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#16August 2nd, 2007 · 12:24 AM
44 threads / 6 songs
305 posts
United States of America
lol i so agree with random dave. I'm a music theory buff, but holy shit you guys lost me by the second involved post
#17August 2nd, 2007 · 12:34 AM
44 threads / 6 songs
305 posts
United States of America
re: Scaling the fish...
Stringbreaker wrote…
Not trying to be confusing here. I was a math major (big surprise here...) before diving into music. I took all of the possibilities for scales and sorted them. I was only dealing with the heptatonic (7 note) and the pentatonic. I do not deal with micro tonal scales because I believe we are not finished with the 12 note scale system by a long shot.

We are dealing with a form of abstraction here in order to get to the heart of the matter. Take for instance the Ionian mode of the major scale. C D E F G A B C. If we reduce this to numbers where the semitone = 1, this can be represented as 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 (read M2 M2 m2 M2 M2 M2 m2 with M2 = Major 2nd and m2 = minor 2nd): if you add all of these together, you get the number 12. Careful examination of a number of scales show that when returning to the root note, it always adds up to 12.

I took every possible group of 7 sets of numbers that added to 12 and sorted them. I got 462 possibilities. Dividing that by 7, as every scale belongs to a group of modes (just like the melodic and harmonic minor scales), and you have 66 groups. Granted, you get nearly useless groups like C Db Ebb Fbb Gbbb Abbbb Bbbbbb and its modes, but this is for completeness, not usability.

I am sure that if I declare a given scale useless, some musician more talented (or more reckless) will create a piece of music that justifiably uses the scale.

Hope this clears up where my numbers came from.

PS, there is a real instrument that does in fact slide between the notes. It is the Transperformance self tuning guitar and it can retune in performance live by pressing a button with the pitch of strings going up and down simultaneously. I have played it. Too rich for my blood, however.

This makes sense. He's just grouping what he thinks are the most normalized scales. Granted, this is not new music theory but I'm sure it will help someone. There are a whole hell of a lot of scales out there. As he said, 462 possible combinations.

BTW, how'd you get 462? 12 C 7 (out of 12 combinations of 7) don't equal 462
#18August 2nd, 2007 · 09:14 AM
19 threads / 15 songs
84 posts
United States of America
Not the way I derived it
If I could make attachments I would post the data right here. As it is, if you like I can email you an exported .html file (from word) that has all 462 of them if you like. I came up with the number by creating them all and then counting. In any case, I made sets of 7 numbers where integers are equivalent to semitones - [2 2 1 2 2 2 1] = [M2 M2 m2 M2 M2 M2 m2] = whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step. And this one is C D E F G A B C. Now any group like [2 2 1 2 2 2 1] that equals 12 when added together will produce a scale. I listed every one with the root note of C. There were 462 of them. I then grouped them the same way the Ionian Modes are arranged. 462 / 7 = 66 groups.

Remember, I regard as legitimate scales things like C Db Ebb Fbb Gbbb Abbbb Bbbbbb which by rights is a fragment of the chromatic scale. This can be described as [1 1 1 1 1 1 6]. Few sane people would be willing to accept this as a true musical scale in its own right.

[1 1 1 1 1 1 6] = [m2 m2 m2 m2 m2 m2 b5]
[1 1 1 1 1 2 5] = [m2 m2 m2 m2 m2 M2 P4]
[1 1 1 1 1 3 4]...generation pattern here
#19August 2nd, 2007 · 01:38 PM
37 threads / 19 songs
618 posts
United States of America
re: re: The Four Scale Theory
swordfish wrote…
please explain this thread to J S Bach........................im sure he might have sothing to say..

'Bollocks' probably.

splash.....the fish

Well Said...

Pup posted just after fish's about a geometrical theory.. 
I myself have toy'ed with a mathematical theory based
on octadecimal ( 8ths ) but always gets bogged down
in the upper level keys with four and five sharps or flats..

