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Showing posts from January 21, 2018

Magic Squares


I took my original 5-note sequence (E, G#, D, F#, A#) and extended it into a 6x6 magic square following Maxwell Davies' approach of (a) ensuring the sequence goes out of phase from line to line (because sequence of 5 pitches along lines 6 units long), and (b) transposing each subsequent sequence. The transpositions aren't always the same, because I was getting repetitions; because going up in minor-3rds ends up in the same place after four cycles (12 chromatics divided by 3 semitones = 4), so after the 4th cycle (when it should return to E) I transposed up a further semitone to push the whole cycle of four sequences a semitone higher than the first four. The square is (mostly) transposed by minor 3rds because the original 5-note sequence is whole-tone (the two possible whole-tone sets are six notes each), so minor 3rds give pitches not in the original whole-tone set. [commentary point] This solves the whole-tone problem of only having six notes to work with (or t…