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Spelling in artificial scales.

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

MadBrain
KVRian
 
713 posts since 1 Dec, 2004

Postby MadBrain; Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:18 pm Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

If you're going to be played by pianists, you could probably ask them what's easiest to read... I'd go for a key signature of C major or C minor if the song is in the key of C, presumably C major here since that's what's closest of your scale, and then notate all accidentals F# and Ab. Though for chords like D F# Ab, I'd be really tempted to write them as D F# G#, since that's essentially a version of D7#11 or Dmaj7#11 (both of which have G# instead of Ab)... then again I've also seen D7b5 in a fake book, which isn't right (the real chord is D7#11) but it's still easy enough to read.

Looking up parts for the Simspons theme song (which starts in C lydian dominant - C D E F# G A Bb), they are notated with a C major key signature, with alterations on every F# and Bb. One guitar version uses Gb instead of F# for some reason (probably wrong). One Eb alto sax part is appropriately transposed in A, with the A major key signature. That being said, the song transposes pretty soon in B major, and some transcriptions have the matching key changes but most don't.

The notation rules/tips I've seen are:
- If the scale has, say, a 5 but no 4, and you have to notate a #4/b5, go for #4 (so it doesn't conflict with 5). Inversely if 4 appears but no 5, go for b5 (so it doesn't conflict with 4). Normally your scale shouldn't have repeated note degrees (so G Ab B C is preferable to G G# B C since it doesn't repeat any degrees). A large proportion of constructed scales can be spelled without repeated degrees.
- Indian classical music uses 1, b2/2, b3/3, 4/#4, 5, b6/6, b7/7 to construct scales, so other degrees (b1, #1, #2, #3, b4, b5, #5, #6, #7) don't appear. Constructed scales tend to fit into the same pattern so this gives a good clue on which alterations you should use (obviously, your lydian b6 scale fits perfectly here).
- If you have a chromatic run (4 #4/b5 5), use a sharp for runs going up, and a flat when going down.
- Starting with a major scale, most of your potential melodic scale alterations are going to be flats (b2 b3 b6 b7) since the alternatives don't make sense from a melodic scale building point of view (#1 #2 #5 #6). This doesn't apply to chromatic alterations (see above) or secondary dominants (in C major, chords like A7, B7, D7, E7, F#7 appear with sharps C#, D#, F#, G#, A#) or augmented chords (C+ should be C E G#, not C E Ab).
- Sharps/flats will often follow the chords. If Fm appears in C, obviously this should be notated F, Ab, C rather than F, G#, C (which confusingly looks like Fsus2).
- The exception to this is dim7 chords... technically they are 1 b3 b5 bb7 but this quickly generates very hard to read chords (Ebdim7 = Eb Gb Bbb Dbb?!?) so they are usually notated with the most readable notes even if they are wrong (Eb F# A C or Eb Gb A C).
- I wouldn't use key signatures other than the standard ones (0 to 7 sharps from C to C#, 1 to 7 flats from F to Cb), since they are prone to errors. For instance, if your lydian b6 scale was in A, you'd end up with A B C# D# E F G#, and the musician would read that as 3 sharps and play A B C# D E F# G# instead. Though you could notate your song in C lydian since that has a standard 1 sharp signature (I'd still go for C major though, personally).
- Some things are notated differently in classical music and jazz. For instance, in the key of C major, you'd have Ab7 in jazz, which would be notated Ab C Eb Gb. In classical music, the same chord is called a German 6th and is spelled Ab C Eb F# (with an augmented 6th, which makes no sense from a harmonic point of view, but totally makes sense from a voice leading perspective since the F# resolves to G).
- When appropriate, you might want to give precaution alterations to your musicians (alterations in parenthesis). For instance, if you decide to go with G# in a bar (presumably in a D7#11 chord and without Ab in the preceding bars), and then G appears in the following bar, you could precede that G with a natural sign in parenthesis.
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:49 am Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

Musicologo wrote:Let's say I build up an artificial scale with raised fourth and lowered sixth.
c-d-e-f#-g-ab-b-c

1) How do I notate this? Do I use any key signature or not?

