When composing, do you think in 7 degrees or 12 degrees?

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N_K
Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:49 pm

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When composing, do you think in 7 degrees or 12 degrees?

When you compose, do you think of intervals and scale degrees more as 7 degrees + 5 alterations (based on staff), or 12 degrees (based on piano roll)?


For example:

7-degree and 12-degree intervals.png
EDIT: in case anyone gets confused, roman numerals in that picture are just for numerical reference, marked up in "chromatic" convention. Technically, written as in that picture, they'd all mean major chords on their respective degrees.

In more common usage, roman numerals might be written as follows:
For major scale: "I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-vii°"
For natural minor scale: "i-ii°-bIII-iv-v-bVI-bVII"

...and so on, differently for various 7-degree scales. Lowercase means minor chord, uppercase means major chord, ° means diminished chord.

There are two different conventions of using roman numerals: the "chromatic" one considers them within 12-degree space, comparable to starting from C on the staff - thus minor scale would have "bIII", "bVI" and "bVII". Another convention is to write them as if they were started from A on the staff, in which case "III", "VI" and "VII" would be used.



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Some related questions:


Do you visually conceptualize harmony, melody etc. more as lines on piano rolls, or as symbols on the staff?

Which do you sight-read/sight-write faster, staff or piano roll?

When sight-reading/writing, do you recognize chords qualities (minor, major, sus4 etc.) easier via visual shapes on equal-spaced 12-degree piano roll, or via visual reference of note symbols to lines, clefs and key signatures on the traditional staff?
In other words, is a "major chord" to you more of a "1,3,5" or a "0,4,7"?


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Considering that in FL Studio we have equally spaced piano roll with unambiguous 12 degrees always visible - and many users have effectively learned music theory alongside FL Studio - I'm interested in how large might be the segment of "native 12-degree" thinkers among FL Studio users.
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Last edited by N_K on Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.






hidrux
Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:11 am

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Re: When composing, do you think in 7 degrees or 12 degrees?

Self taught, I barely ever sight read music. At...
Last edited by hidrux on Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.








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