the way it's meant to be

Comments and questions about Chordhopper.
aruffo
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the way it's meant to be

Postby aruffo » Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:23 am

In Chordhopper I'm working with eight chords (starting distance 6m). Just now I was surprised to discover that I was using a strategy of identifying the orange chords by listening for the F root. (and no, I don't mean Froot Loops.)

Most of the time I recognize the structure first and then some internal characteristic which distinguishes the chord; that's why it was surprising to be listening to the F-tone first and then afterwards the structure. But for some reason, it was considerably easier to do it this way this time around.

I'm still a bit too worn out from rehearsals to write this into the main page right now, but I wanted to make note of it as it happened.

petew83
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Postby petew83 » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:46 am

just speculating here...whatever way your brain finds easier/less energy-dependent, it will use naturally as long as it does the job. once the basics of ap are learned it seems as though that would be the simpler method over the more complex tonal gravity sensations

boes
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Bass?

Postby boes » Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:26 pm

There are two things I don't understand.
If I'm right you want the player to concentrate on a specific pitch. If you want someone to focus on C you give the picture a red background, G a bleu background etc. Well this idea is OK with me. But what bothers me is that CEG or EGC aren't C chords or inversions. It needs a C in the bass. That is making a chord a C Chord. :roll:

Second thing are the single pitches. Why do you use the "black" tones if you want us to learn the white ones? I would the black pitches come in further in the game, when they arrive in the chords.
Cheers, Peter

Andi
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Postby Andi » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:43 pm

I would the black pitches come in further in the game, when they arrive in the chords.

Good point!

I've also a problem with the keyboard-shortcuts in chordhopper. While it is possible in IL to play G (soap) with the "S"-key, chordhopper forces me to press ";" instead. This might be good choice on an American keyboard but it’s very annoying when using a German keyboard! (I have to press SHIFT and “,” to get the “;” and that’s far from the G-feeling on a piano :wink: !)
lg
Andi

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:08 pm

Ah! I'll fix that keyboard-shortcut thing. I'd thought I was simplifying by eliminating the duplicate, but there's no harm in putting it back in.

whatever way your brain finds easier/less energy-dependent, it will use naturally as long as it does the job.

I'm thinking you're exactly right, and that this may explain the "stagnation period" experienced by all the Eguchi students.

Why do you use the "black" tones if you want us to learn the white ones?

The Oura paper showed that after 6-9 chords, the children were able to identify "black key" sounds within a semitone. Even if that proves not to be the case here, it's worth finding out.

what bothers me is that CEG or EGC aren't C chords or inversions

I think I'd need to understand what you mean when you say that CEG isn't a C-chord. My knowledge of music theory is still pretty close to nil, but I had thought that CEG, EGC, and GCE are all essentially the C-major I triad.

In any case, no, the game isn't meant to make you "focus" on any particular pitches; every tone in each chord should start making itself obvious, and you can listen to whatever you want. The color merely indicates the root tone of each triad (or seventh chord, later on).

boes
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Postby boes » Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:44 am

If you say that the root for example EGC is C you're wrong. The root note is an E. So it's an E chord with a changed 5th. When you put a C in the bass it becomes a C inversion. If you want to make EGC a C chord, you must play it as C EGC. The root note is always the lowest note in a chord.
To me it doesn't matter if you use three notes. But than you shouldn't use the backgroundcolors as you do now. To my opinion you should change the background colors. If the lowest note is a C you should use red.
CEG => red CFA => red
Lowest note D => yellow
etc. etc.

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:53 am

Is that a European definition, then? I just now looked at the Wikipedia article on inversion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inversion_(music)) which says right at the top of the article that EGC is the first inversion of the C-major triad, and GCE is the second inversion.

This is consistent with the music theory book that I started to dig into a few years ago, and that's why the CEG chords (of various permutations) and, later, the CEGB chords, are all colored red, to represent the root of the inverted chord.

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:04 am

Geez.. at 8-9 chords, Chordhopper is really starting to play tricks on me. When I began playing I wondered how the similar-colored chords could possibly sound the same; I mean, ACF covered a completely different span of the keyboard than FAC and they sounded miles apart. Now I'm having to be very careful not to confuse all three of them for each other... and most oddly, ACF sounds consistently "higher" than EGC!

More later on the main page.. I got sidetracked with what I wrote earlier today about teaching philosophy.

Andi
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Postby Andi » Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:50 pm

Another remark for the keyboard shortcuts:
Since I passed my second superfly-challenge today I found out, that for the new F-chord (it definitely is an F chord as I understand music!) I have to strike the "Z" on my keyboard.
This remark might sound a bit strange to you since on your keyboard "Z" is located directly below "A" and therefore perfectly matches the placing of the icons on the screen. But on my keyboard it isn't logical at all because below my "A" there is the "Y"....
I also once had the pleasure :wink: to write on a French keyboard, where hardly any key seems to be on the right place....
I think to keep ETC on an "international" level, you have to make "customized shortcuts" available!

Cheers,
Andi

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:32 pm

I get the impression that keyboard shortcuts will need to be customized. Ah me! I'd better get to it.

etaxier
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Postby etaxier » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:49 pm

This is just for the sake of interest, 'cause I like theory.

I think Boes is coming from a jazz background, where the theory was developed as a practical necessity for helping arrangers build their chords from a left hand / right hand combo of bass note plus chord, rather than the root plus assumed major/minor framework. For example, the chord C-E-G-A would be called "C with added 6" instead of "first inversion A minor".

European theory until the late 18th century was sort of the same way. G would appear in the bass and the numbers 6/4 would appear below the staff, so you'd think "G chord with added fourth and sixth" instead of a twice-inverted C chord. Strangely enough, French conservatories still teach the ancient method.

The bass-plus-chord method is particularly suited for composers, who want to distinguish the sound of every chord, including "inversions" as clearly as possible. In many circumstances, such as when you have a closed position chord in mid-range, a first inversion C might sound like a C chord, but you'll see this isn't always the case when you really emphasize the E by putting it low in the bass, and de-emphasize the C by not putting it in the soprano. There's also plenty of research in cognitive science to back up the claim that bass notes sometimes rival the triadic influence of the root of a chord. This effect was known even to people who did have absolute pitch, like Hindemith, who made it a basic part of his theory. Contrapuntal technique also takes the Bass/Soprano effect into consideration.

As I said at first, though, I'm just throwing this stuff out there for the sake of interest. I think interval loader does a great job of training bass/soprano intervalic perception, and I think chordhopper does a great job -- even in a jazz theory framework -- of teaching recognition of "right hand" structures, though I'm still waiting for that front page update to help answer my questions from a few days ago!

boes
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Postby boes » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:13 pm

I had to think a while about it, but Chris, you're right about the chords.
Btw. I have a classical background........

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:07 pm

Sorry about the lack of main-page update. My show (the Fantasticks) opens tomorrow; even now I'm dashing between day-work and evening rehearsal. Soon as I can, I promise.. in the meantime you could probably Wiki-search "information theory" and get a jump on the concept (if you felt like it).

As I'll mention in the longer entry, with 8-9 chords I find that I'm identifying the chords by "chroma" in the sense that each set of three chords has one unique pitch among them. Only the orange chords have an F; only the red chords have an E. I recognize the blue chords as G-without-E-or-C (although I suppose I could listen for D in both octaves instead). Once I hear that chroma quality I know exactly what the chord is without any ambiguity.


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