[Smt-talk] Altered pitch, preserved contour

Nigel Morgan n.morgan at netmatters.co.uk
Wed May 20 06:55:21 PDT 2009

Dear Richard,

Although I have not seen the phenomenon described that frequently in
contemporary analysis I use this device (which I have always referred to as
a scaling procedure) frequently in my own music. I have also observed it in
the music of my contemporaries - notably Magnus Lindberg.

As a co-developer of the Symbolic Composer software we created a function
called symbol-scale which enables rescaling of pitch material by percentage
or between give pitch parameters. This function has present within the
specification since 1992. This function features regularly (as an
I-function) in the scores of my Six Concertos, the background of which is
documented is some detail here:


For an instance you can examine in a single work, download the SCOM code
annotation for the score 'After Hindemith' for piano trio.


I hope this helps.

Nigel Morgan

Visiting Research Fellow
Future Music Lab
Plymouth University

On 20/5/09 11:23, "Richard Lewis" <richardlewis at fastmail.co.uk> wrote:

> Can anyone think if there's an accepted term to describe the
> phenomenon where some musical material is stretched in pitch (making
> the intervals bigger but preserving the contour). The first thing that
> comes to mind is 'augmentation', but this is usually only applied to
> rhythmic alteration.
> I suspect that, as this phenomenon is not common in the Western canon,
> it may have escaped categorisation by the early C20th arbiters of
> music theory. Though I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
> Best wishes,
> Richard

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