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Old 09-06-2019, 08:15 PM   #401
superblonde.org
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By the way, just came to my mind that we can use S-J instead of H-W to designate the intervals in a scale. Thus a natural major would be:
(X) - Jump - Jump - Step - Jump - Jump - Jump - Step (X↑)
(X) - 2 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 1(X↑)

Whole-Step and Half-Step are totally redundant and misleading/confusing.

Traditional theory defines:

step = any movement <= 2nd

skip = any movement > 2nd and <= 4th (i.e.: 3rd or 4th)

leap = any movement > 3rd and <= infinity


* movement = melodic interval, ascending or descending

* melodic = horizontal

* yes, I had to double-check that skip & leap have overlapping distance in their definitions. The ambiguity continues :-X

edit: and what do you call it when a tone is bent melodically, for example from starting pitch then +1.5 half-tones, is it a step? or is it not movement? The mystery continues :-X The Church's music outlawed bends and the piano didn't have them, thus, the theory doesn't say? Typical..

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Old 09-07-2019, 01:17 AM   #402
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To illustrate what I mean, attached is a crop of a screenshot from Ableton Live's Spectrum with ST (semitone) overlay showing a saw wave.

I find it extremely convenient that the piano keyboard/roll is exactly proportional to the analyser, and that the distances on horizontal scale correspond to how human hearing works.
You have attached equally distant and same size of vertically placed rectangles next to one another with some of them shaded in dark (gray, black) - this is not the piano keyboard, rather an equal distant (simplified geometrically) representation of it - a uniform layout of it! This will work with any such a uniform keyboard layout. You can also shade the rectangles to represent any scale or arpeggio you want. I think in FL Studio you can do that (in order to stay diatonic - as a visual help to which 'correct' notes to choose).




This example has the natural major C scale shifted up (root is D), but I think in FL Studio you can choose from tens if not even a hundred of scales. The piano keyboard though stays the same, because they can not solve its "spacial case" design.
You can also clearly see the awful misalignment between the keyboard and the shifted scale. Inevitable.


Human hearing has nothing to do with that. There is nothing logarithmic about our hearing. We can hear freqs from 20 to 20kHz (a stretched range beyond the average) with favouring 2-3kHz (where babies' voices are).


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Originally Posted by superblonde.org View Post
Traditional theory defines:
step = any movement <= 2nd

skip = any movement > 2nd and <= 4th (i.e.: 3rd or 4th)

* yes, I had to double-check that skip & leap have overlapping distance in their definitions. The ambiguity continues :-X
Skip and Step will usually have the same abbreviation as S-S which will be confusing. Leap is good for movements >2 (>J - jump), for example within scales that have hiatus (which is 3). In arpeggios Leap will be uncertain, but that is why numbering the intervals can come in action as 4 (for major "third"), 5 (for perfect "fourth") and so on.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:53 AM   #403
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You have attached equally distant and same size of vertically placed rectangles next to one another with some of them shaded in dark (gray, black) - this is not the piano keyboard, rather an equal distant (simplified geometrically) representation of it - a uniform layout of it!
We seem to be talking past eachother here. The upper half of piano keyboard is part of the piano keyboard, and for practical purposes [that upper half] is uniform, just like in the picture I posted.

Piano keyboards' upper half visually matches the distances between pitches as equal steps - whereas on a guitar, for example, one can see that distance between frets is not equal. Thus, piano keyborad (the upper half of it) looks like semitones viewed on a logarithmic scale.

It's convenient that piano keyboards' upper half corresponds to logarithmic frequency scale as one simple row. It provides a good standard reference and helps in all kinds of tasks, from composing to EQing.

The standard piano keyboard is also a good compromise for playability with human hands, in part specifically because differences between black and white keys.

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You can also shade the rectangles to represent any scale or arpeggio you want [...]in order to stay diatonic - as a visual help to which 'correct' notes to choose.
I see such shadings as a hindrance rather than help. Black and white keys on a piano function as a standard reference, both in piano rolls and when playing by touch without looking at the keyboard.

This is especially noticeable when composing material that has frequent key and scale changes. In those cases some kind of standard reference is a necessity - and the black and white key pattern is decent enough compromise to be that standard.

One could of course invent many variations of standards, just like many of us customize Reaper specifically for our own workflows. But I think it's good to have at least one common standard for the sake of understanding and cooperation - sort of how basic English functions in current world.


