The Number Game

The principles of Western music theory are governed by the well-termpered system of 12 half steps combined in various patterns to form scales and melodies. I like patterns and anything that follows logical sequences – my mind just seems to be wired that way. Mathematics was always my favorite subject  – it was my High School AP class and one of my Undergraduate majors and I never missed a point on tests because once the process was clear the right answer was just a matter of putting the numbers in order. The logic and creative play with numbers also attracted me to the art form jazz. The harmonic structures and the ability to spontaneously match melodies and patterns and rhythms while interacting with the other players includes similar mathematical logic. In fact, scale degrees are numbered and various number sequences can easily be translated in melodies. Here are some examples for my play with numbers to create compositions.

This one is based on the date of 12-26-2017 – it’s improvised in honor of the day.

Here is my composition based on Nancy Wilson’s birthdate 02-20-1937 – this one is actually written out and we recently recorded it for the upcoming release SHEroes. The fabulous Ingrid Jensen is taking the lead on it and it portrays Nancy’s elegant style.

Here is one final example – this one was for Thanksgiving Day 2017, pickup to the holiday season with a nod to Vince Guaraldi’s Skating

So – I’m thinking my next project will be a collection of works based on birthdates by historic women that need to be rewritten into history – or something similar – thoughts, suggestions?