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Old 08-16-2019, 04:38 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by adXok View Post
..............

Goldreap, you are talking from the point of view of a specific nichè music style - jazz. That is not a wise approach but it is quite common amongst jazz musicians who usually see themselves as some kind of posh-musicians who can interpret 10+ chords in a bar.
This not the point - to interpret music elements and blocks!
The point is to be able to write precisely what you have in mind.
I am not sure if you are a keyboard or guitar player or brass, woodwind one. I am sure you know about flamenco - this music style is even beyond jazz - you can never properly notate flamenco - ever! the beat of flamenco, though, is incomparable and makes jazz look like a failed pop music style (what originally jazz was meant to be - a popular music).
Please, do not get me wrong - I love jazz. Peggy Lee is one of my favourtite jazz musicians!
OP mentions jazz chord symbols. I respond from the point of view of jazz. You say this is unwise then imply that I'm some kind of jazz snob....unbelievable.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:01 AM   #42
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@Goldreap,
yes I did assume you might be one of those jazz-snobs.
Also I said that "The point (of music nomenclature) is to be able to write precisely what you have in mind."
That should be applicable to music notations as well.
Especially true with fretted instruments, where you have the E4 note, which you could play on at least 4 different strings (guitar for example).

Otherwise (and I am overly exaggerating it) I might tell you:
"Hey, Goldleap, hear this 5 min. music piece I recorded using these 16 notes (span in more than one octave). Now go and interpret them to play the piece."
I am sure that a skillful musician could learn and play the piece by spending some time listening to the piece (that was how I learned many songs myself), but we are talking about notating a music piece and not... and not interpreting it. I hope the OP was obviously clear about that.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:08 AM   #43
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what is the difference between an expertly hand written chart and an expertly written Sibelius chart? the scribbling or the pencil or the font used? Printed Jazz songbooks and jazz-themed notation apps frequently by default use a script-based font which is less readable than a normal print font. For handwritten charts, I have heard musicians say, "is that a B then A? oh, that's a bA." That means handwriting is less readable and more ambiguous in the ancient system. Music students today are advised to not even write charts by hand, and instead always use notation software. Some auditions don't even allow handwritten charts- at all- there's the door, see you next time, essentially.


more importantly there is a difference in purpose between notation during performance and transcription. transcription should be unambigious. it is documentation (reverse engineering) of a recorded performance. If the notation is ambiguous then the transcription is ambiguous and it is error-prone and inexact.

In performance from a chart, I don't see your confusion to prefer a chart which says "EbMajb5#11/B" over a chart which has another, shorter symbol, which means the same thing, employing more efficient use of typography. Essentially you are stating that you want a dense "set of mixed capital letters plus non-alphanumerics" containing multiple exceptions within its meaning, rather than a simpler, definitive token. The exceptions being, the correct chord is EbMaj7 plus with a modification to play b5 plus another modification to additionally play #11 plus another modification to play the inversion. That's like saying you enjoy written sentences with quadruple negatives because they 'look cool to work from'. (Not that you don't dislike non-true statements. That's four negatives in one phrase and is much more difficult to understand.)


And that is not even getting into the ridiculous behavior in the current notational system regarding the use of "Maj", or the triangle symbol, or "M", or "m". Even jazz musicians will complain about one or the other, depending on their own past training and preference, ex: "I hate it when charts use M !"
Hand written vs Sibelius
Hand written is artful, expressive, human, diverse, individual, soulful, truthful, revealing, careful, painstaking, sensual.....a bit like playing notes on a guitar rather than triggering a switch.

Chord symbols.
I'm all for keeping chord symbols as short as possible (to save space) but there's a limit to how far you can beneficially go with that. There's a heirachy in the way we spell out chord symbols , like folders\sub folders\ files, which can cover a lot of possibilities in an organized way.
E.G. Gm7 is Folder\subfolder\file.
So we have Gm7, Gm9, Gm11. Why call them x,y,z ?
I can't see that having a unique short symbol for each of thousands of chord symbols helps. That would be like having no folders just thousands of files to remember. And you'd soon run out of symbols to use.
But I'm probably missing your thrust, I know nothing about programming.

And just generally, I quite like the diversity of for example Triangle or Maj or Mj for the same reasons I like hand written charts. It's charming, human etc. What a boring world it would be if everyone spoke only the same language and every possible chord could be absolutely defined with a unique symbol in a mathematical way.

But yes, I'm probably one of those (old) guys who is perfectly happy with the way things are.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:17 AM   #44
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@Goldreap,
yes I did assume you might be one of those jazz-snobs.
Also I said that "The point (of music nomenclature) is to be able to write precisely what you have in mind."
That should be applicable to music notations as well.
Especially true with fretted instruments, where you have the E4 note, which you could play on at least 4 different strings (guitar for example).

