During a series of virtual meetings held in 2020 for the Intro to ‘An Introduction to The Guitar Circle’ course, Robert Fripp was asked how he came up with the tuning. His words are quoted here, taken from two different sessions:
"It’s not that Robert came up with the new tuning, it’s the new tuning that came up with Robert. And then gave Robert the job of figuring out what it was for. The tuning flew over my head from right to left, with the tuning going from left to right. It was a Point Of Seeing."
"But the question about: How does the mind enter the space? This is a wonderful question. And may I say, let us ask this question seven times and see where it leads us. So, for example, here is the tuning. So the first question might be: Where did the tuning come from? And you might say, well it was the Apple Health Bar at Bleecker and Thompson, New York City. Well, kind of, it doesn’t quite go far enough, does it? And then, why would it be 10:30 in the morning while Fripp was in the sauna, all stinky and sweaty? But it doesn’t quite - doesn’t quite go far enough."
"I had no notion whatsoever what to do with it. It flew by and there it was - it’s in fifths. So Bs snapped, most As snapped, although I have had very thin strings which hold it a little better, tenor banjo As too, for example. But nevertheless the [high] G settled and resonated, and part of the interest for me was the tight voicings which are possible with the minor third between the first and second strings."
"In terms of what to do with it, shortly after the tuning flew from right to left over my head with the tuning going from left to right, I went down to Champaign-Urbana where King Crimson were rehearsing. I went down to write with Adrian Belew, and I put the tuning on my instrument. But, it just didn't catch fire."
"And then in, I believe it was November/December 1984 at Claymont Court, Vivian Engelberg asked me to give a seminar series in the guitar, and I said, ‘No! No! I've been giving guitar lessons since I was thirteen or fourteen, then when I was seventeen and eighteen, then when I was twenty one, then when I was twenty nine or so - I never wanted to go back to this! Bring me your hands. No, take them away!’ And, Vivian Engelberg asked a second time: ‘Will you give a seminar in guitar?’ And there was a click [snaps fingers] [pause, gesture of recognition] ah! that's what the tuning is for. So I said yes. That's what the tuning was for. The tuning had to fly by so that Guitar Craft could begin. And it did."
In March 2010, a large course in Sassoferrato, Italy was held to acknowledge the completion of Guitar Craft after 25 years of activities. On March the 25th, in the dining room, Robert announced that Guitar Craft had “ceased to exist” and that further related activities could go on as The Guitar Circle.
On that same course, Robert said that the New Standard Tuning was “no longer new, and never became standard”. And he suggested to rename the tuning to the “Guitar Craft Tuning” or the “C Pentatonic Tuning”.