Tag: pitch

  • Cents

    Musical notes can be mapped onto many different spaces. The two I find useful so far are: — Harmonic space, the space of the lattice, organized by harmonic connections (ratios of whole numbers). — Melodic space, the space of the scale, organized by pitch, or frequency. Both maps show the location of a note relative…

  • Melodic Space, Harmonic Space

    Throughout my musical education, I’ve been taught that music happens in a linear space. This is the space so beautifully laid out on the piano keyboard. Music teaching is organized around scales. In most Western music, the full scale consists of twelve notes, equally spaced. Other scales, such as the seven-note minor and major scales,…

  • Notes and Intervals

    A note, in music, is a sound with a particular pitch.¬†Pitch is frequency, measured in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz). The faster the vibration, the higher the pitch. A vibration, at, say, 220 Hz, all by itself is a note by that general definition. But the note doesn’t acquire its distinct personality until it’s…

  • Pythagoras’ Epiphany

    Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher who lived about a century before Athens’ golden age. Some time before 530 BC, he had an epiphany. He had been investigating vibrating strings, and found that when you cut the length of the string in half, the note it makes is an octave higher. Sound is vibration. When one…