Otherwise (and I am overly exaggerating it) I might tell you:
"Hey, Goldleap, hear this 5 min. music piece I recorded using these 16 notes (span in more than one octave). Now go and interpret them to play the piece."
I am sure that a skillful musician could learn and play the piece by spending some time listening to the piece (that was how I learned many songs myself), but we are talking about notating a music piece and not... and not interpreting it. I hope the OP was obviously clear about that.
I'm not sure that I completely follow, but I would say that 'interpretation' is part of the whole musical experience on many levels.

Notation, even with say hundreds of dynamics and expression indications is still interpreted by the human playing it.

But are you saying that nomenclature should be separate from this..strictly logical like code or something? Are chord symbols nomenclature or notation? Should a chord symbol indicate strictly a group of notes? In a particular order low to high? In a particular range? That's what the staff is for. Tell me G7 and I'll interpret it according to style, context, voice leading, personal creative choice, etc. G7 to me means thousands of things...that's good isn't it?
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:18 AM   #45
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Metric system is decimal, Imperial system is proportional. Both are good for certain things.
Except imperial is really good for nothing.

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Old 08-16-2019, 06:48 AM   #46
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Notation, even with say hundreds of dynamics and expression indications is still interpreted by the human playing it.
Are chord symbols nomenclature or notation? Should a chord symbol indicate strictly a group of notes? In a particular order low to high? In a particular range? That's what the staff is for. Tell me G7 and I'll interpret it according to style, context, voice leading, personal creative choice, etc. G7 to me means thousands of things...that's good isn't it?
Written notation is just... well, written form of audio-tonal structure.
I hope, you will agree that certain inversions of chords sound different in different situations (cadences, pre-modulations, substitutions, alterations).
That is why the original intention of the composer should be clear: "I used this and that here and there."
The point is very, very simple. How many notes do you have in 12-TET system? Erm... 12?
So give each of them unique names (simple syllables), unique note-heads (letters or glyphs) and that is it. it is called "alphabet".

Then write words, sentences, grammar, poems, novels, database, codes, forums... whatever you like. Music alphabet - that is what I am striving to achieve. The simplest things are truly the most difficult to comprehend...

Then you can add numbers to designate distance relations (intervals), inversions of those... What could be more simple than that?!
If I want to use a 5 note chord (even if it is 4 "octave" repetitions of a root note), I should be able to write it in a chord form, without a staff. The Plain Notation Systems allows you to do it.

@EvilDragon
Imperial is good if you do not care what the plebs think. You just "divide (proportions) and conquer (rule... ruler)"!

Speaking of G7...
I've got a question. Why is it called a Dominant Chord?
hint: what is it dominating?
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:50 AM   #47
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This thread is nonsense. The system that has evolved is much better than any proposed new system.
They are all overly complicated.

Also the chord Ebmajb5#11/B is nonsense. #11 and b5 describe the same note.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:10 AM   #48
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This thread is nonsense. The system that has evolved is much better than any proposed new system.
They are all overly complicated.
Well, keep using your dial phone then...


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Originally Posted by coolbass
Also the chord Ebmajb5#11/B is nonsense. #11 and b5 describe the same note.
11 is > 5 for sure. It means that the note behind that 11 is and should be higher than the note behind 5 in the chord structure. Not the same notes (maybe the same note name) but definitely not the same tones. Notes from different "octaves" sharing the same note-names are not the same tones.

The post from coolbass shows again the disadvantages of the standard "notation language" and understanding the meaning of the original intention of the composer.
Note, note-name and tone are three different things.

Note G# is different than its note-name (not present in the standard notation), is different than its tone (in which "octave" range is it???)
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:56 AM   #49
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♯ ♭ ♮ - these make sense if you only play the standard piano keyboard. hardly ever applicable to any let's say wood or brass instrument - if you know well enough your instrument you can name the holes in it any way you want! Same applies to fretted instruments (tabulature is best for those).
And for the love of humanity - Latin alphabet is only one of the 100+ other alphabets. A, B, C, D... was not much different than J, T, S, Q... to me (when I started to learn English) - but I get your point!

Now, please take a look at the name of the months! Now, pick a random one! You know which ones would come next and which one before.
Because you had to learn them and use them - every month of your life!

J, F, M, A, M, U, L, G, S, O, N, D can you guess the months!? No repeated symbols (I'm sure you will struggle for a minute). Difficult?!
Now start from anywhere on that sequence of month symbolic representations (letter-zodiac).
I'm looking at it again this morning. I do see what you mean. And I'm warming up to it.

The pitch symbols of standard music are an absolute system (A, B, C...) and a relative system (sharp, flat, natural). It gets pretty messy just spelling out keys and more so when applied to the staff system of dots, lines, spaces, where notes are further altered by accidentals.

A twelve symbol system shifts that complexity to more symbols while being a purely absolute system. In other words, there are no relative translations required. And I do think it is more universal than a diatonic based system. It's very interesting.

