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8 - Adding a File-based Pattern

The patterns that we have used in the search so far have all been intervallic patterns. Although these patterns are easily created in MelodicMatch and don't require the use of a notation editor, they can't represent information about rhythm or articulation markings. To search for patterns based on these musical features, you can use File-based patterns.

Recall the opening of the Presto in the strings, shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

We used intervallic patterns to search for the accompaniment figures in the lower strings. However, this 3-quaver figure can also be configured as a file-based pattern, and doing so gives us more configuration options in searching for it.

To use this figure in a file-based pattern, use your notation editor to create a separate file containing just this bar, as shown in Figure 2. You must save the file as a MusicXML file. This may not be the default file format used by your notation editor, so check carefully that your editor has actually created a MusicXML file.

Figure 2

Note that this excerpt includes the staccato dots on the quavers. On the Edit menu, click Add Pattern... and select Material in a file. Supply the name of the MusicXML file you created and re-run the search. You should see several results from this pattern scattered throughout the movement. Some of these results will intersect with results from the three intervallic patterns that you created to model the accompaniment texture.

Compared to intervallic patterns, file-based patterns give you more configuration alternatives to explore. By default, MelodicMatch configures file-based patterns to match on both rhythm and intervals, ignoring any rests before the first note or after the last note. These default options can be changed as follows.

  • When searching for rhythms, MelodicMatch ignores bar-lines by default, so the pattern in Figure 2 will also match on the string parts at bar 198-199. On the Pattern menu, click Match Length. This will cause MelodicMatch to match only where the number of bars in the pattern matches the number of bars in the score. You can use this option with any file-based pattern, even if you are not matching on rhythm. This option is useful when you may not wish to specify the rhythm exactly, but you expect that the pattern will probably appear over the same number of bars.
  • On the Pattern menu, click Original Intervals so that this option is not ticked. Re-run the search. MelodicMatch now searches for this pattern on rhythm only - ignoring the intervals. You should now see results that are very close to those that appeared before adding the file-based pattern. The pattern appears in only a few places that the intervallic patterns do not - bar 288 being the obvious exception.
  • On the Pattern menu, click Trim Rests, again so that this option is not ticked. Re-run the search. MelodicMatch now includes the quaver rest at the end of the bar when searching for the rhythm of the pattern. This limits the results further, with only a few results still appearing in bar 288 and some in the 10 bars from bar 335.
  • On the Pattern menu, click Match Articulations, but this time so that this option is ticked. Re-run the search. MelodicMatch now searches for the pattern while paying attention to the staccato dots attached to the quavers. At this point, you should see a subtle difference between the results from the intervallic patterns and those from this file-based pattern. The intervallic patterns appear at bar 225, but the file-based pattern does not. Using your notation editor to look at the score at bar 225, you'll observe that the quavers do not appear with staccato dots.

This last point carries significant implications, particularly for music editors. MelodicMatch is able to find inconsistencies in the details of a score that may in fact result from inaccuracies in the transcription or printing. These differences may be in remote contexts that are difficult or impossible to detect manually. MelodicMatch has a role to play as an editorial proofing tool.

It should be apparent from this topic that there are several ways that you could create a pattern to achieve the same analytical goal. Your experience will guide you.

This tutorial continues with Searching for Vertical Patterns.



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