View Single Post
Old 08-15-2019, 11:28 PM   #28
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,863

Originally Posted by View Post
there's many explanations as to why, i'm not sure which one you're suggesting, maybe you could explain in 1-2 sentences?

There have been musical systems with 11 (or 12?) unique letters instead of 7 ...

Solfege has multiple sets of nomenclature, there's the main 7 tokens (Do Re Mi ..), but there's also the chromatic ascending 11 (Do Ri Re Mi ...) and the descending 11 (ahhh I forget, its late nite) - only some notes of which vary between ascending and descending, essentially equivalents of calling out sharp or flat. So there are two different ways of naming all 12 notes or the main 8 notes. And that's just for relative solfege, it gets into another convention completely for absolute solfege. Many trained-amateur vocalists don't ever learn music notation or theory at all, they start with solfege and that's all they ever do, because they find it toooo confusing (or something).
It is because standard notation represents western music, which is diatonic. And standard music is absolute pitch, not relative. If you use 12 letters (or other symbols) instead of 7, the key spellings and notation becomes even more complex than standard notation.

The only practical way to reduce the complexity (that I can see) is to use a relative pitch system. But when it comes time to implement those ideas (being discussed within a relative pitch system) in an absolute pitch system, things get more complex again. And now you have two systems: a simpler relative pitch system, a more complex absolute pitch system, and a translation between the two. Has the complexity problem been addressed or made worse?

One thing about standard notation is that it is very efficient. I guess paper was a major concern before industrialization and mass production. And I guess that is a tradeoff for more difficult legibility. We can get something of a one-line or two-line system that is easier to look at. But is it easier to read?
It's time to take a stand against the synthesizer.

Last edited by brainwreck; 08-15-2019 at 11:38 PM.
brainwreck is offline   Reply With Quote