Pitchscape: part 1

There is a fascinating interpretation of pitch brackets which is likely to inspire new ways of interpreting and composing music. Consider the melody line below. Matching brackets are helpful for interpreting complex hierarchies of pitch within a melody. What happens if you connect these matching brackets? You form closed shapes nested, one within another. The particular shape (i.e. elliptical or rectangular) depends on the type of brackets (i.e. b1 or b3). The drawing below shows a rectangle nested within an ellipse.

The nested pitch bracket shapes above somewhat resembles a topographic map. A topographic map represents the elevation of a landscape. Each enclosed contour line traces out a path of equal elevation. This example of a topographic map below has several elevations labeled with meters above sea level.

Now, imagine that the nested pitch brackets above are actually a topographic map of pitch elevations. Each contour line traces out a path of equal pitch. All notes that reside within an enclosed shape assume the same pitch, the pitch of that pitch surface. Topographic maps usually describe smooth, curving surfaces, but topographic pitch maps consist of a nested array of plateaus. The drawing below is a 3D rendering of this pitchscape.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *