A quick bit about intervals
If I really wanted to harp on about the arbitrariness of musical theory, then I would give these intervals some kind of name. The problem is that we have chafed under the iron fist of the Bean Haters (Pythagorean) and we must suffer with letter note names, and piano-rolls rather than the austere purity of numbers.
I toyed with the idea of naming them after astrological signs, but that is a rabbit hole I am not prepared to go down.
Anyhoo, here is a list of intervals and their "Musical Quality". Keep in mind this is a gradient in terms of it's effect on human perception; Unisons, Octaves and Perfect intervals tend to sound more cross culturally musically pleasing, but after that, all bets are off.
|3||Minor 3rd||m3||Mellow, Melancolic|
|8||Minor 6th||m6||Mellow, Distant|
|9||Major 6th||M6||Optimistic, Distant|
|11||Major 7th||M7||Hash, Discordant|
|12||Octave||P8||Itself but higher|
Okay, just to be clear, I didn't make these. I just decided to name them. The whole point of this is to explore intervals and to show the arbitrary nature of Western Musical Scales and Theory.
They are called Erisian because each Mode is composed of 5 notes, with 2 intervals of 3 semitones, and 3 intervals of 2 semitones in sequence. Lots of Law of Fives action going on here.
|Element||Note||Interval Seq||Visual||"Western" Scale||Western Interval Name|
|Sweet||Db||2 3 2 2 3||.X..X||Blues Major||P1, M2, P4, P5, M6|
|Boom||Eb||3 2 2 3 2||X..X.||Minor Pent||P1, m3, P4, P5, m7|
|Prickle||Gb||2 2 3 2 3||..X.X||Major Pent||P1, M2, M3, P5, M6|
|Pungent||Ab||2 3 2 3 2||.X.X.||Egyptian||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|Orange||Bb||3 2 3 2 2||X.X..||Blues Minor||P1, m3, P4, m6, m7|
|Kallisti||??||2 2 3 3 2||..XX.||P1, M2, M3, P5, m7|
So a "Erisian Sweet" in "A" would be A B D E Gb
Intervals from within the scales
Perhaps one of the more interesting explorations was to examine all possible intervals from within a particular scale. So for the "Sweet (Blues Major Pentatonic)" scale, what is the interval between the 1st note and the 3rd? How about the 4th note and the 2nd?
Knowing these intervals will actually tell you a whole lot about the scale itself, and what kind of tone that scale will have.
Sweet (Blues Major Pentatonic)
Okay, so just a few things to note here:
- Intervals in Parenthesis represent wrapping around to the octave.
- there is not a single Tritone, Major 7th, or Minor 2nd. Which is to say notes right beside the Unison or Perfects. In fact, the interval palette is quite limited.
- Each Erisian scale is encoded in the intervals between the notes. This is not true of the C Major scale, where the distance between F and B is a Tritone, but the tritone interval isn't itself part of the scale.
We can then count the number of times a given interval shows up in this scale:
Here are Booms intervals
And the number of times each one occurs. Notice the pattern?
So here we have a departure in the pattern of interval occurrences. Notice how there are 4 Perfect 4ths.
There is a nice internal symmetry here.
And this guy is a mirror image of Prickle!
Kallisti - The Prettiest one
So as I alluded to in my video, I mathed wrong, and ended up making this scale by raising he interval of the last note by one.
The distribution here is radically different though
For Ableton Push
If you want, here is the python chunk to add the Erisian modes to Pushes scales.
'Erisian Sweet', [0, 2, 5, 7, 9], 'Erisian Boom', [0, 3, 5, 7, 10], 'Erisian Prickle', [0, 2, 4, 7, 9], 'Erisian Pungent', [0, 2, 5, 7, 10], 'Erisian Orange', [0, 3, 5, 8, 10], 'Erisian Kallisti', [0, 2, 4, 7, 10],