Does it make sense to use accidentals on the go permanently? Or "borrow" the g key signature and apply flats on all "a"s? or whatever?

2) The same for chord spelling. My chord built up on second degree would be d-f#-ab. is this a "pretty thing" to do? I imagine a pianist crying with this. Shall I notate it d-f#-g# instead?...

3) Not to mention modulations and transpositions of artificial scales...

If I "follow" the theoretical rules, it is good because it is clear WHY and how the pitches show up. But they can be very ambiguous and cumbersome for the players, specially pianists who like to sight-read and already know how to read "conventional chords" by heart by just looking at their shape.
You have built up an artificial scale. This does not signal to me needing to borrow things from keys, or tie to key in this functional way.

I'm making an assumption your choice is musically meaningful. This gets lost here. The choice typically means you like the intervals in a line. Not sure of your choice, after seeing you state the problem of a key signature you fear is you have a Major-diminished chord spelled right.

So, do you have to conform to the prejudices of your strawman pianist or do you want to write what it is; you may want to proceed differently than I, but you have Ab in your scale, and if you have to make chords, you have a D7b5 out of this thing triadically. It's not actually an augmented 4th per the scale, there is no G# to A.

I don't know what convention gives you the #4, but b5 is conventional in jazz and this is a triadic spelling. :shrug:
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:05 am Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

MadBrain wrote:If you're going to be played by pianists, you could probably ask them what's easiest to read... I'd go for a key signature of C major or C minor if the song is in the key of C, presumably C major here since that's what's closest of your scale, and then notate all accidentals F# and Ab. Though for chords like D F# Ab, I'd be really tempted to write them as D F# G#, since that's essentially a version of D7#11 or Dmaj7#11 (both of which have G# instead of Ab)... then again I've also seen D7b5 in a fake book, which isn't right (the real chord is D7#11) but it's still easy enough to read.
I have no idea why you need that to be right. With Ab we have a triadic spelling. The scale makes perfect sense with Ab on the face of it, it's spelled right to me. As a scale we don't have two Gs in it reasonably.

It's not essentially a #11. that is not what 'essentially' means. D7b5 is written all the time and I'm sure it's always right if that's what the thought is. You have some odd rules and that one isn't thought through. You should not impose that on someone. You're making a cart pull a horse for some reason and you missed something building the cart.
Musicologo
KVRist
 
216 posts since 10 May, 2008, from Lisboa, Portugal

Postby Musicologo; Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:38 pm Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

Jancivil and MadBrain your two posts represent exactly the crux of the problem.

One thing is the "sound" and the reason why the sound was obtained.

Another thing is the communication of that sound to players or others through notation.

The way I do things, I play on piano a melody. I compose it. And then I realize "where does this comes from?" and I realize that the melody is based on scale X. I try to organize it, the way madbrain said, avoiding clashes and repetitions.

I'm giving the concrete example you should know by now.
(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/142 ... ion%29.mp3 for those who need remembering)


I've realized after some though that The Snowboy and Crow melody, comes from the scale

Eb - F# - G - A - Bb - C# - D - Eb.

Some assumptions:

1) The melody uses all these tones, so that's why I believe it "comes from it".
2) I've spelled it this way, because I feel/hear a tonal center in the Eb pitch. Coming from that and avoiding note repetitions, all the other ones follow naturally (f# cannot be Gb otherwise, G would overlap, etc)...
3) Following the same reason, the chords built on top of this scale that I use are Eb - G - Bb - C#... Ops... I should use D, but for some reason the chord that I want "to hear" is the Db7...
4) The second chord that I use is A - C# - Db - F#... ops!...

Now...
In terms of tonal references, the chord Eb - G - Bb - C# is basically a Eb7, so if I notate it Eb - G - Bb - Db everyone will know what it is and it is probably identified this way.
The same for the other chord, it is probably "best understood" if I spelled it A - C# - D# - F#...

On the other hand, if I want to reinforce that the sound Eb IS the sound that matters and the main triad is indeed Eb - G - Bb, I borrowed the key of Eb as key signature. And by borrowing that "convention" then it was convenient to spell C# as Db, and to assume the Eb - Db pedal as a relevant thing.

