April 09, 2009

Tone Matrix - is difficult to stop playing with.
  • I is a composer!
  • Excellent: apparently I am more musically talented than I had suspected. Now I want to extend the repeat length by typing a "2" into a cell to mean "only play this every second time around" etc., or "q" for "quietly", or "r" for "randomly".
  • Here you go kamus, you can use this on your next CD... ;-)
  • Wonnerful, wonnerful!
  • Pure genius!
  • I want to play the tones from Close Encounter! Someone do that for me, please!
  • That's nice TT but I'm not sharing royalties with anyone. This is cool. Of course, it's hard to go wrong with the pentatonic scale. I suppose it's no accident that the PS appeared independently in cultures throughout the world. I would guess it's the most commonly used scale worldwide. In a sense, it partly defines our humanity, virtually universal as it does.
  • Kamus, I'm totally ignorant about music, but aren't there other scales besides the pentatonic? Does every culture have it?
  • There are other scales besides the PS but none quite so pervasive. And no, not every culture has it. When explorer/musicologists found a certain Amazonian tribe they were shocked to discover that there culture had only a developed a one note "scale"- singalongs must have been kinda boring. The major scale is probably the next most used scale which is really a PS with two added notes. The PS appeared independently in Ancient Greece, Europe (think Celtic music- though this might have been a remnant of Roman/Greek influence), Africa and China and other places with subsequent widespread distribution. It's very possible that earlier cultures "found" the scale too though we have no way of knowing. The scale is formed from stacked perfect fifth intervals (Pythagoras' discovery) i.e C G D A E forming the scale CDEGA. It's also discoverable through the overtone series as these tones comprise the most audible of the first several partials. There are no harsh dissonances possible which is one reason the Matrix sounds good - no wrong notes! It is extraordinary though how much expressivity this limited series is capable of. Ancient as it is, Joe Zawinul of Weather Report fame left behind a considerable body of work both written and improvised that is largely comprised of the pure PS. John Coltrane too, owes much to the PS although in his hands he would mix the PS is different keys superimposed over the primary underlying tonality- this sophisticated innovation was one of the last major expansions of the vocabulary of Jazz back in the 60's and there are few modern Jazz musicians who remain uninfluenced by his (then) revolutionary technique.
  • "forming the scale CDEGA" I was just thinking that I could get a keyboard and tape down all the evil B's and F's, and use only the other white keys. Then the penny finally dropped for me: that's like playing on the black piano keys only (but shifted a semitone). Which explains to me Irving Berlin using the black keys only - he was on a pentatonic scale - with no "bad" notes.
  • Don't know if anyone recalls it, but a few years ago a prehistoric flute-type instrument was found. Was it in Spain? Did it have the pentatonic scale? Gah. Googling turns up a three-holed set of flutes in Geissenklösterle, Germany that are 36k years old. I thought there were some even older, but they seem to be the oldest undisputed flutes, and I can't find an article that says what scale they might have used, only that they could play "pleasing music".
  • Wow, Kamus. Great explanation. No wonder Coltrane turns my key.
  • More musical than that horrid metafilter.
  • Hee hee - at first glance I thought that said Honkey Filter. Music White People Like.
  • 256,0,0,128,0,0,512,0,0,16384,0,0,64,0,0,0 HuronBob, copy that line, right click, paste, enjoy!
  • or
  • Similar, but with raindrops.