My majors ( 100years ago ) were commerical music and
music education..  I think trying to find collations in music
is kewl.. I just find your ideas here a little overkill and will
mainly be confusing to most novices..  stick to the basics,
if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.. double sharps and flats
went out with shape notations and baroque music... all
else is really useless in my humble opinion.. here are all
the basics..  standards in modern music.. not much else
needed really..

 Chromatic Scales


 D E F# G A B C# D

 E F# G# A B C# D# E

 F G A Bb C D E F

 G A B C D E F# G

 A B C# D E F# G# A

 B C# D# E F# G# A# B

 Bb C D Eb F G A Bb

 Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb

 Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab

 Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db

hope this helps, as I do not mean to
sound like I am dis'in you in any way..
rather just trying to save you loads of
wasted time and effort!


#20August 2nd, 2007 · 02:07 PM
19 threads / 15 songs
84 posts
United States of America
triple flats et al
I am not intending to confuse anybody by all of this. By posting the version of any scale with double or triple flats, I am trying to demonstrate normalization of a sort. When I post [C Db Ebb Fbb Gbbb Abbbb Bbbbbb] or some equivalent, I am demonstrating the assumed "position" of the note more than the pitch. This would in raw form be [C c# D d# E F f# C]. This as also to answer the question of "where did the 462 come from".

My mention of much of this is, as I mentioned, a project where I am creating audio files demonstrating the sound of every possible scale. I have over 100 of them complete. I am also in the middle of creating complete lists of chord types as well.

Whether this is a waste of time is for others to judge, I think. There has been plenty of use of synthetic scales in classical music among other idioms, and I felt that a proper table of associations of chord types to possible scales would be of use. This is not necessarily directed at novices. I saw a few posts mentioning different numbers of possible scales. I posted my results, so as to at least get the numbers correct. If it were to be a list of usable scales it would be far shorter. In my book Guitar Tuning Reference I published lists of the 14 known used scale families and their modes, and 18 groups of synthetic scales. I do not know if anyone will use the synthetic scales other than myself.

I also published a disk that can be found on Elderly Instruments called 2,985,984 Guitar Tunings. No one individual will ever use them all. I made the list to prove a point: that different tunings for the guitar can all be handled in a similar fashion. The same with scales: if you know what you are doing, scales can be handled in a standardized manner.

I take no offense at any attempt to correct or redirect my efforts. I am, however a known crazy guitarist with inclinations toward keyboards. If I go into too much detail, it is due to having thought about and written about these items for a long time.
#21August 2nd, 2007 · 06:26 PM
37 threads / 19 songs
618 posts
United States of America
tha's wild.. I'm a theory trained pianist with
thirty three years of playing guitar, harmonicas,
bass, various zithers/autoharps, kazoo (lol),
trombone / baritone / tuba and keyboards in
any venue that didn't run me out with rotten
produce and poultry eggs.. (chuckles)  if
they payed me it was even kewler.. rofalol..


#22August 3rd, 2007 · 10:30 AM
19 threads / 15 songs
84 posts
United States of America
not mild?
My training with theory per se is actually being raised on classical music non-stop for my first 10 years. I wasn't even permitted to have my own radio much less retune the parents radio from the 24 hour classical station. When I was 10 I got my first cheesy stereo and my first exposure to non-classical music. I turned on the box and I got (in the middle of course) Jackie Blue by the Ozark Mountain Cowboys.

I have performed with a handful of bands, some Celtic, some Prog rock, some so lame they never even got a name and, yes, getting paid is the coolest thing of all when it comes to live performance.

I had a few guitar lessons and a little keyboard. I am big on theory but I never went to school for it. I read everything I could get my hands on and studied the instruments themselves.

One old principal is that the professional cannot match the talented amateur because the professional is too bust doing it to spend the necessary time for R&D as it were. I know more, perhaps, than almost anybody about alternate tunings due to my having to spend a lot of time on the computer NOT PLAYING due to circumstances beyond my control.

