Controlling the dynamics of transposition


Through my work with this concept I once discovered a fascinating phenomenon involving the movement of various modal transpositions. For example a mode with the starting point “C” has eleven possible destinations. Each of these eleven steps will eventually be found in our natural overtone series.

I propose that each movement has a certain dramatic effect dependent on the distance the movement is up the overtone series. For example a movement from a mode with a starting point “C” will lilt lightly to a mode with a “G” starting point. “G” is of course, as the perfect fifth from “C”, the next overtone after the octave and the first transposition in the gradation of overtones.

The entire gradation as each chromatic appears reads as follows: 1st. The perfect fifth 2nd. The major third 3rd. The minor seventh. 4th. The major second 5th. The augmented fourth 6th. The major sixth 7th. The major seventh. 8th. The minor second. 9th. The minor third 10th. The perfect fourth 11th. The minor sixth.

As the movement from a “C” starting point to a “G” starting point is very light exactly the opposite occurs with a movement from a “C” starting point to an “Ab” starting point.

This is a very dramatic modulation. As presented a modal movement increases in dramatic effect the further the intervallic distance is up the overtones series. So in letters with a “C” starting point it would look like this. “C” to “G” is a light movement and with each following the modulation increases in intensity. We could, as well, describe it in colours from the spectrum yellow to ultra violet. “C” to “G” is (yellow) “C” to “E” (yellow-green) “C” to “Bb” (orange) “C” to “D” (scarlet) “C” to F#” ( crimson) “C” to “A” (passion-red) “C” to “B” (red-violet) “C” to “Db” ( violet ) “C” to “Eb” (purple) “C” to “F” ( Prussian- purple) and “C” to “Ab” is ( ultra-violet)

The application of this technique is in no fashion a prerequisite or the only method possible for dramatic control in music however it is a useful tool when consciously practiced.