This solved the Eb - G - Bb - Db spelling, but complicated the A - C# - Eb - F# spelling, because now I would need to constantly alternate these two spellings. Then I've decided to spell it A - Db - Eb - F#. At this point the F# "looked" strange on paper and made more sense to have it A - Db - Eb - Gb (?)...

Argh... I just got lost...
Not to mention that as soon it modulates (like 10 seconds after it begins lol) the nightmare begins all over...


Well, these same issues arise in EVERY tune I make that uses this kind of base... A melody composed with quirky intervals (i love using scales with 1,5 steps in there)...

So basically, It's very convenient to me to have these systems sorted out, to feed them into my symbolic composer and whatever because then I know how to model the "sound" and I can understand where the sound comes from...

BUT, whenever I want to spell it and notate it for the purpose of communicating them to others, or even commercial purposes, they clash with the expectations of players who are used to interpret classical/jazz scores, or EVEN when listening and following a score start making interpretations of the SOUND and not of the process... I'd say, by your own experience JanCivil, when you hear the snowboy and Crow tune, you replied to me with the matter of the pedal... noone would actually "HEAR" a Eb - G - Bb - C# chord, because it does NOT have that "function"... it's just a mental process to try to systematize that sound....
Play fair and square!
tapper mike
KVRAF
 
3624 posts since 19 Jan, 2008

Postby tapper mike; Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:02 pm Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

Musicologo wrote:Jancivil and MadBrain your two posts represent exactly the crux of the problem.

One thing is the "sound" and the reason why the sound was obtained.

Another thing is the communication of that sound to players or others through notation.

The way I do things, I play on piano a melody. I compose it. And then I realize "where does this comes from?" and I realize that the melody is based on scale X. I try to organize it, the way madbrain said, avoiding clashes and repetitions.

I'm giving the concrete example you should know by now.
(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/142 ... ion%29.mp3 for those who need remembering)


I've realized after some though that The Snowboy and Crow melody, comes from the scale

Eb - F# - G - A - Bb - C# - D - Eb.

Some assumptions:

1) The melody uses all these tones, so that's why I believe it "comes from it".
2) I've spelled it this way, because I feel/hear a tonal center in the Eb pitch. Coming from that and avoiding note repetitions, all the other ones follow naturally (f# cannot be Gb otherwise, G would overlap, etc)...
3) Following the same reason, the chords built on top of this scale that I use are Eb - G - Bb - C#... Ops... I should use D, but for some reason the chord that I want "to hear" is the Db7...
4) The second chord that I use is A - C# - Db - F#... ops!...

Now...
In terms of tonal references, the chord Eb - G - Bb - C# is basically a Eb7, so if I notate it Eb - G - Bb - Db everyone will know what it is and it is probably identified this way.
The same for the other chord, it is probably "best understood" if I spelled it A - C# - D# - F#...

On the other hand, if I want to reinforce that the sound Eb IS the sound that matters and the main triad is indeed Eb - G - Bb, I borrowed the key of Eb as key signature. And by borrowing that "convention" then it was convenient to spell C# as Db, and to assume the Eb - Db pedal as a relevant thing.

This solved the Eb - G - Bb - Db spelling, but complicated the A - C# - Eb - F# spelling, because now I would need to constantly alternate these two spellings. Then I've decided to spell it A - Db - Eb - F#. At this point the F# "looked" strange on paper and made more sense to have it A - Db - Eb - Gb (?)...

Argh... I just got lost...
Not to mention that as soon it modulates (like 10 seconds after it begins lol) the nightmare begins all over...


Well, these same issues arise in EVERY tune I make that uses this kind of base... A melody composed with quirky intervals (i love using scales with 1,5 steps in there)...

So basically, It's very convenient to me to have these systems sorted out, to feed them into my symbolic composer and whatever because then I know how to model the "sound" and I can understand where the sound comes from...

