th Century: The Institution and the Context, Vilnius, 2015.
 Rūta Stanevičiūtė, Leon Stefanija (eds.). Microtonal Music in Central and Eastern Europe: Historical Outlines and Current Practices. Ljubljana: Ljubljana University Press, 2020. Free access online publication: https://doi.org/10.4312/9789610603122.
 For more see: Rima Povilionienė. From Tone Inflection to Microdimensional Glissando: Observations on Microtonal Manner in Contemporary Lithuanian Music. In: Ibid., pp. 67–113.
 Cf. http://www.huygens-fokker.org/microtonaliteit.html