Author Topic: Pitch Class Sets  (Read 5129 times)

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Re: Pitch Class Sets
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2017, 11:08:29 AM »
Forte came up with his system to address a real need in analyzing non-diatonic music. There were all kinds of terminology in play often using variants of diatonic terminology. As I said, the Forte names are nice and abstract and the rules for merging pitches into set classes are objective and not subjective. There are those, myself included, who feel that his method is a little too objective in that some feel that musical ramifications are ignored in his formulas.

The classic example is set class 3-11 ( I think) where Forte's theory merges the pitch set for the major and minor triads into the same set class, thus saying that these two pitch collections are exactly the same, which, of course, is not really true. My way of dealing with this issue is by incorporating the concept of a subclass within Forte's class, one subclass for the prime form and one for the inversion. Thus, one can, when desired, refer to entities with differing musical purposes using my extension to Forte's naming scheme.
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Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Pitch Class Sets
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2017, 01:52:26 PM »

I appreciate the explanation.

No question, I get the impression from your music that you know exactly what you're doing.
I know of course that theory is what explains the music rather than creates it. One can use what one needs from the theory without obeying it as a set of preordained rules.
For the purpose of learning, however, one does exercises that treat it as if it were just that.
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Re: Pitch Class Sets
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2020, 11:14:24 PM »
I apologize for being late to the party.  I was reading through some of the older posts when I came across this one.  And I though; this was a kool exercise/challenge and though I would give it a ago.  So I lookup Forte numbers and found that Wikipedia  has a list of pitch-class sets ( so I start looking through them to find an interesting one to use when I remembered I had serendipitously written a piece using the Forte 5-3B pitch-class back in 2005.   And in fact I was not even thinking out things like pitch class when I wrote it, only some time afterwards I realized it fit into a single pitch class.

Unlike the previous examples in this thread I did not use any transpositions of the pitch-class, the entire piece consists of just the five notes {A Bb C Db D} and in face the D natural only occurs once at the end of the piece.  So up until then the piece is based on the 4-3 Forte pitch-class.  But I said, this was all in hind sight.     

Being thee and half minutes long the piece is a bit longer than your constant.  It also has no bar lines or time signature and rhythms are not precisely notated. 

The piece: Heath Death of the Universe is for a solo Bass Clarinet. 




The recording is of bass clarinet part being feed through a tape-echo plug-in causing notes to be repeated, elongated, and sounding together even though they were not played at the same time.  If you do listen to it I would recommend head phones or a system with good stereo separation as the echos and repeats are moved around the sound field.