One thing that bothers me with any symbol system is lack of reasons for design pertaining to the symbols themselves. For example, the sequence 'A B C...' is logical in itself, but when applied to actual pitches, why is 'A' applied to the pitch that it is? Why not 'C' or 'F' or whatever? There is no apparent logic behind it. I'm sure there is historical reasoning behind it, but what is it? And does it make sense to keep it that way? Similarly, in your twelve tone system, what is the logic for pairing each given symbol with a given pitch? Also, why use new symbols at all? What is the logical reasoning behind it? Why not for example, use alpha or numeric characters, where at least you would be leveraging a system which people already know well?

I think that any new system should have accompanying reasoning for it's design so that it can be logically evaluated for it's strengths and weaknesses. In order for the system to be the least ambiguous, the logic of it's design should also be unambiguous.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:20 AM   #50
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There was an article in Guitar World back in the early 90s, where Nigel Tufnall from spinal tap, completely overhauled the entire notation system with his own, newly improved version.

That says it all really
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:27 AM   #51
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Well, keep using your dial phone then...




11 is > 5 for sure. It means that the note behind that 11 is and should be higher than the note behind 5 in the chord structure. Not the same notes (maybe the same note name) but definitely not the same tones. Notes from different "octaves" sharing the same note-names are not the same tones.

The post from coolbass shows again the disadvantages of the standard "notation language" and understanding the meaning of the original intention of the composer.
Note, note-name and tone are three different things.

Note G# is different than its note-name (not present in the standard notation), is different than its tone (in which "octave" range is it???)
This shows how foolish it is to discuss these things without musical meaning, context and understanding. When you discuss chords, you talk about harmony, not numbers without musical context. A chord symbol with both a b5 and #11 is never used, because it makes no sense. It also does not say in what octave these notes should be played. There are a lot of inversions possible. It just describes the chord harmony, not the order or octave these notes should be played in. You would never describe the same chord tone twice with a different number.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:36 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
There was an article in Guitar World back in the early 90s, where Nigel Tufnall from spinal tap, completely overhauled the entire notation system with his own, newly improved version.

That says it all really
Nice.

Quote:
http://www.spinaltapfan.com/articles/guitarworld2.html

GW: What happens in the case of a chord like G13?
TUFNEL: Okay. This is my other theory:
If you're playing that type of music, you shouldn't be doing it.
GW: Shouldn't be doing the Nigel Tufnel Theory of Music?
TUFNEL: No — you shouldn't be playing
music! Because what good are people who do that jazzy sort of stuff? It's all too low-volume. Have you noticed that? What are they trying to hide? What have they got to be embarrassed about? If you're a good player, you play loud so people can hear it-that's why we plug these things in. If you play an electric guitar — I don't care if it's a Gibson 175 or a Charlie Christian — turn the fuckin' thing up!
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:38 AM   #53
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But I'm probably missing your thrust, I know nothing about programming.

And just generally, I quite like the diversity of for example Triangle or Maj or Mj for the same reasons I like hand written charts. It's charming, human etc.
This thread fundamentally is a technology discussion. Artists are not going to "get it". When the piano was invented as a technological improvement- you can bet everyone on harpsichord thought the idea was ridiculous and that the harpsichord was "charming" (even though it was limited in terms of music it could produce, and today, no one except rare specialists will play a harpsichord) A similar story probably could be said for guitar- a newer design which threatened the violinist.. because holding an instrument against the neck resulting in spinal problems and possible deafness in one ear is fine because the violin is "charming".

It is good to get the feedback & opinion, but yes, "it's charming" is not really a sufficient reason to keep a system which is so broken that most amateur musicians do not even bother to learn it because it seems incomprehensible or worthless, and those dedicated musicians who want to learn it must spend about 2 years of serious study at it. Meanwhile when jazz itself came along to be seriously studied (not so long ago, because the elite academics until fairly recently shrugged the entire art form off as undesirable "folk music"), the musical additions & complexity of jazz resulted in a long list of exceptions in the music system which only apply to jazz, but not classical.


Some people like to drive old cars like a VW bus. It has a lot of broken things compared to today's technology. Still, rare people find them charming...even though they only go about 50 mph max.. they're archaic historical artifacts. They aren't made anymore, they're outdated.


The fundamental purposes of notation are these-

1. Historic preservation of music in its most exact, unambiguous description.

the Church insisted on this- so that their god's music could be perfectly reproduced in the most holy way possible.

today, we should all want a perfect & fully reproducible notion, because we want to capture the played performances perfectly in transcription, in order to learn them and really study "wow, what was it that player was playing that sounded so smoking hot?" Not spend hours comparing various notes to approximate what we assume was being played (and then three years later, discover, oh, we've been playing it wrong, this entire time, because "it goes like this, not like that").


2. Music study and re-composition

For new, original work ("serious" work, not strumming around and calling it "a song"), the progressions, and melodies over the progressions of great works are studied in fine written detail, for those of us who aren't geniuses with absolute perfect pitch and perfect aural-imagination (i.e. everyone on the planet except those guys like Bach or Mozart or Miles Davis).