BUT, whenever I want to spell it and notate it for the purpose of communicating them to others, or even commercial purposes, they clash with the expectations of players who are used to interpret classical/jazz scores, or EVEN when listening and following a score start making interpretations of the SOUND and not of the process... I'd say, by your own experience JanCivil, when you hear the snowboy and Crow tune, you replied to me with the matter of the pedal... noone would actually "HEAR" a Eb - G - Bb - C# chord, because it does NOT have that "function"... it's just a mental process to try to systematize that sound....



ML
Your approach mirrors that of Howard Roberts. Founder of Guitar Institute (GIT) In one of his Guitar Player Magazine lessons "Playing at the speed of sound" He hypothesis creating scales from otherwise unrelated chord tones.

When explaining it to others in a group the rhythm section really only needs to know the chords. You could represent the changes to scale tones outside of the diatonic structure as direct modulations.

Quite often with guitar "comping" no one actually hears all the components of the chord. Usually the root and the 5th are omitted leaving the 3rd and any other chord tone (often the 7th or the 6th) This can liberate the melody. What gets transcibed later are often not the verbatim harmony but a cross section of the harmony and the melody.

EG if a transcriber "hears" D Eb F# A from your Eb - F# - G - A - Bb - C# - D - Eb They will likely assign the value of DMab9 or a D "add b9

If you go off on one of these non standarized approaches to chord/scales then it's up to you to explain it only so much as the musician needs to know. Miles Davis often used that approach wnen dealing with musicians. He'd hand out a little slip of paper with the chord tones he wanted to use in a piece.
Mingus was quite a bit more liberal. He'd create a melody based on a chord progression then throw away the progression and tell the musicians to interpert what to play based on what he was playing

If you are unclear with your intent then those who try to percieve it will be equally unclear.
MadBrain
KVRian
 
713 posts since 1 Dec, 2004

Postby MadBrain; Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:44 pm Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

jancivil wrote:
MadBrain wrote:If you're going to be played by pianists, you could probably ask them what's easiest to read... I'd go for a key signature of C major or C minor if the song is in the key of C, presumably C major here since that's what's closest of your scale, and then notate all accidentals F# and Ab. Though for chords like D F# Ab, I'd be really tempted to write them as D F# G#, since that's essentially a version of D7#11 or Dmaj7#11 (both of which have G# instead of Ab)... then again I've also seen D7b5 in a fake book, which isn't right (the real chord is D7#11) but it's still easy enough to read.
I have no idea why you need that to be right. With Ab we have a triadic spelling. The scale makes perfect sense with Ab on the face of it, it's spelled right to me. As a scale we don't have two Gs in it reasonably.

It's not essentially a #11. that is not what 'essentially' means. D7b5 is written all the time and I'm sure it's always right if that's what the thought is. You have some odd rules and that one isn't thought through. You should not impose that on someone. You're making a cart pull a horse for some reason and you missed something building the cart.


Afaik you can almost always add A to a D7b5 (probably voiced an octave below the Ab/G#), but you can almost never add G (since it forms a F#-G-Ab cluster), which does suggest that the tritone is indeed a #4 instead of a b5... but it's just a theoretical issue anyways, and the melody might well suggest a b5 in the context of the song's key, too (plus D7b5 is easy to read).

Musicologo wrote:[...]
I've realized after some though that The Snowboy and Crow melody, comes from the scale

Eb - F# - G - A - Bb - C# - D - Eb. [...]


Yeah I'd spell that scale with all flats... one one hand, you want to use all notes, but on the other hand C# D Eb is clearly chromatic, and C# is probably always a minor 7th rather than an augmented 6th, so I'd notate that Db D Eb. Same for F# - even though spelling it that way avoids the conflict with G, the note itself is probably a minor 3rd rather than an augmented 2nd, so I'd go for Gb. Imho it's a scale with two 3rds and two 7ths, but having no 2nds and no 6ths. So I'd use a key signature of Eb major (due to the similarity with the major blues scale) and spell the scale this way:

Eb Gb G A Bb Db D

As for the A chord (which you can write as A6b5, essentially a version of A13#11 without the 7th and 5th), the theoretically correct way to spell it would be all sharps IMHO (A C# D# F#, corresponding to the 1 3 #4 6), and this does preserve the major 3rd between A and C#/Db, but then you'd be dealing with lots of confusing alterations so it's probably way easier to read as A Db Eb Gb in a song notated in the key of Eb major.

