A Performance Video

  Sacred Grounds Cafe in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood has had an open mic of some sort since the late 60’s. In its current incarnation, it’s hosted, every Thursday, by local music teacher and multi-instrumentalist Mr. Natural, who thoroughly looks the part! There’s a fun crowd of regulars and it’s a warm, accepting and inviting atmosphere….

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A cadence is a chord progression that gives a sense of arrival or resolution. One particular cadence, the V-I (or V7-I) is especially powerful. In classical music, a V-I cadence is practically mandatory at the end of a piece, and it is the biggest gun in the composer’s arsenal when changing keys, or modulating. The following…

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Rosetta Stone

Almost all Western music, including my own, lives in the world of tonal harmony. This means: There can be, and usually are, multiple notes playing at the same time. There is a key center, or tonic, around which the notes are arranged. The tonic doesn’t always sound — it’s an intangible presence, the home from which you leave on your…


Another Comma

One more comma shows up in the central portion of the lattice. In equal temperament, three major thirds adds up to an octave. The major third is an interval of four piano keys (out of 12) or 400 cents. Three of them is 1200 cents, exactly an octave. In just intonation, this is not the…

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One of the beautiful qualities of the lattice is that the patterns repeat everywhere. Notes that are in the same relationship to each other on the lattice will always have the same difference in pitch, no matter how where you go. For example, a move of one space to the right will always be a…

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Another Major Second: The 10/9

When I started exploring the extended lattice beyond the central 12 notes, the first note that was really new to me was the 10/9 major second, also called the minor or lesser whole tone. Now I call it the 2-. The lattice extends forever in all directions. When you continue multiplying and dividing, generating new notes beyond the boundaries…