The written works are continually reviewed even by experts in order to discover subtle ways notes are mixed & matched, to learn the combinations, and either use those directly again when writing new music, or alter them slightly with varying rules to come up with something unique. New theories about how Bach did this or that are still being proposed today. New theories about how Coltraine came up with the licks he did, are still being written about in jazz publications. The purpose is to inform today's musicians in order to continually write and play new music, break new ground.

3. Learning new music quickly without excessive training

Someone learning music should not be burdened with excessive confusions like "what's this ambiguous notation mean? how do I approach playing this? Should this be called a sharp or a flat in this chord? When use a triangle instead of Maj? Why is the 7th degree called G# instead of Ab in the scale of A? Why is this chord written like this, but really I play no five?" when the purpose is learning the system. A system is broken if it has too many exceptions and too many vague aspects.




Regardless of the system, you can always play what you want, and call it "interpretation". If the system is flawed, then you play what you want, and it doesn't approach what someone else intended (even yourself, when you forget the previous musical intent of your own 3-year-old chart). You could be close, or you could be wildly off base. You're still playing something differently than what's written. You might not even know how far off you are playing from the intention, if the system creates vagueness, like it does now. If the system is more perfect, then you can still play what you want, but you know with intent that you are creatively varying from the original.



Quote:
Originally Posted by adXok View Post
@Goldreap,

I am sure that a skillful musician could learn and play the piece by spending some time listening to the piece (that was how I learned many songs myself), but we are talking about notating a music piece and not... and not interpreting it. I hope the OP was obviously clear about that.
That is exactly right, the primary #1 purpose of notation is historic preservation of a piece of music when the author is not around. This could be because they are dead like Bach, or it could be because they are a busy composer and the player has to learn the part in private rehearsal before joining the orchestra/band with the musician author (conductor or band leader).

But still, during interpretation, someone playing improvisationally should always know where they are going, and be playing deliberately. Otherwise they are just wanking and assuming or hoping that the change fits. Knowing where you are going in a solo or in harmony means knowing where you are supposed to go, and then deviating from that with artistic intent. And later, the new interpretation should be easy to write down if desired, showing a clear distinction between the new version and the classic version. Good notation would highlight the difference easily and obviously.


There are nonstop arguments in music regarding how to properly play classical pieces made before the age of recordings. Some of the proposed differences are very important for the feel of the music and the fundamental interpretation of the music. Some of the arguments are about how and where to improvise- because history says the original players improvised the classical pieces- but there are no accurate records notating what was played. There is no way to learn how the song was interpreted by those now-lost players because the notation system is flawed and does not describe how or when the improvisation occurred.

In jazz there are nonstop comparisons between different improvisational solos played over the same song, even two solos played by the same player. Some players never play the same way twice. Without accurate representation of what was played, there is no way to compare these solos to each other. Musicians are forced to listen by ear for the differences, which is archaic. Written symbols exist so that the physical universe can be studied on paper, not by ear.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:41 AM   #54
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You could waste a lifetime fooling with this, instead of playing (and enjoying) music. The commons system is in use because it is functional, and that's all everybody really needs. Most rock musicians play from memory, and don't use a chart of any kind. There's tab, chord charts, notation and personal shorthand for those that do use one.

Jonathan Cain once said about synthesizers, "either program them, or play them, don't try to do both. If you want to play, play, there are plenty of people selling good patches. If you'd rather explore programming, do that, and let other people play them".

Write something great, and get help with notating it, if you need it. Devising an entirely new system of notation seems like a great way to give yourself headaches, and to spend the rest of your life frustrated, because you can't get others to adopt it.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:55 AM   #55
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Obviously, some people disagree that reading standard notation is easy. It is very logical, but so is binary.
It's no different than learning to read and write a language. It isn't easy at first, but after a bit of exposure, we are soon writing complex thoughts without thinking of the individual letters, or even words, but typing out the thoughts themselves.

Reading standard notation is no different. After a bit of exposure, it is common to read chords as chords rather than individual notes, read several bars ahead of where you are currently playing looking for any difficult spots, etc. It's not easy at first, but it becomes so after a bit of practice.


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Originally Posted by superblonde.org View Post
it is mediocre to read, especially if _hand written_

it is very difficult to verbalize: "yeah then it goes to the (x chord) and the melody goes to the (x).."

it is time consuming to write: too many letters and superscripts.

it is difficult to write: it barely fits within printed measures.

it is ambiguous in written analysis: "this could be (x chord) or it could also be thought of as the (x chord).."


don't fool yourself into believing it is a good system unless the metric for 'good' is set really low.
None of the above criticisms are accurate for those who have a little experience with standard notation; they only cause issue for those initially learning to read standard notation. The only advantage you'll gain from an alternate system is finding one that is easier to learn initially. But after that initial leaning, the new system will be cumbersome in comparison to what we currently have.


