Six Seconds Make a Seventh

This post stirred up a hornet’s nest the first time I posted it. But just remember the adage: the map is NOT the territory. And if you’re planning a car trip, a subway map won’t help you. Likewise, music can be represented in whatever way best suits your needs or your project. And here the project is “learning to play like singing in the shower”.

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Intervallic Awareness for Improvisers

Six seconds make a seventh? Is time expanding? How do they do that? Simple! The same way as two thirds make a fifth! Two fifths make a ninth, but three of them make a thirteenth, which is also twelve seconds. Try this on your music teacher and watch him get his head around it.

Classical musical theory can’t multiply and refuses to add up. The terminology sucks too: “a fifth” is an interval, but “the fifth” is a note.

It doesn’t help that there are 31 notenames for twelve notes. You may want to hear how horrible that would sound if all 31 were allowed equal rights:


In fact the only argument I ever hear in defense of this cock-eyed theoretical tradition is that it has been around longer than you and that’s what we are used to. Well I have to admit, I’m used to it too. But we…

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About jazzpanflute

jazz panpipe pioneer and designer
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