[Sugar-devel] Outreachy - Going Beyond Equal Temperament in Music Blocks

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Sat Mar 25 07:54:11 EDT 2017

On Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 4:58 AM, Sachithra Dangalla <
sachithradangalla at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you.
> I came up with the following simple activity diagram(attachment 1) to
> capture what happens when the user defines a temperament. By incorporating
> the comments and Devin's mockups in the GitHub issue[1] I came up with a
> mockup design for the widget (attachment 2). The widget will be initialized
> with the default values as follows:
>    - starting pitch: 256
>    - octave: 4
>    - 12 frequency blocks for each note with default ratio 1/1
> I would like to hear your comments about them.
> After defining the frequencies, the user has to trigger a "save the
> configuration" is that so? How will the user save it?

I like the general direction you are going. I wonder if it cannot be a bit
more simple in that you could define the number of steps in a key/mode by
simply the number of define frequency blocks in the clamp? and maybe you
don't need to modify the pitch block to return an argument? It could just
be a hertz block contained in the define frequency clamp. (Maybe the block
should be define step?) I am assuming that the widget would output a stack
of code like this? And to activate it, it would simply be run before
everything else? There is a mechanism for saving stacks to be used between
projects, so I could imaging making a temperament you like and reusing it
again and again.

> An additional question: I used an image editing tool(PS) to get the
> mockups, is there a better way to design mockups?

I need to add an export button for the block artwork. I typically just use

> [1] - https://github.com/walterbender/musicblocks/issues/485
> Regards,
> *Sachithra Dangalla,*
> Undergraduate B.Sc.Eng.(Hons.)
> Department of Computer Science & Engineering,
> University of Moratuwa,
> Sri Lanka.
> <https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SachithraDangalla93>
> <https://lk.linkedin.com/in/sachithradangalla>
> <https://comexile.blogspot.com>
> On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 7:47 PM, Devin Ulibarri <devin at ulibarri.website>
> wrote:
>> On Wed, 2017-03-22 at 13:25 +0530, Sachithra Dangalla wrote:
>> > Mode is a new term to me and I'm still reading about it ([1] and [2]).
>> > I'm finding it hard to understand the relationship between temperament
>> > and mode or their implementations, any advice on it would be great. Is
>> > mode already presented in music blocks?
>> >
>> There is a "mode" widget.
>> As for temperament and mode, these are the important principles...
>> * You have collection of pitches that most often repeats at the octave.
>> e.g.
>> [N.B. this number of pitches can be any number, but some collections are
>> more common than others.]
>> * A mode is the name/quality that collection of pitches has/imbues when
>> starting (or "centering around") from a particular pitch in that
>> collection.
>> Start from C or D or E or F etc. changes the sound of the music.
>> * Temperament is the precise tuning of those notes, and thus the
>> relationship of the tuning of those notes with each other.
>> For example, if the tuning in Hz of E is changed, the relationship
>> between C and E changes too... thus affecting the sound.
>> So, with different temperaments, the same modes can sound very
>> different.
>> Devin

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs
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