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There is nothing logarithmic about our hearing.
At low frequencies, one semitone can be just a few Hz, while at high frequencies the semitone becomes hundreds and eventually thousands of Hz. For example, at A=440Hz and Mid C = C3, difference between E0 and F0 is about 2.4Hz, while the difference between E6 and F6 is about 156.8 Hz.


In other words, we hear pitch at a logarithmic scale, when compared to the linear Hz scale. This can be easily visualized in a spectrum analyser by swithcing between linear and logarithmic display modes.

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Old 09-07-2019, 05:41 AM   #404
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The standard piano keyboard is also a good compromise for playability with human hands, in part specifically because differences between black and white keys.
Proved to be incorrect (if you have read some of my previous posts illustrated as well).

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Originally Posted by n997
I see such shadings as a hindrance rather than help. Black and white keys on a piano function as a standard reference, both in piano rolls and when playing by touch without looking at the keyboard.

But I think it's good to have at least one common standard for the sake of understanding and cooperation.
You can use any visual or tactile reference in a uniform keyboard.
Also there is no need for transposing.
Shading notes in MIDI editors are great if you want to have a visual reference immediately and not having to check if it was a white or a black key and what those accidentals have to do with your scale of choice for the song (especially if you are not a pianist).

I agree about the common standard. And this standard should not be related to any special case of scale or instrument (as otherwise it is now with the Staff and the Piano Keyboard).
English is a good example, because it is the most easiest spoken language I've ever learnt to speak (and the grammar has become so flexible compared to what it has been a century ago).
Regarding writing in English... well that, my friend, is a completely different story and I can shred the English script to pieces, because it is inconvenient as hell (the good news is French script is even worse)!

So back to the Notation System to continue the analogy with English.
We have marvellous 12 tones. They sound brilliant in combinations, intervals, phrases, sequences... but writing them down... well that, my friend, is why this discussion is so controversial.


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In other words, we hear pitch at a logarithmic scale, when compared to the linear Hz scale. This can be easily visualized in a spectrum analyser by switching between linear and logarithmic display modes.
See, on the guitar you actually interact with the logarithmic nature of how strings vibrate. On the piano is not like that. You use intermediators called keys (levers) to trigger a sensor or hammer, which triggers sensors or strings (each one with its own length in a "logarithmic" fashion).
That is why there is a logarithmic scale for the frequency range, to distribute the "lengths of those strings" so then can appear just visually to be of equal length.

We do not hear pitches as logarithmic order. This is nonsense. We order specific pitches as "twelfth root of two" (logarithm) to approximate the 12 notes in a 12 tonal system in the audible range.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:43 AM   #405
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Proved to be incorrect (if you have read some of my previous posts illustrated as well).
Well, majority of keyboard users appear to be satisfied (or in a state of tolerable compromise) with the standard piano keyboard and staff notation. I wouldn't bet on that changing in near decades.


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I agree about the common standard. And this standard should not be related to any special case of scale or instrument (as otherwise it is now with the Staff and the Piano Keyboard).
I wished for same thing when I was younger. Life has taught otherwise - in an imperfect world compromises have to be made. I chose to adjust to many common compromises, because it makes life easier than trying to fight windmills.
Or, to borrow another poetic expression: "when avalanche has already started, it is too late for pebbles to vote".

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So back to the Notation System to continue the analogy with English.
We have marvellous 12 tones. They sound brilliant in combinations, intervals, phrases, sequences... but writing them down... well that, my friend, is why this discussion is so controversial.
As I see it, staff notation will exist as it has to this day, due to how much material is written for it and how ingrained it is in traditions. Alongside it, MIDI and piano roll will be canonized as another standard, with a few developments. Compromises will remain, idealistic perfection will not be attained.

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See, on the guitar you actually interact with the logarithmic nature of how strings vibrate. On the piano is not like that.
This is indeed what I mean. When going down the guitar fretboard, you don't perceive pitches having smaller intervals, even though physically the distance between frets decreases. On piano the "visual translation" to equal spacing is already done, and it corresponds to how the distances between semitones are perceived as equal by human hearing.

On this basis (as well as what I've explained in previous messages) human hearing is well described as logarithmic, concerning cents, semitones and octaves. Same goes for decibels, which are another matter, but nevertheless related.

