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Re: What is a Scale?
10/9/2006 8:54 PM
David Mackie (11072) wrote:
A scale at it's most simple is a division of "pitch space".
An interesting book I have titled "Music, the Brain, and Ecstacy (How Music Captures Our Imagination)" by Robert Jourdain, explains that we recognize tones by putting then into categories of postition along a pitch continuum. The human ear can discern a very large number of positions along the continuum, but our brains have difficulty keeping track of so many discernable points so, we subdivide the range into categories. If we hear a tone that's fairly close to the center of a category, we generally hear it as that pitch, though it may be off a bit. When the tone is close to the edges between categories, we hear ambiguity and maybe some serious ugly. (unless we train our ears to accept it)
That's a basic definition. Then you have to decide how to chop up the space, and that's more than I want to get into in this forum, but is covered quite well (if not comprehensively) in the book.