As such my theoretical knowledge way outstrips my performing technique. I can play in any guitar tuning with a little warm up time as I made it a point to produce a general solution to the art. For tunings, it is all a matter of being able to predict where the notes will fall on an arrangement of strings, and certain combinations are VERY common. If you can play in standard I have 25+ tunings I could have you playing in very quickly, and if you also know DADGAD I have that many more again. The idea is if you know the chord and scale patterns of sets of adjacent string, you can reuse them just like when you put a capo on the guitar. Do you really have to completely relearn standard tuning when you put a capo on the third fret? Of course not! The patterns are the same. My method exploits this same similarity between different tunings.

Check out Stringbreaker's Notebook. There is a downloadable version at http://www.alluvialgems.com/SBPreviewNew.pdf29.5 MB so be cautious. To just hear how some tunings sound w/o the massive download try this link http://www.alluvialgems.com/BookIndex.htm which has audio files for the 174 tuning in the book. No obligation and you can also explore the links to artists sites as well.

Blessings to you as well

#23August 6th, 2007 · 08:34 PM
160 threads / 33 songs
1,964 posts
United States of America
I go to quite a few music seminars and most of them are seasoned pro's....they spend hours everyday studying and developing their theory and technique....

   Steve Smith with Vital Information put it like this ..."I play at night for a few hours,  but I have all day to spend learning and developing as a musician"...he is one of many I have heard this from ..they get up in the morning and start working on the skills, not only in performance, but in knowledge as well. The rest of us have to fit it in after hours from our jobs ...even if your a music teacher you have to spend your day teaching stuff you already know then try to learn what you can afterwards.....

   I've played full time professionally with  bands for several years and that was all I did  5 to 6 nights a week. This is the time that I  grew the most as a musician, and my musical knowledge grew because I had all day to work out the little problems, and questions that theory tends to throw at you.....I am know master theory person by any means but I would not know even a portion of what I know if I had not had the time to sit in a motel room with nothing else to do but work on music and watch TV , and I am not much for watching TV.

This is not intended to flame or incite I just have my own opinion about certain things..

 Steve Smith broke his average day down for us and it was amazing how disciplined and strict on himself he is.
breakfast then 1 hr rudiments and technique then 2 hrs music study then  2 hrs studio work or band music study lunch then another 1 hr solid rudiments and technique then he said either studio recording time or rehearsal time with whomever he is with at the time...  End the day with back with whatever musical studies he is into at the time... ....not a bad way to live if you ask me..
#24August 7th, 2007 · 02:41 AM
64 threads / 13 songs
669 posts
United States of America
re: The Four Scale Theory
XenosX wrote…
I have a new music theory that I want to share with the world. First, let's start off by defining a musical scale. The first rule that we can agree on is that it must have seven notes. But it cannot just have any notes. The notes must be regulated. This is the second rule, that no three notes can be semitones apart, ie three notes in a row. The third rule, just to make this simple, is that no scale can have a fifth that is not natural. Okay, now that we have this, we can proceed.

I apologize if this has been said already.

What about pentatonic, blues, non-western, jazz and classical scales?  You've basically killed any non-mainstream pop music.
#25August 7th, 2007 · 08:44 AM
19 threads / 15 songs
84 posts
United States of America
Almost any theory by the definition of the term will be incomplete. I believe this scale theory is more design to justify the commonest scales, not predict the existence of every scale. For example, in Balinese/Gamelan music, we have very non-western scales. Claude Debussy's whole tone experiments began after hearing Gamelan music (and this is a time before records!). Theories are well and good, but they should not interfere in the creative process. Seriously, will any musician (other than for compositional exercises) go "I can't play that note/chord/scale 'cause it isn't in the theory"?

Ugh! Ear trumps theory. If ear says it is good, then it is good. Even Walter Piston agrees with that. When I have more time I will get the quote out of his theory book which states this explicitly.
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