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Help? Asciification of musical language

From:Rachel Klippenstein <estel_telcontar@...>
Date:Thursday, June 10, 2004, 20:53
Hello everyone
It's been a while since I've posted, but I haven't been away.
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for how to represent a
musical language online... I have such a project on a back burner, and
I think I would have more incentive to work on it if I could post to
the list.  I've sort of figured out an own writing system for it, but I
haven't managed to figure out a successful ascii representation for it.

A fairly full description of the phonology I'm trying to represent can
be found in the archives here:

Or, here's a briefer description:
-It's based on relative pitch, not absolute pitch
-There are 7 different notes (the equivalent of segments)
-Beats (the equivalent of syllables) contain 1 to 4 notes
-The relative lengths of the notes within the beat is not phonemic

So the system needs to be able to represent the 7 notes and their
grouping into beats; I think that's all.

I could just represent the notes with note-names, with |a| (or possibly
|c|) representing the first note of the scale, and putting a symbol
like a hyphen between the notes, so that you would end up with
something like

a adg abde-dg deg-fc a

(Not representing real words, since I don't have any yet; just trying
to convey a visual impression)  My issue with this is that using
letters looks like they're intended to be pronounced as consonants and
vowels; also, it gives the false impression that it represents the
actual intervals between the notes - that |ac| represents an interval
of a minor 3rd, like going from A natural to C natural.  This isn't the
case, since it merely indicates the first and third notes of the scale,
which could be either a major or minor scale, or neither.

Or I could use the numbers to represent the notes, with 1 being the
first note of the scale, and 7 being the 7th.  Then the above sequence
of notes would be written

1 147 1245-47 457-63 1

That looks terribly illegible to me.

What do youguys think?  Letters, numbers or something else?  I guess
you could write it in solfege...  That might be better.  Hmm, that
would give something like

do dofati dorefaso-fati fasoti-lami do


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