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Originally Posted by superblonde.org View Post
this brings up the point that there are already two competing versions of music notation already, with drastically different understandings, and players find it difficult to transition between the two. (classical player will get confused by jazz chart and vice versa). This is because the current system is broken and does not cover the two stylistic variants as a unified whole.
This is not true. The only difference between the two is that jazz is based on improvisation, so there are no written parts transcribed beyond the basic melody and chords; nothing more is required in that context.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:55 AM   #56
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This shows how foolish it is to discuss these things without musical meaning, context and understanding. When you discuss chords, you talk about harmony, not numbers without musical context. A chord symbol with both a b5 and #11 is never used, because it makes no sense. It also does not say in what octave these notes should be played. There are a lot of inversions possible. It just describes the chord harmony, not the order or octave these notes should be played in. You would never describe the same chord tone twice with a different number.
There are a lot of inversions possible.
I'm glad you got the point.
Now, in my "example 5 min. piece" addressed in previous post, play me the Amaj7 chrod from it. No, not that inversion... no, not that, I meant an inversion... not that inversion. Apparently we got lost in standard chord notation.

What if I meant Amaj7 in standard root inversion, but... each of its 4 notes is in a different "octave" range?!

@vassaux,
I do not see any problems with pointing out obvious discrepancies in something considered to be "standard", "traditional" or "well established".
Piano keyboard kept me away from going to a Music College and study Music. Traditional notation and nomenclature was the final brick in that wall that kept me away.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:07 AM   #57
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One thing that bothers me with any symbol system is lack of reasons for design pertaining to the symbols themselves. For example, the sequence 'A B C...' is logical in itself, but when applied to actual pitches, why is 'A' applied to the pitch that it is? Why not 'C' or 'F' or whatever? There is no apparent logic behind it.

That is why base-12 dozenal counting makes the most sense to me.

The analog clock (12 o'clock, 1, 2, 3, ... 11, back to 12) describes the cyclic aspect of time.

Circle of Fifths describes the cyclic aspect of musical tones and harmonies.

Musical notation could use 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, T, Y (then back to 0) for the twelve notes, just arrange them around a circle like the Circle of Fifths.

When you want to assign a key: just make that added notation at the start (or at the start of a new section), "0=Piano A3" or "0 = Guitar A3 position 5"


* note the letters chosen for ten and eleven are debatable and vary, dozenal's proposed-official description uses T and a backwards-E, it's best to use letters which don't conflict with existing use or old ones (like A and B would be bad choices since those are old note names), and the other important aspect is that they are each single token identifiers, not two tokens like "10". Ideally the letters might not even be from the english alphabet which is technically possible with unicode but still slower to type on a keyboard layout.


However the awkwardness of the piano remains, that it centers everything around Middle C when the note alphabet actually is defined as beginning with the 440 Hz "A".


Which brings up a different and very important notational system: Scientific Pitch Notation

It is highly confusing to say in specific situations: "Play the C". There are five C's possible, which one do you want? "I mean middle C. Now play the A which is two octaves lower than that." Ok well why not say "C4 then A2" ? Or does that phrase mean "C4 then A1" ?

It is also incredibly confusing in vocals. "Sing the C. Let's see if you are a soprano." Ok but which C? How is that C compared? What if I sing in my low register which is C3, but the other musician meant the higher one which is C5? It would be far better for the choir director to say what they mean: "Sing the C5." In the current generic system, they say: "Sing the C. No, the higher C. No, up one more octave. Ok, that C." Which is ridiculous.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_pitch_notation


Scientific pitch is a pitch standard—a system that defines the specific frequencies of particular pitches (see below). Scientific pitch notation concerns only how pitch names are notated, that is, how they are designated in printed and written text, and does not inherently specify actual frequencies. Thus, the use of scientific pitch notation to distinguish octaves does not depend on the pitch standard used.

The notation makes use of the traditional tone names (A to G) which are followed by numbers showing which octave they are part of.
The system begins at a frequency of 16.352 Hz, which is assigned the value C0.
The octave 0 of the scientific pitch notation is traditionally called the sub-contra octave, and the tone marked C0 in SPN is written as ,,C or C,, or CCC in traditional systems. Octave 0 of SPN marks the low end of what humans can actually perceive, with the average person being able to hear frequencies no lower than 20 Hz.
The octave number increases by 1 upon an ascension from B to C. Thus, A0 refers to the first A above C0 and middle C (the small octave's C or simply c) is denoted as C4

...
Using scientific pitch notation consistently, the MIDI NoteOn message assigns MIDI note 0 to C−1 (five octaves below C4 or Middle C; lowest note on the two largest organs of the world; about one octave below the human hearing threshold: its overtones, however, are audible), MIDI note 21 to A0 (the bottom key of an 88-key piano), MIDI note 60 to C4 (Middle C), MIDI note 69 to A4 (A440), MIDI note 108 to C8 (the top key of an 88-key piano), and MIDI note 127 to G9 (beyond the piano; one octave above the highest note on some keyboard glockenspiels; some notes above the highest-pitched organ pipes).
This creates a linear pitch space in which an octave spans 12 semitones, where each semitone is the distance between adjacent keys of the piano keyboard. Distance in this space corresponds to musical pitch distance in an equal-tempered scale; 2 semitones being a whole step, 1 semitone being a half step. An equal-tempered semitone can also be subdivided further into 100 cents. Each cent is ​1⁄100 semitone or ​1⁄1200 octave. This measure of pitch allows the expression of microtones not found on standard piano keyboards.



