The Boston Globe had an article a few days ago about the Bohlen-Pierce scale that includes a demonstration played on a Bohlen-Pierce scale clarinet. Once the pitches are sounded a few times, the music doesn't really sound that "out of tune" to my very western ears, but if I were asked to sing the scale in tune, or duplicate it on the violin, I know that I wouldn't be able to do it by ear. I am able to play quarter tones, when necessary, but there are ways to use technical means to assure they are in the right places when playing the instruments I play (string and flute-like instruments).
I have always wondered if western musicians who write microtonal music and play alternative-scale instruments can sing "in tune," without the help of a specially-designed instrument, within those systems.
Has anyone reading this wondered the same thing? Can anyone (who doesn't have perfect pitch) explain how a person with only a western musical background could sing microtonal or alternative-scale music accurately.