But we can agree to disagree on terminology
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:55 AM   #406
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The standard piano keyboard is also a good compromise for playability with human hands, in part specifically because differences between black and white keys.
It was a good compromise for the engineering & design of its day (centuries ago). In fact the piano is quite a mechanical marvel. But technology has improved. It's not so ergonomic compared to today's standards- many (repetitive motion) injuries related to playing linear layout of piano. Which is why the "split computer keyboard" became popular- to reduce the angle imposed on the wrist from typing- and etc. Although this really doesn't work well on piano because of melody movement makes the hands change their center position, hands cross over, etc. (However, interesting music always comes about when physical layout of an instrument changes, as players play patterns and invent new music from geometry rather than composition.)

In terms of ergonomics of the wrist, a semicircular piano might be a huge improvement although would have been very difficult to design & manufacture in the original piano's day. There's a circular pipe organ, but... with a piano's need to hammer strings, it's a different mechanism.. it could be solved with good design today (sky's the limit with today's design tools & manufacturing methods, essentially, right?).

as for groupings of 2 blacks & 3 blacks, it has been proven that these are beneficial due to human perception of grouping items improves rapid identification. So the grouping helps, in a linear layout.. but, why white & black colors? That's tradition (and based on real ivory, which is an environmentally terrible tradition). Nothing says a piano today couldn't have multicolored keys, or programmable-color backlighted keys (some trainer-keyboards have LED's per key), it's just adding more design innovation and added manufacturing cost, right? Currently lights on keys are considered gimmicks, again relative to "purity of tradition" but cast that falsity away and interesting new improvements could happen?


The great composers seem to almost all be instrument innovators, not stick-in-the-mud's.

Unfortunately with the state of music today so biased towards consumption, and decades of data show piano and especially acoustic piano sales continuing a slow descent to zero (many factors for that, economic, real estate, consumerism, lack of education, ..), decades of contraction rather than growth, means manufacturers won't be keen to innovate, it's just not a hot market for selling novel instruments. Better to be in the smartphone design business than the piano design business. But some innovation is desperately needed because there should be an easier entryway into piano and all instruments- rather than today's statistics of 90% (I assume) of players giving up after a year of attempted learning. So many people say they would "love to learn to play" yet don't start or don't continue, for the obvious reasons.


Overall though, from my perspective the music theory & notation is based on vocals, not on instruments, even though piano took over due to the performances of piano-shredders. The first instrumentals really being choirs. The rule against the d5? Because of vocalists. The range of melodies? Because of vocalists. The types of chords used? Because of vocalists. Most theory was invented to reverse-engineer the vocal performances, and then applied to piano, and orchestra, later.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:19 AM   #407
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Nothing says a piano today couldn't have multicolored keys, or programmable-color backlighted keys (some trainer-keyboards have LED's per key), it's just adding more design innovation and added manufacturing cost, right? Currently lights on keys are considered gimmicks, again relative to "purity of tradition" but cast that falsity away and interesting new improvements could happen?
Simplicity, robustness and accessibility are important considerations too. Multicoloring would have to account for different color vision deficiencies, for example.

I used to use colored paper strips placed on keys when learning theory. Gave them up for same reason as one gives up training wheels on a bicycle - more freedom after enough has been learned.
Nowadays I prefer the plain piano keyboard not because of tradition, but because it is close to absolute required minimum for the task. Anything more would just get in the way and require more mental resources.

***

On the side of hope, we're entering the era of self-manufacturing - 3D printers, sub-$10K CNC machining mills, and so on. More and more people can afford personal ownership of powerful means of production (yay for capitalism, heh).

There is a good chance for bigger boutique manufacturer movement for new control interfaces. What stands in the way (besides costs that are destined to go down eventually) is indeed the massive inertia of traditions and the need of any new solution to be truly better than the old one. Both are very hard to surpass.

***

As a sidenote, most often I use the piano keyboard for concept development and a Wacom Cintiq for actual composition - drawing directly into piano roll, note positions and lengths corresponding to pen strokes.

The latter workflow is so rare that (AFAIK) no major DAW company has implemented support for Wacom pen pressure, in order to input also velocity and/or other note parameters in a single stroke of pen.
It's probably the most sensible way to "write" music by hand in a DAW, but I don't expect any DAW to support it properly until stylus/pen support is ubiquitous on all personal computing devices, which will take at least 10 more years, I think.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:22 AM   #408
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Hi there, I don't want to/find it hard to learn music theory so, if my desire is just to be able to write down my musical creations, either by playing around with the key board or possibly writing down tunes in my head, what might be the best/good way to do this. I realise that at the moment the piano keyboard is the norm, but I don't particularly want the written script to be universal, just able to be read back by me to be able to play what I wrote. Hope this makes sense and not off topic. Enjoyed reading this thread greatly. Emotion + theory + tech, great. Dave
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:46 AM   #409
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Hi there, I don't want to/find it hard to learn music theory so, if my desire is just to be able to write down my musical creations, either by playing around with the key board or possibly writing down tunes in my head, what might be the best/good way to do this. I realise that at the moment the piano keyboard is the norm, but I don't particularly want the written script to be universal, just able to be read back by me to be able to play what I wrote.
If you feel aversions to staff notation, I'd suggest simply using the piano roll in your DAW - and if you need wide compatibility, saving to standard MIDI files (with several backups on different drives/machines for long-term archiving).

