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Toneme System

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  • Pi
    It looks like I have finally found the right place to discuss this project: www.toneme.org Please ignore pretty much all of the text. when I wrote it I had a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2011
    It looks like I have finally found the right place to discuss this project: www.toneme.org

    Please ignore pretty much all of the text.  when I wrote it I had a lot of enthusiasm but hardly any musical understanding.  The only thing I would like to draw attention to is the first couple of pictures,  which detail the system.

    There is an age old problem between relative and fixed Solfa.

     I have created a system of 12  consonant phonemes  to represent the 12 physical pitch classes present on a piano keyboard,  and 12 vowel phonemes to represent position relative to root.

    this creates a grid of 144 possible 'tonemes'

     if I just dump an example from the wiki

    SuperTonic in the key of G major (actual note: A)
    The physical note is A, so the consonant Toneme is 'L'
    as it is the super tonic, the vowel Toneme is 'E' As in 'bear'
    so 'LE' as in 'lair'

    A generic major scale:
    sA fE si fO su f3 sI fA

    a generic minor scale:
    sA fE sEi fO su f3i sI fA

    a generic scale I just made up:
    sA fAi si fO su f3i sI fA

    a C Major Scale:
    dA rE mi vO zu l3 tI dA

    C# Minor Scale:
    bA ngE vEi shO hu l3i dI bA

     intuitively I feel that such a system could be very helpful for conceptualising musical theory  without making it too ' theoretical '.    seeing as 12 tone equal temperament does a pretty good job of representing all of the music I like,  my intuition is that a system such as this could be used,  and  pitch adjustments be made on the fly.

     so for example each of the above scales could be sung in just intonation

     I think this is much more appealing than using terms such as F#, Gb

     also it's worth noting that the same toneme would represent both F# and Gb.   however, since you would be aware of which direction around the wheel you are modulating, you would know the difference.

     I have also matched a colour scheme.   I think colour is very useful, especially for the simple reason that it connects to our brains biggest IO port; a 2D matrix of receptors connecting into neural circuitry that can instantaneously process patterns. I think this should really be taken advantage of.

      I am currently porting it to the iPhone/iPad.   I enclose a screenshot of the current state of the work.   As you rotate the disc,  the labels change to reflect the new key.   also they dynamically resize to illustrate the position within the key. The model I am working on allows you to sing a tone,  and spins the needle to point to its toneme.   also pressing the buttons will sound the relevant toneme, although I haven't  wired that in yet.   I was considering using Shepard Tones,  which would get rid of the difficulty of voicing chords,  so I could just sound three simultaneously and get a tonic Triad. But now I'm a little unsure of how to proceed in light of the huge amount of new information I have expose myself to over the last week.

     I have to say that when I started out I thought I knew everything, and now I don't feel like I know anything. However, my musical ability does seem to be picking up, I am becoming able to figure out the chords for songs on guitar,   I am developing some basic ability to intuit bass notes in response to a melody.

     any guidance from the elders of the group would be very welcome!

     please, if you can see I am going up a dead end, save my fingers and point it out to me.    also if I am ( literally )  reinventing the wheel, please tell me!  

     and thirdly, if you can point out any intelligent direction for me to work in, I would be super grateful.   This line of work isn't going to make me rich I don't think, but there are probably enough iPhone users who are keen musicians to keep me alive.   I would love to serve the musical community, as I am a member of this community.  I have invested several months getting down and dirty with the iPhone audio and graphics frameworks,  so please feel free to consider me as a resource :)

     so, overall, does this system hold water?

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