Which brings up the additional point of tones and semitones. Although it has been glossed over in previous replies. A fundamental problem with the current music system is that it relies on a base unit of a semitone. Which is ridiculous. The base measurement should not be described in terms of a "half something". It is the fault of history, it's a kludge, along with the story of the piano previously posted, squeezing the black keys in there. A good system uses a unit of 1 as it's base unit, that is just by definition. Normalization is applied to everything in science. The speed of light is c, which results in E=mc^2, and many other notations involving c. The speed of light is not "a semi-c which represents 1/2 of c because we first measured c with units of two but then later made a system which required half of that value in all the equations and instead of normalizing the value of c into the unit of one, we use (1/2)c in all equations". The base unit of music should be called a tone. Not called a "semitone".

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Old 08-16-2019, 09:19 AM   #58
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Which brings up the additional point of tones and semitones. Although it has been glossed over in previous replies. A fundamental problem with the current music system is that it relies on a base unit of a semitone. Which is ridiculous.
I am glad someone else also sees the ridiculousness of this "semi-tone" nonsense! There are 12 very well defined tones in 12-TET! And also 12 (and even larger) very well visible intervals...
I understand that a "semi-tone" is used usually in an interval (relational) contest between at least two notes and it is called a "half-step" but then a step then is a "skip-note" or "whole-tone" in a chromatic context.
This is an obvious mess in that standard music language and I do not like speaking it.
Sometimes the black (smaller narrower) keys on the piano are called accidentals. This is retarded, honestly.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:25 AM   #59
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I don't disagree that a base-12 system could be a good thing. But put it to practice and see what happens. Start simple. Write out the diatonic keys. In other words, start testing the idea of: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 T Y. You have to start somewhere. Post back with some work and get some feedback. What problems get resolved? What new problems come up? Is the tradeoff worth the change?

My intitial thought: The diatonic sequences of an absolute pitch base-12 system have no immediate common sequence which ties them all together and makes them easier to think about, as a result of throwing out sharp and flat symbols.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:28 AM   #60
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...not to mention reading chords becomes a hot mess.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:29 AM   #61
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Yet standard staff notation does not adequately describe voicing (neck position) which only tablature does well, so, those musicians are wrong, staff has missing and necessary information in comparison to tablature.
Actually, there should be a position indicated in well written standard notation.


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11 is > 5 for sure. It means that the note behind that 11 is and should be higher than the note behind 5 in the chord structure. Not the same notes (maybe the same note name) but definitely not the same tones. Notes from different "octaves" sharing the same note-names are not the same tones.
No, it's written as an 11 because chords are typically built upon stacked diatonic third intervals, e.g., root, third, fifth, seventh, ninth (second), eleventh (fourth), thirteenth (sixth). This gives us all seven notes of a key.


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This thread fundamentally is a technology discussion. Artists are not going to "get it".
I get it, but I haven't found a better way of working than the current systems we use when discussing western musics. Indian classical music, as one example, is completely different. But for western music, the current system works well, it just takes a bit of time to learn.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:34 AM   #62
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I'm all for keeping chord symbols as short as possible (to save space) but there's a limit to how far you can beneficially go with that. There's a heirachy in the way we spell out chord symbols , like folders\sub folders\ files, which can cover a lot of possibilities in an organized way.
E.G. Gm7 is Folder\subfolder\file.
So we have Gm7, Gm9, Gm11. Why call them x,y,z ?

Why unfairly bias everything towards being either major or minor in the notation?
That is a historic relic of the church because of the latin mass.

You aren't playing the fifth degree of the chord in jazz- for example. So why call it Gm7 ? It's not Gm7, it's almost never Gm7. "Oh, everyone knows to make that modification when they see this symbol." It would be better to use a symbol which is actually signifying closer what is to be played.

That really isn't too much of a complex idea- better describing, via writing, what is, in general, to be played.

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Old 08-16-2019, 09:37 AM   #63
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I love notation, easpecially going out to go out in a field, write some stuff on staff (with some practice you can transpose your own thoughts quickly) and then go back home and bang it out on a piano, refine it and add orchestration/accompaniment...

when I was learning guitar I did develop my own notation system, sorta like chord chart and tab, but with a different style of numbering, I forget exactly... but I did find it easy to read compared to tab/notation. maybe it wouldn't be useful for other instrumnts

so like with most things some of these "strange" ideas may be useful in practice, but ya gotta go into it with an open mind and also realize some have a higher barrier to entry than others, but the end result could be worth it.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:45 AM   #64
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Actually, there should be a position indicated in well written standard notation.
indicating voicing(position) on the guitar neck is not in any of the music books I have. none. you can argue that these are "not well written standard notation" but no online music sites indicate neck position either, and guitar scoring apps themselves don't use the feature.

and when the position is used, it conflicts with the letters used in other parts of the notation.

