PolyChromatic Music and PitchColor

An exploration of new musical worlds of polychromatic pitch-color. A source for information, audio, video, scores and general theory.

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What is PolyChromatic Music?

The PolyChromatic system expands the expressive potential of our chromatic system by using an intuitive, pitch-color concept to notate and practice music created with any micro-pitch scale method. The pitch-color spectrum ordering (r,o,y,g,b,i,v) remains consistent while the pitch frequencies (in hertz) are flexibly defined by each type of scale.

This is similar to rhythm notation in that note values (i.e. quarter note) remain consistent, while their durations (in seconds) are defined by the tempo. The exploring musician no longer needs to learn a new monochromatic language for each micro-pitch scale. Rather, the focus can be directed toward learning the unique pitch-color associations within each scale method (ET, EDO, MOS, JI, etc).

The idea of ‘absolute’ pitch is replaced by a dynamic concept of pitch-color which is defined by and relative to any tuning method. Endless variations can exist within a unifying system.

Each chromatic note can range from flat-ish to sharp-ish and is now expressed in pitch-color gradations from (infra)red to (ultra)violet. The simplicity of the polychromatic system and its pitch-color concept brings new freedom in exploring the infinite worlds of micro-pitch music. And it introduces an easier way for musicians and listeners to further refine auditory awareness and discrimination of the ‘notes between the notes’.

An introduction to PolyChromatic Music and a demonstration of some innovative electronic music controllers. 2015

An overview of PolyChromatic Music with a demonstration performance on the Tonal Plexus keyboard at TEDxSacramento. 2016

Articles

PolyChromatic Music

An intuitive and unifying framework for practicing and creating with all varieties of micro-pitch music. Encouraging an awareness of expansive harmonic possibilities and perspectives, within the polychromatic system.

The PolyChromatic System

Pitchcolor is a relatively defined concept in polychromatic music. The sequential color relationships (r,o,y,g,b,i,v) remain constant while pitchcolor definitions (in hertz) are defined by the micropitch scale applied.

Creating PolyChromatic Music

Practical ideas on using the polychromatic system. Integrating the use of technique and technology in exploring sounds beyond the limits of monochromatic music.

PolyChromatic Implications

Immeasurable qualities of creativity, imagination and intuition may ultimately be with distinguishes us from increasingly sophisticated technology and Artificial Intelligence.

An example pitchcolor layout which facilitates an intuitive transition between scales with 24, 36, 48, 72 and 96 pitches per octave.

Podcast with Dolores Catherino

A fascinating discussion about the Polychromatic pitch-color system, audio and music technology, auditory perception, and the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence in music.

 

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