As mentioned in ‘Extended exercises for SINGING THE NUMBERS’ I’m experimenting with using abc notation to build an FtN track.
For a first cut I’m taking a ‘standard’ StN track as a strating point. I noted down the number groups for StN 19, typing them into a text file. I then applied a series of regular expression search & replace operations to manipulate the text into abc notation style melody (& ‘lyrics’, i.e. numbers) , then topped & tailed those lines this the appropriate abc markup to produce a ‘proper’ abc file my abc editor can work with (I use EasyABC).
The raw output from the basic conversion process has all notes the same lengths, which is obvioulsy not ideal! I’m currently tweaking the note lengths which is a little tedious but I hope won’t take too long (patterns build up). So far I have a file that can do a reasonable impersonation of the first 24 bars of StN 19, just the ‘piano’ (or any other MIDI instrument I choose) notes, without backing. It feels usable.
My aim isn’t really to reproduce a given StN track as an FtN equivelent. Rather, the exercise is about testing the concept of being able to use abc to produce FtN. By starting with an existing set of number groups from an StN track I’m not needing to come up with those too as part of the exercise.
Part of the appeal to me of this approach is the ease & flexibility of editing text files (it can be done anywhere, even if well away from any instruments or recordng equipment).
Having experienced the ‘real’ FtN produced by @MireiaClua & David (@ImproviseForReal) as part of Ear Training for Musical Creativity I know that they are anything but random, and nor are the reproductions of the equivalent StN tracks.
Nominally StN 19 ‘matches’ FtN 22, i.e. same level (‘week 10’ with notes 18.104.22.168.6.71), same key, same backing track and approximately the same length. However, FtN 22 does not just parrot StN19, there are some of the same sequiences, but much of it is different. Like all the ‘real’ FtN tracks it is instead a carefully constructed sequence of measures. FtN 22 makes much more use of 2 & 3 notes patterns than StN19. The patterns often run in planned groups ( e.g, 1,3 | 1,2,3 | 2,4 | 2,3,4 ), but there can also be ‘curve balls’ (e.g. reversals or jumps) within those groups (to keep you on yout toes?). I feel this helps keep the whole exercise ‘musical’, since music itself progresses in these sorts of ways rather than just randomly. The sequences also help the ear absrob the similarities & differences between groups, e.g. 5,6,7 might be followed by 1,2,3, or 1,3 by 5,7, or (ocatve)1, 6, 4 by 5,3,(root)1.
With an abc it ought to be quite easy to take one file & produce several variations in which various ‘planned sequences’ could be carefully moved about to reduce familiarity but without loosing the musical flow.
Similarly transposing to a different key would not be a big job.
Time will tell what comes of this, but I’ve made a start…