Note to self: scales

Note to self: When creating the intervallic processes for a line, one could set the value ‘1’ as ‘1 scale degree’ and then create a scale (as close to or as far from traditional scales as you like) that belongs to that particular line. So you just work with ordinary integers for ease of calculation, but then you input this number distribution into the new scale ‘grid’.

Scales could be whole-tone, 24-tone, 36-tone, major, minor, modal, octatonic, spectrally derived, or newly created multiple octave scales… And of course the scales can be malleable and can be changed/replaced/etc, so as to not get stuck and to create a greater sense of development.

This will really then help define the character of each line. You see, the problem before was that, while my interval processes defined an overall trajectory of the line, they leveled out the pitch and intervallic definition of the line, since they tended to work with ‘1’ as ‘semitone’ and there was rarely a characteristic intervallic structure that emerged, so all lines tended towards the same types of pitch material (with some ad hoc solutions to this). This decreased the polyphonic stratification or differentiation of the lines, and also decreased one’s capacity to bring lines together into the same harmonic space.

This is something I will try to work in in parts of Si el clima

Of course, this doesn’t resolve the issue of how to deal with collective harmony since it is simply defining the pitch characters of each line, but it does point in the direction of harmony. A couple approaches spring to mind:

  1. Lines more or less ‘sharing’ qualities of each others’ scales (this could be manipulated as a process)
  2. Lines more or less sharing pitches from each others’ scales (likewise…)
  3. Creating a total harmonic filter that applies, like the bar does for rhythm, to the lines, forcing them to adjust their scales to it or to ignore it, to a greater or lesser extent and in a variety of ways. This filter would of course be a progression and could have a greater or lesser sense of tension and release, or a greater or lesser degree of referentiality, embedded in it.

If I head down this path, though, I may need to start getting my head around OM software or something! Otherwise it will take forever…