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Re: "Old Starrish"

From:Rachel Klippenstein <estel_telcontar@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 12, 2003, 2:13
 --- Fredrik Ekman <ekman@...> wrote:
> In fact, from a melodic point of view you have made > it very difficult for > yourself by choosing the twelve-tone chromatic scale > of contemporary > music. That scale has been developed over thousands > of years to work well > in a harmonic context, but it is very difficult to > form beautiful melodies > from it without knowing a good deal of music theory. > > It is much easier to start with a simpler scale, > such as a common > seven-tone major scale, which is in fact the > foundation on which the > chromatic scale is built. Or perhaps even better, a > five-tone pentatonic > scale, which is common in folk music and many > non-western cultures. If you > want to know what a pentatonic scale sounds like, > find a piano and play > only on the black keys. > > It is very difficult to make a completely unmelodic > combination in a > pentatonic scale. Take the tritone, for instance. In > a chromatic scale > there is one possible tritone for each of the tones, > for a total of twelve > "dangerous" intervals. In a seven-tone scale this > has been reduced to > three, and in the pentatonic scale there is only > one. > > You can have a pentatonic scale and still have a > large vowel inventory if > you choose to regard the octaves as unique. Then you > must only watch out > so that you avoid overuse of intervals larger than > the octave (plus the > tritone). In fact, the one tritone of a pentatonic > scale could be used for > dramatic effect on rare occasions.
In fact, one of the ideas I had was that at any one point in time, in a single utterance, a single speaker would probably stick to a seven-tone subset of the full twelve notes (like a major/natural minor scale), so at any particular point in time a speaker would be using a seven-note scale, each of which would have its own connotations. Pentatonic scales are a good idea too; I may incorporate them. However, it is important that I keep twelve notes as the total possibility, because twelve was a very significant number in the culture this language is associated with. Their counting system was base 12, with even a way to count to 12 on their fingers (on one hand, actually!), their day was divided into 12 hours, each divided into 12 subsections, each divided into 12 minutes. As well as having a twelve-month year, they had both a twelve-day week and a seven-day week. So it has to be 12 vowels. Since which vowels to insert is the speaker's choice, it may be that vowel sequences corresponding to a tritone are simply banned. Hmm, interesting consequences here. I have to work out which vowels correspond to which notes, and which sequences would be tritones. Yes, I am sticking to a relatively western music theory, simply because that's what I am familiar with. Rachel Klippenstein ______________________________________________________________________ Post your free ad now!