Composing with high tech stuff and instruments with interchangeable

fretboards is one thing... but how does one notate? I compose a lot

with just pen and manuscript paper, and I've been mentally struggling

with the Idea of notating non-12TET...

I suppose it's possible to start with a "key" declaring what symbols or

lines represent what frequency (a la percussion clef)... but that would

be too easy to confuse with standard 12TET notation.

So far all that I can think of logically would be to have a grid with

the vertical displacement quantatively segmented into integers

representing arbitrary frequencies.

like 0 = fundamental tone

1 = e/2

2 = pi/2

3 = (sq.rt. of 3)/2

...

my two cents regarding algorhythmic music:

Great source of inspiration... but without human imput, it's only math.

;)

Hmmm... a tape of a car accident isn't music.... unless there is human

creativity manipulating it - mixing, layering, or harmony. In which

case it becomes music.

Every sound is a note.

Alex J Van Wey

On Fri, 12 Feb 1999 15:01:28 PST, "Alex J Van Wey"

<kalishiva24@hotmail.com> wrote:

>From: "Alex J Van Wey" <kalishiva24@hotmail.com>

>

>Composing with high tech stuff and instruments with interchangeable

>fretboards is one thing... but how does one notate?

Did my response to this message ever show up? My ISP has been having mail

problems recently, and I haven't seen my response on the list. I should be

able to re-send it from my outbox if it got lost somewhere along the way.

--

see my music page ---> +--<http://www.io.com/~hmiller/music/music.html>--

Thryomanes /"If all Printers were determin'd not to print any

(Herman Miller) / thing till they were sure it would offend no body,

moc.oi @ rellimh <-/ there would be very little printed." -Ben Franklin

On Fri, 12 Feb 1999 15:01:28 PST, "Alex J Van Wey"

<kalishiva24@hotmail.com> wrote:

>From: "Alex J Van Wey" <kalishiva24@hotmail.com>

>

>Composing with high tech stuff and instruments with interchangeable

>fretboards is one thing... but how does one notate? I compose a lot

>with just pen and manuscript paper, and I've been mentally struggling

>with the Idea of notating non-12TET...

>I suppose it's possible to start with a "key" declaring what symbols or

>lines represent what frequency (a la percussion clef)... but that would

>be too easy to confuse with standard 12TET notation.

Well, even standard 12TET notation is based on notation designed for

sequences of just fifths or meantone temperament, but it works well enough

for 12TET (and other meantone-like scales). For other kinds of tuning,

there are many options. I've used a 6-line staff with notes on the lines or

touching one side or the other of a line to write 15-tet.

Lately, I've been experimenting with systems of notation that use the

traditional clefs and seven notes with an extended set of accidentals such

as half-sharps and intervals of a single scale degree. One idea that seems

to work well for many scales is to alternate major and minor thirds, adding

up to 2 octaves. So for 16-tet, I have: A=12, C=0, E=5, G=9, B=14, D=2, and

F=7. The thirds on A, E, and B are minor, and the others are major. In

15-tet, only 2 major thirds and 5 minor thirds add up to two octaves, so I

end up with A=11, C=0, E=5, G=9, B=14, D=3, F=7 (CE and GB are the major

thirds). The choice of which note to represent as C is somewhat arbitrary;

it could just as easily have FA and CE as the major thirds.

11-tet has one very large "major" third (almost exactly 9/7) and six minor

thirds, so the system works (minimally) even for that unusual scale. But

10-tet only has one size of third, and seven of them add up to a little

more than 2 octaves, so this method doesn't work. It *is* possible to

notate 20-tet with only two different sizes of thirds, but the notation

that looks the most promising to me so far has 2 large thirds (420 cents),

1 intermediate third (360 cents), and 5 minor thirds (300 cents).

Using a similar system, basic notation for just intonation (or for 53-tet)

might be represented as: F=4/3, A=5/3, C=1/1, E=5/4, G=3/2, B=15/8, D=9/8.

For 10/9, I've considered writing D with a comma next to it to represent

the syntonic comma (81/80). Sharps and flats could represent 25/24, so

E-flat would be 6/5, and G-sharp would be 25/16. 16/9 would be notated as

B-flat with a comma (15/8*24/25*80/81). New accidentals would have to be

created for intervals with prime factors of 7 or greater.

Obviously, this system doesn't work for non-octave scales. My notation for

the Bohlen-Pierce scale is based on the intervals 5/3 (written as a major

sixth) and 9/5 (written as a minor seventh).

C=1/1 Db=27/25 Ebb=25/21 Ex=9/7 Fx=7/5 G#=75/49 A=5/3 Bb=9/5 Cb=49/25

Dbb=15/7 Dx=7/3 E#=63/25 F#=25/9 G=3/1