"V VII"

is that a fret position or is it a chord. oh, it's a fret position. the chords are just above that but using the same roman numerals V. oh, but they're a slightly different font.

these are mistakes from an archaic system due to lack of technology in typesetting. That is letting limitations from a font collection hamper your musical expression.



And my previous comment is absolutely true:

"this brings up the point that there are already two competing versions of music notation already, with drastically different understandings, and players find it difficult to transition between the two. (classical player will get confused by jazz chart and vice versa)."

if you don't believe that jazz and classical conflict in this way, re-visit a performance school where classical players can be seen struggling if someone challenges them with a jazz chart which has different symbols for the same types of chords. Only the rarer musicians are familiar with both systems and can move between them. Go download a jazz app like iRealPro with a jazz chart and give it to a classical pianist to play, with all of it's bizarre-looking symbols compared to classical notation.


It seems there are a lot of difficult angles in the current broken system which typical musicians themselves are simply not aware of.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:50 AM   #65
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Man - I think you're on to something! We really also need to look at the alphabet. I mean seriously dude! It makes no sense....

Pictograms! Yeah, hieroglyphics or chines characters all the way. Or better yet BINARY. Of course, then you have to look at language too - maybe clicks and beeps?
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:51 AM   #66
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Superblonde, show us the 12 key spellings in a base-12 system. It shouldn't take much time to throw together. It will give us something concrete to discuss.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:57 AM   #67
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Superblonde, show us the 12 key spellings in a base-12 system. It shouldn't take much time to throw together. It will give us something concrete to discuss.
the base-12 system with digits is the same for all keys because it is relative to the given tonic. probably you mean for all scales.


By the way I was mistaken in a previous assumption about Tbon. It has a relative mode, but defaults to fixed note-name mode. So in relative-pitch mode, instead of a,b,c, it will use 1,2,3..
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:15 AM   #68
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I don't disagree that a base-12 system could be a good thing. But put it to practice and see what happens. Start simple. Write out the diatonic keys. In other words, start testing the idea of: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 T Y. You have to start somewhere. Post back with some work and get some feedback. What problems get resolved? What new problems come up? Is the tradeoff worth the change?
Let me clarify on something really quickly:
numbers designate relations and position (good for counting, sequencing, etc.). It would be a tremendous mistake to designate notes as numbers. Numbers are better suited for intervals (relations between two or more notes). The two letters T and Y are fine, but Y is a vowel (consist of exactly two diphthong: U_A_I = uai... ok in this case should be called triphtong). Y is out. Should be a consonant, plenty of them to cover the 12 notes. Vowels are 6, 7 maybe in English language?!

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My initial thought: The diatonic sequences of an absolute pitch base-12 system have no immediate common sequence which ties them all together and makes them easier to think about, as a result of throwing out sharp and flat symbols.
So, seems like you are a piano player. How those make sense in a bagpipe or kalimba, or violin (fretless instruments)?

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...not to mention reading chords becomes a hot mess.
C+Δ7sus2 guess means a lot. Or Esus4addb9. Seriously?

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Old 08-16-2019, 10:23 AM   #69
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This thread fundamentally is a technology discussion. Artists are not going to "get it".

Meanwhile when jazz itself came along to be seriously studied (not so long ago, because the elite academics until fairly recently shrugged the entire art form off as undesirable "folk music"), the musical additions & complexity of jazz resulted in a long list of exceptions in the music system which only apply to jazz, but not classical.


Someone learning music should not be burdened with excessive confusions like "what's this ambiguous notation mean? how do I approach playing this? Should this be called a sharp or a flat in this chord? When use a triangle instead of Maj? Why is the 7th degree called G# instead of Ab in the scale of A? Why is this chord written like this, but really I play no five?" when the purpose is learning the system. A system is broken if it has too many exceptions and too many vague aspects.



In jazz there are nonstop comparisons between different improvisational solos played over the same song, even two solos played by the same player. Some players never play the same way twice. Without accurate representation of what was played, there is no way to compare these solos to each other. Musicians are forced to listen by ear for the differences, which is archaic. Written symbols exist so that the physical universe can be studied on paper, not by ear.

All this shows that you really have no clue about music.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:27 AM   #70
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]C+Δ7sus2[/B] guess means a lot. Or Esus4addb9. Seriously?
These certainly have more meaning than than anything else you say.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:27 AM   #71
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All this shows that you really have no clue about music.
Do not want to play an advocate here, but c'mon coolbass
We are not discussing Music, rather its language.
We are not discussing "Romeo and Juliet", rather the "old language" used in it.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:29 AM   #72
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the base-12 system with digits is the same for all keys because it is relative to the given tonic. probably you mean for all scales.