If you feel aversion to complexities of music theory, it may be enough to learn just the basics of intervals and scales and chords, while keeping in mind the physics perspective instead of illogical traditions.

If you prefer writing to paper instead of relying on machines, I suggest trying to learn the basics of traditional staff notation, if at all possible. The rudimentary form of staff is quite simple to use after a few weeks (or months, depending on individual) of practice.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:33 PM   #410
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Hi there, I don't want to/find it hard to learn music theory so, if my desire is just to be able to write down my musical creations, either by playing around with the key board or possibly writing down tunes in my head, what might be the best/good way to do this. I realise that at the moment the piano keyboard is the norm, but I don't particularly want the written script to be universal, just able to be read back by me to be able to play what I wrote. Hope this makes sense and not off topic. Enjoyed reading this thread greatly. Emotion + theory + tech, great. Dave

Recording the MIDI of your keyboard in a DAW would be fastest. The MIDI track can be viewed as staff notation afterwards. The DAW can provide metronome while recording. Or use a plugin to write a drum track first (drop drum loops into a DAW track, or write simple drum beats into a drum MIDI track), then record MID piano while drum loops play back. You can export the MIDI as a file then load it into composition software like MuseScore to view/edit the staff notation and play it back.

Which brings up a failing of composition software, in comparison to word processing software. Autocorrect, spelling correction, grammar correction has been common on all word processing apps for years, even in browser windows. But there is no such feature for music composition, to enable a "spell check of melody & harmony", for example with different check boxes for flagging different types of errors.

There are lots of apps which allow writing music by dropping chords onto staff or onto some type of musical screen. So you dont have to know the chords, just their names, and notate those or them into place on a sequence.

Many guitarists just write tablature with tab software directly. They never look at the staff notation or even care about the theory, aka, are the notes "right or wrong". (I consider that a big limitation but it allows for easy writing)

It would be interesting to hear why you find music theory hard especially at the basic level of writing simple songs/etc, other than, it was never taught in 2nd grade along with reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. I agree it is much harder than it should be to learn the very basics of even "how to spell 'musical words'".
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:35 PM   #411
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The Piano Keyboard is limiting the performer, not suitable for human hands, favours a "special case 7 tones" scale (white keys) and a "special case pentatonic" (black keys).

The Staff is derived from bad practices, mainly influenced by church vocal chants and organon/organum (hydraulis in older times) instrument compositions. They favour the "special case 7 tones" as well.


I never played piano. I learned the Staff though (to some extend) only to realise that it was even worse than the piano keyboard it favours.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:38 PM   #412
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As a sidenote, most often I use the piano keyboard for concept development and a Wacom Cintiq for actual composition - drawing directly into piano roll, note positions and lengths corresponding to pen strokes.

The latter workflow is so rare that (AFAIK) no major DAW company has implemented support for Wacom pen pressure, in order to input also velocity and/or other note parameters in a single stroke of pen.
It's probably the most sensible way to "write" music by hand in a DAW, but I don't expect any DAW to support it properly until stylus/pen support is ubiquitous on all personal computing devices, which will take at least 10 more years, I think.
How about iPad + iPencil ? I thought iPencil had begun to solve this problem. Hmm, maybe not velocity input, though on the staff, the dynamics would be indicated with 'pp,mp,f' etc. I havent tried iPencil yet, and will soon. Whether or not the apps then properly translate iPencil writing of chord names/etc thru writing-recognition into notation is something else.
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:39 AM   #413
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Regarding the Staff...
I would like to see a composer taking a blank (I repeat - blank) sheet of paper and a pencil and start writing down their music ideas: intervals, phrases, melodies, chords (exact voicing, inversions), etc.

I want to see you drawing those 5 lines before you even start writing.
— Pff, I would have bought the prepared pages with the lines printed already!
— That is not a blank sheet of paper, buddy!