Musicologo wrote:BUT, whenever I want to spell it and notate it for the purpose of communicating them to others, or even commercial purposes, they clash with the expectations of players who are used to interpret classical/jazz scores, or EVEN when listening and following a score start making interpretations of the SOUND and not of the process... I'd say, by your own experience JanCivil, when you hear the snowboy and Crow tune, you replied to me with the matter of the pedal... noone would actually "HEAR" a Eb - G - Bb - C# chord, because it does NOT have that "function"... it's just a mental process to try to systematize that sound....


Yeah, when you're writing out parts, your goal is to just get something easy to read that will get you a correct interpretation...
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:10 am Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

MadBrain wrote:
jancivil wrote:
MadBrain wrote:If you're going to be played by pianists, you could probably ask them what's easiest to read... I'd go for a key signature of C major or C minor if the song is in the key of C, presumably C major here since that's what's closest of your scale, and then notate all accidentals F# and Ab. Though for chords like D F# Ab, I'd be really tempted to write them as D F# G#, since that's essentially a version of D7#11 or Dmaj7#11 (both of which have G# instead of Ab)... then again I've also seen D7b5 in a fake book, which isn't right (the real chord is D7#11) but it's still easy enough to read.
I have no idea why you need that to be right. With Ab we have a triadic spelling. The scale makes perfect sense with Ab on the face of it, it's spelled right to me. As a scale we don't have two Gs in it reasonably.

It's not essentially a #11. that is not what 'essentially' means. D7b5 is written all the time and I'm sure it's always right if that's what the thought is. You have some odd rules and that one isn't thought through. You should not impose that on someone. You're making a cart pull a horse for some reason and you missed something building the cart.


Afaik you can almost always add A to a D7b5 (probably voiced an octave below the Ab/G#), but you can almost never add G (since it forms a F#-G-Ab cluster), which does suggest that the tritone is indeed a #4 instead of a b5... but it's just a theoretical issue anyways, and the melody might well suggest a b5 in the context of the song's key, too (plus D7b5 is easy to read).
An <A natural> 'added to a D7b5'? I'm for meaningful names...
Sure, if there IS an A, it's better not to have any Ab! So there is one reason to say "#11", I would want to say '#11' given that A. Maybe another reason would be the voicing and/or spacing. Or that was just the idea, such as based in a melodic choice. But you'd called a random 7b5
wrong
"essentially" it *is* #11, as though b5 is wrong per se. What you have there does not through itself 'suggest' the tritone is a #11. No. You refuted yourself directly.

If one wanted to do a P11th, your 'G' on top of D7b5, there would be a musical reason for it hopefully and that's that. In the practice of that particular harmony [dominant 7th] it's not your usual given chord. It could be exactly what someone hears there, though, for that moment. However if it's a m7b5, the 11th is in fact kind of typical.
So. There is not usually going to be 'both' 11ths, or both 5ths, because it's unwieldy. Typically a major third's presence is going to preclude a P11th in the style. Your straw chord of P5/b5/11 aka P5/11/#11 is not going to happen on purpose usually, it's just unwieldy. Should we encounter it, here is a degree of dissonance that has kind of exceeded these names and functions, I would expect.

A major/minor 7th chord with a b5, ie, a 'dominant seventh' type with a b5 is typically a dominant function to one of two targets (albeit it may deceive at that point, this is a truism).
C7b5 serves as dominant to F and as [flat five] substitute dominant to B, for instance. C E Gb Bb = F# A# C E in this theory. So the flat fifth, Gb likes to move to F; the flat fifth C likes to move to B. Voice leading. This is a meaningful thing to say about the harmony, given 'b5' as a sign. It's a normative in bebop.

It isn't going to bother me either way, call it what you like; particularly as we are restricted to 12 tones in this theory: Gb = F#.