By the way I was mistaken in a previous assumption about Tbon. It has a relative mode, but defaults to fixed note-name mode. So in relative-pitch mode, instead of a,b,c, it will use 1,2,3..
So if you are saying to throw out absolute pitch, other than for specifying the root pitch, doesn't that make it more difficult to talk about chords? I mean:

Code:
0 = C4

Chromatic notes:  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T Y 0 

 Diatonic notes:  0   2   4 5   7   T   Y 0
So now we have the same relative sequence across all keys. But when we talk about chords, are we also talking base-12 relative pitch with a root designation, as in:

Code:
0 = C4

C triad:  0 4 7

0 = D4

D triad:  0 4 7
?

How do we talk about the absolute root pitch of chords in relation to one another? Are we still using sharp/flat when talking about absolute pitch roots?
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:30 AM   #73
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These certainly have more meaning than than anything else you say.
See... because you spent time and effort to learn that "music language".
(me too, do not get me wrong... I had an A3 sketchbook filled up with chords and scales, handwritten by me using this ambiguous "music language").
It is awful. Took me 10+ years to realise it.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:30 AM   #74
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There are a lot of inversions possible.
I'm glad you got the point.
Now, in my "example 5 min. piece" addressed in previous post, play me the Amaj7 chrod from it. No, not that inversion... no, not that, I meant an inversion... not that inversion. Apparently we got lost in standard chord notation.

What if I meant Amaj7 in standard root inversion, but... each of its 4 notes is in a different "octave" range?!
I got the point allright, but you don't.
If you really want to hear a particular inversion of a chord, the exact notes are notated. If a chord symbol is used. the interpretation is open to the creativity of the player.
This is how real musicians go about these things.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:32 AM   #75
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C+Δ7sus2 guess means a lot. Or Esus4addb9. Seriously?
Yes, both are perfectly fine.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:44 AM   #76
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I'd hate to lose my double flats and double sharps..I'm being serious.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:45 AM   #77
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I'd hate to lose my double flats and double sharps..I'm being serious.
Care to explain why?
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:46 AM   #78
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I got the point allright, but you don't.
If you really want to hear a particular inversion of a chord, the exact notes are notated. If a chord symbol is used. the interpretation is open to the creativity of the player.
This is how real musicians go about these things.
So, you need a staff, or some kind of chart in that manner to represent exactly the notes used in that chord!? Interpretation is not always the exact words (or language if it is translation of some kind).
Ambiguity is not good. Let me give you an example:

which one is this note?


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Yes, both are perfectly fine.
(please, look up to what I wrote to coolbass a few posts above regarding this "language")
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:47 AM   #79
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Numbers are better suited for intervals (relations between two or more notes). The two letters T and Y are fine, but Y is a vowel
Ok that is a good point about Y.

For numbers, the current "standard" music system varies usage regarding numbers. These differences are also largely because of typesetting limitations too (fonts or scribes). In my newer theory textbook (published 2015), the scale degrees are labelled with a caret (^) above the digit, and this indicates that the number is a scale degree. In mathematics this symbol is called a "hat", so you would say, "1 hat, 2 hat, 3 hat" : ..it doesnt seem like I can type it in unicode. It would look like  but using ^1 ^2 ^3 etc.

However it is nonstandard because older music theory books use the opposite: scale degrees as normal numbers (1 2 3) and intervals as ^1 ^2 ^3. And many older music books with older typesetting technology either uses the same notation for both (confusing) or avoids the problem by not using numbers for scale degrees at all (also confusing).

Mathematics has many various ways of distinguishing numbers depending on context. There is hat. There is also bar, a number with a horizontal bar (like _) over top. There is also dot, a hollow circle above a number, "1 dot, 2 dot, 3 dot". So use of different context with numbers should not be considered a problem. The main problem is, which ones are easy to type on a keyboard in unicode today..

Overall, scale degrees (position within the scale) seems more important notationally than the intervals in theory analysis, plus intervals are referred to as "the 2nd", "the 3rd", etc. which distinguishes them in numeric context. Standard theory today would say, "C and G are separated by a 5th". Using numbers for the notes makes interval calculations easy, because the intervals is just math between the note numbers. Get rid of the major-minor distinction in scale degree, "it's a minor 3rd. Or a major 3rd. No, it's a minor 3rd. Or actually it is augmented 2nd."

What's important as well, is discarding any use of the roman numeral system which is...well there's a reason no one uses VII for 7 and IV for 4 today, these should be obvious. There is one main reason for the use of the roman numeral system in music theory: because it can be used Uppercase for Major and lowercase for minor (I IV V or, i iv v or, i iv V) which is "supposedly" convenient.


Ultimately I find it extremely frustrating and annoying that the computer vendors and internet companies of the world will have a global conference on unicode and emoticons to decide what token should be next added to represent a hamburger font character or a butterfly character but no one seems to care about unicode musical notation. The only symbols in the extended character-set now available being flat and sharp. Music is so incredibly important in the world and yet there is an emoji for obscure items like ����*♀️ "woman elf" or �� "playing card ace of hearts" but nothing even close to allow for " Esus4addb9 ". The world has poor priorities.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:52 AM   #80
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(please, look up to what I wrote to coolbass a few posts above regarding this "language")
I disagree with it (well, except the part where numbers being correlated to intervals makes sense - it does).
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