What happens if you write for two, three instruments!?

The Staff is an medieval piece of garbage. It is awful like that flat, rectangle piano keyboard, which should have been long ago gone (at least a century ago).
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:36 AM   #414
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as for staff paper, well, a novelist would not start writing a novel in pen & paper without using lined paper, typically. The pre-printed "template paper" is there as a tool for rapid speed of writing and legibility. I have copied short scores using completely white paper and it is a bit more time consuming to draw the many horizontal lines, but can be quite quick after some time (with a ruler). There have been authors who write entire novels from a completely blank roll of uncut paper but that is also quite rare and many of those still fed the paper into a typewriter rather than write letters by hand. Because it's a better/faster/more legible tool to use than hand writing.

previously, music writers ("writers" i.e. those using pencil and paper to write dot notes) would use stencils to quickly draw the lines and symbols. again this is due to legibility. I havent read the big biography on Mozart but I believe it mentions that most of his writing (quick idea writing) was freehand and incredibly messy and therefore very hard to read for the later clean copies.

music stencils for drawing staff lines and the more elaborate staff symbols can still be found today but they are rare because it was always a specialist's tool and nowadays no one copies by hand anymore except strict beginners who want to be composers.

The bigger problem is that many of the staff symbols are derived from quill writing's typical hand motions which is harder to mimic using a pencil (the quarter rest for example which I mentioned before, the squiggle).

steve vai has stories about copying staff by hand because he was fascinated by the ability to symbolize audible notes via writing music on paper.. worked well for him as he later became an expert transcriptionist.

staff notation has a large number of mini-symmetries and mnemonics which are a byproduct of the major scale. Things like, "major thirds will lie as adjacent notes, on either both lines, or both spaces" and "perfect fourth will skip to the next line or space, in alternating line or space of the first note", etc. Well, any pictograph system will have it's mnemonics created based on its own mini-symmetries and non-symmetries.

If you want to throw away current conventions of staff notation, then it is also interesting to consider why the need to write music using a horizontal axis of time and left-to-right reading. This is problematic because paper is portrait dimension, not landscape dimension, so it is a bit like people shooting video with their smartphone upright instead of in proper wide-angle orientation (16:9). The content should fit the format! Which could mean that music should be written the Japanese way: top to bottom in narrow columns (not left to right), with time moving down the page. Writing vertically also eliminates the problem of writing complex chords with many symbols which don't properly squeeze into a horizontal time axis, the symbols overflow into or over the next bar line.

The perfect example of the limitations of staff paper for complex music is that a master pianist will need a page-turner sitting next to them during a rehearsal or performance, whose only job is to turn the page at the proper time. Overall the problem is that there is a massive amount of information in music which needs to be condensed and compressed, and unpacked by human vision, in real-time, at speeds of up to 200 BPM, while the eyes are also busy to watch the instruments for placing the hands in their proper instrument position at that moment.


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Old 09-08-2019, 12:41 PM   #415
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Play piano faster! Only $49.99 ! Buy now!




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Old 09-08-2019, 02:25 PM   #416
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How about iPad + iPencil ? I thought iPencil had begun to solve this problem. Hmm, maybe not velocity input, though on the staff, the dynamics would be indicated with 'pp,mp,f' etc.
Wacom Cintiq displays have had pen-to-screen alignment and lag problems mostly solved for about a decade, becoming the standard professional digital pen interface. I am still somewhat surprised that very few musicians use it, but so far neither Wacom nor DAW makers have yet realized the potential market there.

Apple Pencil will surely help the general acceptance of pen/stylus input, since it matches (and in some areas surpasses) quality of Wacom's technology, and it's foreseeable that at some point all iPad models will support it, thus making it a standard. Some Microsoft Surface models and the rare PC tablets with Wacom EMR technology are also helping the progress along.

But the real change will come only after the cheapest devices will also have stylus input comparable to Wacom and iPad Pro, and the drivers and APIs for position, pressure, tilt and rotation will be standardized, to make support easy to add to any software.

In addition to using pressure for inputting static per-note velocity values, the "unique selling point" of pen pressure input would be drawing per-note automation in piano roll.
For example, at the start of the note one might apply more pressure than at the end, resulting in being able to draw expressions of volume (or some other property of the note) in same stroke as note itself. This would bring the standard DAW piano roll closer to expressiveness of acoustic instruments.

But I'm (sadly) sure that many years will pass before that will be possible in most DAWs.



