Suggestion: Arrange note buttons in a circle/ring

Comments and questions about Chordhopper.
MattV
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 5:19 pm

Suggestion: Arrange note buttons in a circle/ring

Postby MattV » Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:22 am

Code: Select all

        Chromatic                Circle of Fifths

            Do                          Do
       Ti        Di                Fa        So

    Te              Re          Te              Re

   La                Me        Me                La

    Le              Mi          Le              Mi

       So        Fa                Di        Ti
            Fi                          Fi

Last edited by MattV on Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

MattV
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 5:19 pm

Postby MattV » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:21 am

It probably isn't clear why I would suggest putting the note buttons in a circle, is it?

The existing horizontal arrangement of the buttons reminds me of a piano keyboard, and for me that association is unhelpful at best. On a piano keyboard, 'further to the right' always means 'higher in pitch'. This is not true of the note buttons.

In fact, the octave of each note button varies depending on which chord is active, so it is impossible to rank the note buttons from 'low' to 'high'. I think putting the buttons in a circle would make their 'unrankable' nature more clear.

How would you assign keyboard shortcuts for a circle? It's unfortunate that the circular arrangement does not map directly to the keyboard. If you want to mimic the geometry, the best you can do is a diamond at a bad angle, which I didn't even try. What I decided to do instead was to assign the number keys to clock positions, as follows:

[1] - [9] = 1 o'clock - 9 o'clock
[0] = 10 o'clock
[-] = 11 o'clock
[=] = 12 o'clock ([`] would be another reasonable choice)

If used with the chromatic circle, the 'clock position' keys amount to reintroducing the original horizontal button layout (sigh)---but if used with the circle of fifths, the keys produce a 'scrambled' yet logical order of notes, one that is different enough to make me forget about the piano keyboard entirely.

In fact, I'm using the circle-of-fifths keyboard shortcuts now, in the current version of Chordhopper. My chord-spelling rounds are slower, yet much less frustrating than they used to be, and I'm quickly adapting to the new keys.

MattV
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 5:19 pm

Postby MattV » Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:32 am

I'm experimenting with this variant of the clock-position, number-keys layout:

[T] = 12 o'clock
[Q] - [R] = 8 o'clock - 11 o'clock
[Y] - [ ] ] = 1 o'clock - 7 o'clock

This is a shifted version of the same layout, with 'T for twelve' as a mnemonic. The advantage here is that the break is between C#/Db and G#/Ab rather than between C and G or between F and C. This way, the similarities among the C, F, and G triads are not obscured. Chords containing both C#/Db and G#/Ab aren't introduced until very late in the game, so I'm not too worried about that.

Edit: Coincidentally, the break occurs at just the spot where the solfege syllables represented by the icons change from sharps (C# = Di = deer) to flats (Ab = Le = ladybug).

Edit #2: Here's what I mean about how the similarities among the C, F, and G triads are shown:

Code: Select all

[R][T][Y][U][I][O][P]

       G  D        B

    C  G        E

 F  C        A
Last edited by MattV on Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:06 am, edited 3 times in total.

aruffo
Site Admin
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Postby aruffo » Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:46 am

I've rearranged the tiles into a circle (replacing the bar). I'm going to add some additional program-stuff so that people will be able to choose which pitch sits at the top of the circle and whether the order is clockwise or counterclockwise.

I won't immediately implement circle-o-fifths, if only because it seems more important to learn the pitch "alphabet" order to begin with.

(disclaimer: the circle's only in v6 beta, which is not yet available as a release.)

MattV
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 5:19 pm

Postby MattV » Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:16 am

Glad to hear it!

aruffo wrote:beta, which is not yet available as a release

Never stopped Google....


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