But back to the original point, as a scale it's spelled right. So I think the truth should be told in any key signature, because I like a true statement rather than a false one that must be immediately corrected. It's simpler. OTOH if you are indeed writing for someone this green, why not tailor to them. But this notion of a classical person in the abstract that can't deal with F# and Ab in a sig? That's not real. If there is this person, they're really uneducated.
Last edited by jancivil on Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:14 am, edited 3 times in total.
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:52 am Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

MadBrain wrote:
Musicologo wrote:[...]
I've realized after some though that The Snowboy and Crow melody, comes from the scale

Eb - F# - G - A - Bb - C# - D - Eb. [...]


Yeah I'd spell that scale with all flats... one one hand, you want to use all notes, but on the other hand C# D Eb is clearly chromatic, and C# is probably always a minor 7th rather than an augmented 6th, so I'd notate that Db D Eb. Same for F# - even though spelling it that way avoids the conflict with G, the note itself is probably a minor 3rd rather than an augmented 2nd, so I'd go for Gb. Imho it's a scale with two 3rds and two 7ths, but having no 2nds and no 6ths. So I'd use a key signature of Eb major (due to the similarity with the major blues scale) and spell the scale this way.
I would spell it as given. Here is a scale spelled by consecutive letter names, as scales tend to be. Your reasoning doesn't work for me. It's an artificial scale, probably arrived at for its own effect, qua itself. 'Due to its similarity with the major blues scale', well that's an external consideration.

I can give a sound reason for F# to G: it is an augmented second moving to the major third. THIS HAPPENS, this is a known thing in some musics. You are forcing it to be a minor third because you're more comfortable with that for this or another prejudice. It's not apt, IMO. I have no reason to believe 'it's probably a minor third', at all. I think you are dismissing an interval without cause there.
Blues thirds and sevenths as if making a scale is an artifice, it isn't what happens in a blues music, 'the major blues scale'.
You'd have a nine-note scale with that (blues as nine-note scales? I'm skeptical); here were seven notes: e, f, g, a, b, c, d. Simple.
Musicologo
KVRist
 
216 posts since 10 May, 2008, from Lisboa, Portugal

Postby Musicologo; Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:02 pm Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

Yes, thanks for the long responses. I love these discussions. Very good points from both parts. Sometimes it's a compromise.

I can see why having a "true" key (with flat and sharp) and keeping all the reasoning behind it, IS the way to go, specially feeding that to a computer. it makes sense since it is the basic algorithm for creating the material.

On the other hand, when feeding that to a human, I can see madbrain approach to be more "useful" for sight-reading.

Sometimes even software is not coherent, because the purpose is defeated...
Many-a-times i just write a chord in the piano, and then the notation program generates a guitar diagram with the "jazz" notation that better express those notes, regardless of the original function or spelling. A Dm7 sometimes is a F6, and a G7b5/Ab arises instead of a Db7(4), etc, etc, etc... whatever is more useful to "be read"...
Play fair and square!
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:42 pm Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

The scale with Eb F# G is pretty tense, and for me has a bit of a tendency for Eb to be pulled by the D. That doesn't have to be the truest statement, and it could be that this is the very quality you want by this... but that's probably part of my feeling for the truth of F# vs Gb. The scale feels ambiguous, and 'G F# Eb D' is a thing. I think 'F#' is the major third of D in other words.

I was working recently for some time with Marwa raga. Which violates something fundamental in ICM to begin with, though not nominatively.

Given from 'C = Sa' or tonic: C 'Db' E F# A B. BUT the drone should be A and C, there is no P5 to be found. SO the putative major sixth is where the sound is rooted. There are many things that can happen out of this thing but they all come across as 'dusk' sort of vibe.

Giving this to any other musician, I would spell it as above as "correct". However the distinction Db vs C# isn't as meaningful as the theory of the purity of that spelling would prefer. I've had more than one musician that knows it characterize it as major pentatonic from "A" with an occasional minor third [C]. So the putative tonic is actually the mystery note! Even as one of the drone notes, the C# assumes primacy over it.