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I havent tried iPencil yet, and will soon. Whether or not the apps then properly translate iPencil writing of chord names/etc thru writing-recognition into notation is something else.
Handwriting recognition is mostly a solved problem AFAIK and deciphering notes from chord names is trivial from programming perspective, as long as standards are adhered to. Not sure if that function exists in any app yet, but if I were to design it, it'd be three-step:
1) click on the staff where you want the notes in time,
2) write chord name,
3) select voicing.

The simplest would be "minimal voicing closest to clef, without ledger lines", so for example on a treble staff Am/E would start from E above middle C, then A, then C.

But - the question is whether it is faster to simply click the actual notes into the staff (this is already available in apps, as far as I know) and let the app write the chord name above it.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:31 PM   #417
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The perfect example of the limitations of staff paper for complex music is that a master pianist will need a page-turner sitting next to them during a rehearsal or performance, whose only job is to turn the page at the proper time.
If using a MIDIfied piano sending MIDI to an app, it's easy to program rudimentary logic for autoscrolling the staff based on which notes have already been played. I bet this is already a function in some app. If not, such an app is likely to be made in near future.

It's somewhat more challenging through audio-to-MIDI recognition, but AFAIK can be done well with AI trained for specific instruments.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:39 PM   #418
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The Staff is an medieval piece of garbage. It is awful like that flat, rectangle piano keyboard, which should have been long ago gone (at least a century ago).
I'm wondering, do you present this more as a personal opinion, or as a view that other people too should be made to accept?

In other words, if you had a dictator-like authority to force music schools and orchestras everywhere to stop using staff and piano keyboard, would you do that?
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:39 PM   #419
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The simplest would be "minimal voicing closest to clef, without ledger lines", so for example on a treble staff Am/E would start from E above middle C, then A, then C.
This is another illustration of lack of good notation, since most of my own Am/E would be open voicing for SATB, not closed voicing (close spacing) on piano, these are very different, and the chords could be either complete or incomplete too. Or there could also be "bass voicing" where the E is way down the octave like E2 and the Am is up at A5, typical in bass pedaling etc. So my Am/E could literally be the simultaneous playing of: E2 A3 C4 A5. Or, in a different context, it might be E2 A3 C4 C5.

There are dozens of possibilities for voicings, though the common ones, the notation should allow that, rather than every combination being called "Am/E" with the actual position of the individual notes remaining a mystery.

As mentioned previously in this thread the lack of adherence to scientific pitch names really bugs me . The better description would be A5m/E2 for example (if and only if the use of numbers for chord quality can be dispensed with so that the octave number is the only number used, or some similar alternative... aka if "figured bass" notation were replaced)

This notation improvement to specify octave in the chord name would go a long way towards reducing ambiguity on guitar, where various guitarists will play songs completely differently because they want to position their hands at their favorite spots on the guitar neck (ie typically it's the open-chord version of a song vs the mid-neck version of a song).



Fundamentally, and I should bring this point up more, "music theory" is not a theory, it is a hypothesis, a description of physical laws of acoustic waves, and the current music hypothesis and method of describing the hypothesis has a bunch of limitations.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:17 PM   #420
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Originally Posted by n997 View Post
I'm wondering, do you present this more as a personal opinion, or as a view that other people too should be made to accept?

In other words, if you had a dictator-like authority to force music schools and orchestras everywhere to stop using staff and piano keyboard, would you do that?
Yes to the first question and No to the second one, because I am not a medieval Church establishment.


Decided to make a small (tiny) demo. Had no idea about that composer Schumann and why he had to damage his fingers. Pity...
Please, click on the image below to open the video link.


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Old 09-08-2019, 06:47 PM   #421
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Had no idea about that composer Schumann and why he had to damage his fingers. Pity...
the rumor about Schumann is folklore and likely a myth. there is a more credible story that he had a disease which caused nerve damage. but for some reason it seems the story of him causing damage to his fingers because of a stretching machine has lingered. it would be good to do the history research before spreading the story about him. by the way, related stories say that the stretching machines and other various "medical" contraptions were somewhat popular items in that era, so even if schumann didnt damage his fingers, there were likely other common players who did.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:34 PM   #422
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"music theory" is not a theory
ya, that's first thing we learn in music theory class... or at least I did... you can use whatever method you choose, but these are just some ideas and tools others have found useful... take it or leave it...
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:16 AM   #423
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I'll prefer to believe that Schumann really did damage to his fingers.
Nerve disease... any hospital records? Nerve disease is a very prominent condition that can not be hidden and usually impacts other aspects of your daily life (and body), not only playing piano keyboard with your fingers.
So, I think he did made a kind of chiroplast ochydactyl off a cigar box...
Dear God, Dios mio, Господи боже...
in thy name the Holy Inquisition...
send him to the O C H Y D A C T Y L !
(this word sound like some kind of flying dinosaur)












