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Here’s A Dumb Question For You (Enharmonics)

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Aug 19, 2018.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Something probably most of you know but I’ve never had a clue- is there a benefit to having five enharmonics rather than a system of twelve distinct notes (A-L for example), or is it just a traditional thing based on a piano’s setup?
     
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Imagine writing music with 12 lines per staff.
     
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    That would actually be a lot easier to see :D
     
    mikewalker likes this.
  4. Eric ER

    Eric ER

    Mar 22, 2015
    Seattle, wa
    Previous: Dusty Strings harp/dulcimer building
    It has to do with the fact that the music western ears are used to is made in an 8 note scale. Having chords, arpeggios, etc. together on consecutive lines or spaces is easier to see and distinguish.
     
    HolmeBass likes this.
  5. Eric ER

    Eric ER

    Mar 22, 2015
    Seattle, wa
    Previous: Dusty Strings harp/dulcimer building
    I think it would be easier to get lost in.
     
  6. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    " okay boys this number is in J flat "
    :laugh:
     
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    It might have to do with my serious vision issues. My eyes twitch out and get “caught” on similar letters/shapes close together
     
    Rip Van Dan likes this.
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    There is no J flat- it would just be in I then :D
     
  9. Eric ER

    Eric ER

    Mar 22, 2015
    Seattle, wa
    Previous: Dusty Strings harp/dulcimer building
    Gotcha. I feel like all those lines would be disorienting.
     
  10. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    Tennessee
    I believe this is the correct answer--do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti. Just as you alter those syllables as needed, you alter the note names as needed. It makes perfect sense. The keyboard setup was structured around that rather than vice versa.
     
  11. Enharmonic. Learn something new every day.
    My music theory sucks so I looked it up.

    When I read the title I thought this was a thread about a dating site. :roflmao:
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Well, I did do a little pastel many years ago with two people coupling that I titled “Enharmonic,” so maybe you’re not that far off.
     
    kobass and Old Garage-Bander like this.
  13. edencab

    edencab

    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    I think getting lost on the keyboard maybe more of a problem :smug:
    main-qimg-a392665e250e01d6b8f8672a73dbfa58.
     
    mikewalker, BOOG, dave64o and 10 others like this.
  14. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Until you have to read choral music over the shoulder or the pianist.

    Conductor scores would get ugly too.
     
    HolmeBass likes this.
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    It’s neither here nor there as far as enharmonics go as you could still use a five line staff without them by just changing the symbol. You could probably change a lot about standard notation to make it easier to read anyway. Color coded notes anyone? :)
     
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    In the IT world, the explanation for anything that seems incredibly inefficient or unnecessarily complex is: "Things are the way they are because they got to be that way.”

    Tradition (in this case Pythagorus’s way of thinking about music and 2000+ years of theorizing, nomenclature, and teaching based on that) forms a gravity well that effectively prevents such changes.

    It’s much like spelling American English. Our language has 24 distinct consonant and 20 distinct vowel phenomes for a total of 44 unique sounds. Our alphabet only has 26 letters. And although our spelling is now “standardized,” that standardization is arbitrary and based mostly on tradition and convention rather than on any sytematic approach to spelling. And while it would make more sense to just create a better alphabet (several already have been created) it’s a hard sell when everyone is already used to the dumb system we currently use. In the Hungarian language each letter has only one sound and all words are spelled phonetically. If you hear a Hungarian word you know how to spell it. If you see a Hungarian word you know how to pronounce it. Sweet system. And one reason why you’ll never see a spelling bee in Hungary - or have a child ask “What’s this word?” when learning how to read. Small wonder their adult literacy rate is 99.4%. Better notation systems, such as alphabets, are a big help.

    So yes, shoehorning a chromatic well tempered twelvetone scale into a diatonic just tempered eight note theoretical framework (because the number eight had a mystical significance) makes little sense. If each tone had its own note, sharps and flats and all the confusion they create would go away. Key signatures would become unnecessay. And…the list of benefits goes on. But it ain’t gonna happen.

    :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  17. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Well written. I like that trick of well formed and grammatically correct until the last sentence.
     
    40Hz likes this.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Thank you. Glad somebody caught my attempt at some subtle humor. :)
     
  19. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    A "blue note" could actually be a blue note :thumbsup:
     
    LowActionHero and dave64o like this.
  20. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    The current system works well for many,
    Even the color blind folks.
     
    ak56 and Eric ER like this.

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