So as per 'clearly chromatic' vis a vis a very similar thing in your scale [the same, should we take D as 1]; it might work like that, it might not be anything to dwell on, or you'd even want to say 'never do this', such as raga pre- and pro-scribes moves with the given notes. So, with that B-C-'Db' thing, it could have a quite different feeling depending on where you are. It wouldn't do to keep at it like it's nothing. Ali Akbar Khan's renditions smack of atonality as he's octave-displacing those, though. He doesn't appear to be thinking of it as a major pentatonic with a twist. OTOH Rishab Prasanna on bansuri is doing real bluesy moves by it, albeit preserving her innate unsettling character.
Musicologo
KVRist
 
216 posts since 10 May, 2008, from Lisboa, Portugal

Postby Musicologo; Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:41 pm Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

Let's think this way: I came up with this scale because it has two 1,5 step intervals in it. It has the "same" feeling of the "simpsons" scale but in a heightened way. So in that sense the Eb-F# and the Bb-C# are the "treasures" to preserve around here.

On the other hand the western feeling expectation is around those thirds might require the "D" to be there. I guess when I use the constant pedal Eb-C#(Db) I'm trying to get around that - in a sense I'm providing an implicit "D" both to the Bb and to the F#. And I think that is the reason why this works... Perhaps instead of the constant pedal Eb-C# I could just do "D" or even the cluster "C#-D-Eb" and they would all work somehow...
Play fair and square!
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:23 am Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

Well, Simpsons is a lydian sort of move, which 'resolves' up a semitone. That would tend to verify my 'augmented second'. The result though of your Bb C# as aug 2nd will be that D, parallel to F#-G at the fifth. So you're eliding a couple of things deliberately, I take it, so my guess, right or wrong is that this is hard to root.

I listened to my thing based in Marwa and I do the 'chromatic' ^7-8-b9 exactly once and it's striking, how up in the air it is; the b2 or b9 does not work as that, nor does it indicate it's the major third of '6', even though eventually it absolutely does that, 1-b2 is now a clear minor/major gesture. The first time I heard it by Rajendra Prasanna it was hard to root because you get ambiguities out of it and various notions of where you're located in it. So I looked it up. Then I heard Khanji do it on the sarod, and I was 'REALLY?' because he went for the most avant-garde thing I ever heard In The Tradition. Yet Rajendra's son takes it more as that pentatonic with a dark color, rather blues third. The sarod is drier in terms of overtones, availing some freedom from the tonal implication.
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:47 am Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

Musicologo wrote:On the other hand the western feeling expectation is around those thirds might require the "D" to be there.
My feeling for the F# D is something other than that. D Eb F# G won't be much of a western tetrachord either way.
JumpingJackFlash
KVRian
 
1146 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:18 am Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

jancivil wrote:D Eb F# G won't be much of a western tetrachord either way.


Though it does remind one of G harmonic minor..?
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
Musicologo
KVRist
 
216 posts since 10 May, 2008, from Lisboa, Portugal

Postby Musicologo; Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:42 am Re: Spelling in artificial scales.

Humm, how about a totally different interpretation that I've come up with.
Instead of thinking of this song in Eb, let's think of it in D.

D-Eb-F#-G-A-Bb-C#-D. Then it's actually an "arabic" scale with 2nd and 6th degree lowered.

If one pays attention to the melody Bb|Eb-C#-Bb|A (the motif I play right in the beginning), and the harmony, one could define then these movements as Eb7-D, so bII7-I, a typical dominant-tonic, dominant-tonic movement (using tritonic substitution).

And this suddenly makes more sense. So my tonic all along was D, and the tension is because I've been reafirming the bII all along and I NEVER resolve to that D. I always make it implicit, because instead of going Eb-G-Bb-C# -> D-F#-A I go to C#-Eb-F#-A.
I go to a cluster implying that D, but never actually playing it...

If I actually play the D it sounds good. I can perfectly sing this tune using the Eb7-D Eb7-D chords and makes sense. So basically i'm just "avoiding" the root of the D, but in a certain way it's there all the time.
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