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9 - Searching for Vertical Patterns

The discussion so far as concentrated on horizontal patterns, such as themes. Each pattern in a MelodicMatch search exists as a horizontal entity: a rhythm, the text of a lyric, or a series of horizontal intervals. Compound patterns can be used to link these horizontal patterns in order to model vertical concepts in music such as harmony, especially where a given harmony is expressed with distinct and predictable voice-leading.

In MelodicMatch's Online Help file, the topic that deals with Compound Patterns gives an example of the Augmented 6th chord as such a harmony. The symphonic movement examined in this discussion contains more than one example of this chord, so this topic will show how to configure MelodicMatch in order to search for examples of these chords.

On the File menu, click New -> New Search. Create an intervallic pattern starting from the C above middle C descending by a semitone to B. Run the search. You'll see many results, so on the Pattern menu, click Transpositions -> Original Pitch, Perfect Octaves, and Compound Intervals so that ticks appear next to all three menu items. Re-run the search. This time you'll see fewer results because the pattern is more restrictive.

On the Edit menu, click Copy Pattern. Again on the Edit menu, click Paste Pattern. This will clear the results and add a copy of the pattern to the search. Select the new pattern, and on the Edit menu, click Pattern Options. This will show the Pattern Options dialog. Change the first note to the A-sharp above middle C and the interval to an ascending semitone (to B). Click OK on the dialog.

Create a second copy of the pattern and edit it to model the E above middle C moving via a descending semitone to D-sharp. Your search should now contain three intervallic patterns: C to B, A-sharp to B, and E to D-sharp.

The final step is to create a compound pattern to link these three intervallic patterns. On the Relationship menu, click Add Compound Pattern. Provide a name for the new relationship such as "Augmented sixth on C". Click the checkboxes next to each pattern. Click OK on the dialog and run the search again.

This time, the number of results is manageable; in fact, all the results appear in bar 173. Inspecting the score confirms the presence of an augmented sixth chord moving to a B-major chord in bar 174.

In practice, a search such as this for augmented sixth chords would need to duplicate the patterns in order to accommodate each of the twelve potential notes of resolution. This would result in a search of 36 patterns, for which you would need to register MelodicMatch. However, once constructed, this search could be run any number of times over any files.

This discussion has aimed to show that simple intervallic patterns can be combined via relationships to model more complex musical phenomena.

This tutorial continues with Running a Statistics Search.



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