Cmloegcmluin Xenharmonic Feisbeuk
...the piece I'm working on is not JI. If I were to notate it with a JI notation system ... it would connote JI, which is not how I'm thinking about it, and I don't want the performers to interpret it that way.
I feel like Sagittal connotes JI, since it is based on comma alterations...
Looking back at these concerns I expressed just over a year ago, I now think they're absurd. I was concerned that Sagittal implied my tunings were based on JI when they were not (or in some cases that they were based on different JI ratios than they were really). Sagittal was designed for both EDOs and JI from the start, and so e.g.
's association with the syntonic comma as its default value, and thus always at least a suggestion, but certainly not its ultimate meaning, is critical. Sagittal shouldn't be thought of as implying that any pitch is
the JI suggested by the Sagittal symbols' elements or primary commas; Sagittal should instead be thought of as merely indicating
JI intervals which are likely to be sensed in the music.
Said another way: it's not the notation
which connotes JI, but the music itself
, whether I like it or not; the music can't help but sound that way given how humans hear harmony. Or, said yet another way: don't kill the messenger (the music is the message, Sagittal is the (winged) messenger).
And I should do with that information what I will. 99% of the time, a Sagittal user will be like, "thanks Sagittal, that is indeed
what I meant". And for the 1% of weirdos like me out there, if my goal is not
to evoke the interval my sagittal is pointing out it will evoke, then it has thus alerted me to rethink my composition.
Honestly I'm no longer sure what it was exactly I wanted back then, if it was not what Sagittal provides. Perhaps I wished for a set of symbols with some of Sagittal's good design properties — like sight-readability and size-to-pitch-alteration proportionality — but otherwise randomly shaped, without any musical logic? Such a system would provide a different service to the community than Sagittal does, sure, but its defining anarchic dissociation from psychoacoustic truth would be of so little
value that I can't imagine it being worth the cost to develop and maintain alongside Sagittal. In other words: why scramble that channel of information about underlying JI harmonic structure, when at worst, you could
just choose to ignore it, and pretend sagittals were random shapes?
I think that even if I was proactively seeking to avoid JI
as much as possible, such as with metallic scales / "merciful intonation"
— a purpose which seems fundamentally at odds with what individual sagittals are equipped to convey — the Sagittal community will someday find a way of applying Sagittal symbols which leverages their JI basis in service of this goal.