This is one simple proof that good design is helpful. Bad design is harmful.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:35 PM   #424
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I'll prefer to believe that Schumann really did damage to his fingers.
Nerve disease... any hospital records? Nerve disease is a very prominent condition that can not be hidden and usually impacts other aspects of your daily life (and body), not only playing piano keyboard with your fingers.

well, if you look it up, you will see that historians have a great deal of trouble with lots of facts from celebrity people especially hundreds of years ago, and especially strange musicians, but, there is at least one newer history research publication on it being more definitively disease based. i'm sure you can imagine- if you were shooting to be a potential world-famous piano player & composer, with difficult financial situation and dependent on funds from picky patrons etc in order to survive day to day to compose music, you might spin things in a certain way too. He could be a funded composer if he were healthy and his hands were ruined... but if he had a potentially life-threatening disease then he would be ignored and never have any hope of a life of music. (I am sure we can all relate to making strange and/or crazy decisions based on the pursuit of making music.)

and like you said- you like the story of the torture-like device being to blame. it seems everyone has loved that story thru the centuries (whether false or accurate). Kind of like the ancient motif, "the fall of the hero" or something.

On a related difficulty-of-piano note: the Hanon piano exercises and exercises from his peers of that era. There was quite a period of piano-shredding where everyone was crazy about developing snake-oils or intense practice techniques in order to speed up their progress or their max speed. (Not unlike Guitar today or especially in the 80's!!) The hanon drills were part of an overall concept of "forcing the hand to mold into playing" and without the scientific method back then, there wasn't a disproof of it. Some of these beliefs carry through to current day. Highly strict piano teachers will still smack a ruler to a piano student's hand if their finger or wrist alignment isn't proper etc. (Even though science research shows this negative feedback is highly improper, even damaging) Or force long periods of repetitive drills. Yes, everybody has to do repetitive scales etc, but as a whole, there is more research showing that shorter times and switching tasks is better than "play this for 1 solid hour with no breaks!" strictness, etc. Now unfortunately, no one takes the bigger step to say: Why don't we design the piano to be much easier to play? Instead of trying to force players to mold to the piano? - like you have done, assuming some research proves it to have a lower learning curve and better muscle-memory retention, anatomical association to musical sounds, etc.

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Old 09-09-2019, 10:55 PM   #425
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ya, that's first thing we learn in music theory class... or at least I did... you can use whatever method you choose, but these are just some ideas and tools others have found useful... take it or leave it...
There's plenty of citations I could include on this thread from legenday, published musicians also stating the weaknesses in music theory, but the problem is, they are also so busy trying to teach the music theory in their essays, that they don't devote time to suggesting solutions, or even sometimes state literally, that they are not qualified to make a new system and that task should be left "to others."

So assuming we say "take it or leave it? let's leave it! and make a better system!" Well....what then?

That's exactly where Nashville notation came from, but it isn't complete. The normal player today will use "popular music notation" aka "jazz notation" like Am/E on their charts instead of the classical notation with roman numerals viio43. And it doesn't get much farther than that. There must be some better solution to this. Modern typesetting with new fonts, modern apps like MuseScore or Reaper, and MIDI file format for import/export should be able to open up so many previously-unavailable possibilities.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:27 PM   #426
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An example of ambiguity. Current theory fails to explain the physics of harmony. Is it a iv or is it a vi?

large image: https://lukedahn.files.wordpress.com...bach242ph6.jpg
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(If one wishes to include this ra as a structural chord tone, there are several options. One might argue that the appoggiatura figure creates an unresolved V7/VI; or one might say that a VII7/iv (or even a “V7/III of iv”?) is created by the F-natural; or, finally, one might suggest that the III(7)–V6/iv–V65/iv–iv progression is really a deceptive progression in C minor in which the arrival of the vi chord is embellished with a tonicization.)
large image: https://lukedahn.files.wordpress.com...360phfinal.jpg


Strange ("improper") custom use of chord notation for seventh chords in a music theory textbook: (This is very ugly and confusing use of M and m; and, the use of lowercase roman numerals plus lowercase m??)




