# “How could pitch bracket notation possibly replace standard notation?”

I have been asked this question on several occasions. You may be disappointed to learn that my goal was never to replace or somehow antiquate traditional notation. Rather, I wanted to capture the complex patterns of pitch in a visual form, one which places the *pitch interval* as the fundamental unit of notation. The staff can be thought of as a number line rotated 90 degrees and stretched across the page. The pitch of a note can only be determined to located the note on this number line. The number line itself is a simple, fixed ruler with equally spaced pitch marks. On the other hand, the melody line is a dynamically changing measuring tool. Each melody line is customized to the melody which it describes.

An analogy with elementary mathematics may be helpful. We learn addition and subtraction first, followed by multiplication and division, algebra, calculus, etc. Each form of mathematics builds upon more basic forms and provides more sophisticated tools for recognizing and communicated patterns of numbers. The same is true with pitch bracket notation. Just as algebra does not replaces or antiquate arithmetic, pitch bracket notation does not replace traditional notation. Pitch brackets and traditional notation both describe the same pitch patterns but at different levels of abstraction.