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Re: [xml-dev] RE: Seduced by Markup

On 11/19/2013 08:52 AM, xml-dev-digest-help@lists.xml.org wrote:
[Steve Newcomb]
Actually that's a great metaphor, Len.  Why do people complain about big
key signatures?  Because they haven't learned to read the notation,
Yes indeed, but why is it that so many people never learn to read the notation?

In my opinion, because its kind of scary and intimidating in ways that it really should not be, given that the underlying concepts are really very beautiful and quite simple. Basic geometry/modulo-arithmetic is all you really need to grok it.

Because classical music notation started out biased towards C Major and everything else has been added on top over the centuries, we have the completely unnecessary notion that, say, "Phrygian dominant" (and its "strange" key signature) is some sort of hyper-intellectual thing when it reality, its just a different simple formula for selecting from a repeating palette of 12 notes. Basic math with basic modulo arithmetic.

Somebody should write a novella - maybe somebody already has? - imagining what the world would look like if software-refactoring had been invented *before* music notation. In such a world, we would perhaps have refactored the notation of music a few times in response to advances such as modes, blues, bebop, klezmer etc.

In such a world, would grokking the thing-behind-the-syntax (in this case), musical structures, be easier? I believe so.

Does this tell us that syntax (its clarity, its beauty) really, really matters for grokking any form of abstract structure?

Yes, I think so :-)

My 2cents

Sean McGrath
US Tel: +1 775 2976310
e-mail:sean.mcgrath@propylon.com web:www.propylon.com

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