• Pablo Ziffer

Polychromatic pitch-color awareness: intervals - 72 edo




A pitch-color awareness exercise focused on interval-colors in relation to a static bass pitch. Single pitches, diads and simple cluster harmonies are used in effort to bring out the distinctive interval-color contrasts in a musical way (in context). Note an unending process of extension in our traditional musical vocabulary to express new ideas in modern music. 'TRIAD' is used here as any combination of 3 notes; similar in concept to the 2 note diad. In this polychromatic context, 'Triad' becomes a more generalized concept. The prior definition was based on the assumption of ‘triadic’ (major/minor third) harmonic configurations and their inversions. Harmonic ‘triad’ was coined in 1612, defining triadic chords as stacked intervals of minor or major third. 'POLYPHONY' is used in the modern context as the number of simultaneous notes sounded (counterpoint and/or harmony; i.e. polyphonic synthesizer). The historical definition (13th century) of polyphony described two or more simultaneous lines of melody (counterpoint); as opposed to a harmonic texture composed of one melody line and chords (homophony), or a melody without harmony (monophony; analogy: monophonic synthesizer). I also use polyphony to distinguish the word 'HARMONIC' between its two musical meanings: polyphony (harmony) vs. overtones (harmonics). In the same way, the ‘OCTAVE’ was generalized from its initial conception in a modal (7 note scale) system, where the octave repeated on the 8th note. Later, the octave was extended in use to a 12 note, chromatic system (where the 'octave' repeats on the 13th note). Western triadic 'TONAL' harmony originated around the 15th century (Renaissance). In our modern context, 'tonal' has been extended in its traditional musical use (i.e. polytonal), and Is also used to distinguish and define a different element: pitch gradation (i.e. microtonal). Schoenberg abandoned tonality in the exploration of chromatic serialism (atonality - lack of tonal center). He resisted the term 'atonal', feeling that all music was tonal. It appears that he was unintentionally equivocating the two distinct and different meanings of the word 'tonal'. Ay = 432 Hz auditory resolution: 72 notes per octave