I was asked on the Just Intonation Network Facebook group if I could provide a score for the Flying Dream video, showing the positional notation and all the chords. I went back through my notes and found the score I used to make the movie. Here it is, complete with souvenir coffee stains from various San Francisco cafes.
I created a custom notation system for the project, and some of you might find it useful for your own work. I used a standard five-line staff, with the center line as the tonic. Here’s the notation:
I chose to put the center of the lattice in the center of the staff — but the space above the center line would also be a good place for the 1 (tonic). That would put it where “C” lies on the treble clef, which might be more intuitive for an experienced sheet music reader.
There is no signature in this score, but they are possible. Rather than a key signature, you would have a “mode signature.” Major keys would have no sharps or flats. Mixolydian would have one flat, Dorian two flats, Aeolian three flats and so on. The system is purely positional and independent of key.
Here is the manuscript for Flying Dream. You may download it all as a .zip file by clicking this link: Flying Dream Positional Score. You may use this notation system in your own projects if you include an attribution (see license below). If you have any questions, please feel free to write me through the contact page.
By the way, the numbers written near the notes (89, 93, 97 etc.) are video frame numbers and have nothing to do with the music.
Here is the video that started this blog. It is a stop-motion animation of my song Flying Dream, as it moves in harmonic space. It’s a preview of what the blog is all about. Red = bass, yellow = melody, and orange = the harmonies.
Be Love is the second full song video I did. While Flying Dream is all over the lattice, Be Love occupies a small space, moving left and right between Major and Mixolydian modes.
I’m posting these again so they will be close to the top of the front page. Anjalisa Aitken and The Harmony People have come into my life, and I’m shifting my focus from study and writing to performing and creativity.
I think I’ve pretty well said what I have to say about the lattice for now. The videos are explained, and I’ve brought you pretty much up to speed with my lattice explorations so far. I’ll still be learning, and I’ll keep you posted, but I’m content with this particular yearlong blurt. Time to get out there and put all this cool stuff to use!
There is plenty to find here. A random approach might work best — find a recent article that catches your eye, click links to go deeper, and use the back button to get back up the chain. I’m especially fond of the posts in the Septimal Harmony category.
Enjoy, I’ll be back. Contact with fellow lattice-heads is welcome.
PS I have other presences on the Web. Here are some links:
Real Girl has several examples. The clearest is a guitar lick in the chorus:
That 7b5 is tasty over the bVI chord. For an instant, it makes a “barbershop seventh,” the 7th harmonic of the root.
Here is a vocal example from the same song:
The melody visits the blue tritone on the way up, and again on the way down. I especially like it on the word “like,” the blues flavor of the septimal note comes through loud and clear without it being strictly blues at all. For me, this fusion of septimal notes to the European collection is the great contribution American music has made to the world. I wrote an early article on this, with some examples, here.
These bits of melody that visit the 7b5 are very similar to the ones that incorporate the 7b3. The septimal flatted third is the melody note of major blues tonality. It functions as the seventh harmonic of the IV chord, just as the 7b5 is the 7th harmonic of the bVI chord. Here’s an example from Flying Dream:
Hear the similarity? Try going back and forth between this video and the guitar lick in the first video.
One of the beauties of the lattice is that the patterns repeat everywhere. If you move a pattern to a different part of the lattice, the new notes will have the same relationship to each other, but the musical context will change and it will convey a different feeling. This is a splendid compositional tool, and helps me greatly in understanding harmony.
Here’s a different version of my song, The Cove. The original recording is on the Flying Dream CD. I sang this one in a lower key, to leave room for two harmonies above. I found some adventurous harmonies, especially ninthintervals. I’d like to make a movie of this one; it lives deep in the southeast, minor/dominant quadrant of the lattice.