Music theory has a hard time with The Beatles. C#+/E is spelled "E C# F A" according to the following Beatles expert ?


Quote:
The opening chord is one of those sonorities that defies a neat textbook analysis. Spelled from the bottom up, it's E - C# - F - A; an augmented triad on C# suspended over an E in the bass. In practical terms, the note on the bottom gives John the cue note for his vocal, and the augmented triad above it works as an aurally acceptable albeit surprising surrogate IV-like antecedent to the c# chord which leads off the verse.

Notes on "All I've Got To Do"
Notes on ... Series #36 (AIGTD)
by Alan W. Pollack

All I've Got To Do (Remastered 2009)

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Old 09-13-2019, 12:55 PM   #427
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Stanford Univ. has a long term research project in mathematical analysis of ancient music and writing software for harmonic statistical analysis. the tools used for this are called humdrum with the music data stored in .kern files (KernScores) and the entire set of things is summarized here: http://bit.ly/humdrum-data

among many other things, are tools for rendering the raw musical data to web images in svg, and midi playback. (but?? they haven't reinvented a new harmony notation to replace roman numerals??)

The GIT project for humdrumlib can be cloned, see here: https://humlib.humdrum.org/

There is an interactive web/cloud note editor which renders from the human-entered kern data format to the sheet music: http://verovio.humdrum.org/?file=moz...sonata01-1.krn

And a mode which shows harmonic analysis for some of the scores using the ugly current roman numeral notation system which makes the letters of the fonts blur together unless the view is coerced into using larger spacing.


Quote:
There is no easy way to download the entirety of KernScores. Creative people will web-crawl it, although I have breaks on that since some links run programs on the server and running too many programs at once could crash the server.

There are, however, some semi-automated ways of downloading complete subsections of kernScores. Go to the Essen folksong base page for example:
http://kern.humdrum.org/cgi-bin/browse?l=/essen

There is a "z" button near the top: if you click on this button, all of the Humdrum files within the Essen folksong collection will be downloaded:

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 1.57.58 AM.png



Notice that there are two "z" buttons: the upper one about the horizontal line is the one to click on. This a recursive download button. The second button is available on all pages that have files to download just the files on that page (the README.txt is the only thing on this page, so no data in this case).



Most interesting collections have recursive "z" buttons at their base page. Here is another for 1000 folksongs encoded by Damien Sagrillo:

http://kern.humdrum.org/cgi-bin/browse?l=users/sagrillo



My classical folder also has a recursive "z" button:

http://kern.humdrum.org/cgi-bin/brow...raig/classical



If you see a section of kernScores that you wish had a recursive button, I can add it (the recursive button is an optional feature on a page which I have to turn on). But no "z" button on the root folder :-). Copying all of kernScores will not be particularly useful as there are non-composition data files, student test files (which I should probably remove), also some short incipits from RISM Switzerland (which may or may not be of interest to you):

http://kern.humdrum.org/cgi-bin/browse?l=users/laurent



MuseData page (which will eventually be updated):

http://kern.humdrum.org/cgi-bin/browse?l=/musedata



Ohio State data:

http://kern.humdrum.org/cgi-bin/browse?l=/osu



Also not updated on the kernScores website, there are about 300 madrigals currently available from the Tasso in Music Project on github:

https://github.com/TassoInMusicProject/tasso-scores





If you have access to MusicXML scores, you can also convert to Humdrum data. The converter is available in the VHV website:

http://doc.verovio.humdrum.org/interface/musicxml/

If you want to do automated conversions on the command-line, then compile musicxml2hum tool from the humlib repository:

https://github.com/craigsapp/humlib

(there is also "xml2hum" in the Humdrum Extras repository, but this is now eclipsed by musicxml2hum, so use that instead). If there are problems converting a file (as musicxml2hum is still in development), then you can report errors to

https://github.com/craigsapp/humlib/issues

or

https://github.com/humdrum-tools/ver...-viewer/issues



The Choral Public Domain Library often includes MusicXML data for the posted scores:

http://cpdl.org/wiki





Many of the more complete dataset of kernScores are available on Github in a meta-repository:

https://github.com/humdrum-tools/humdrum-data



If anyone wants to add a repertory to kernScores or this repository, then they should create a repository on Github, and then I will link it into the humdrum-data meta repository. I can give instructions on how the data repository should be organized (which will allow easy use with VHV as well later this year hopefully).



Much of the above discussion is related to some slides I presented in class a couple of weeks ago:

http://bit.ly/humdrum-data

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