The Interval System + NoteWeaver Overview           


Screen Shots

The Interval System

Who's It For?








The original impetus for creating a product with multiple tables that remapped how notes function came from the need to support a new way of playing called The Interval System.    There needed to be systematic, quick to edit, open-ended way to assign note locations and functions across MIDI instrument playing surfaces.

As the possibilities opened up, it was clear there were more and more functions that could be dropped into the tables that supported The Interval System, and many other types of functions that made an instrument into a musical laboratory of experimental playing options.

How The Interval System works:

At the heart of The Interval System are notes that effectively jump (leap), up or down, instead of standing still like traditional notes do.

We're all familiar with played notes that remain stationary.  However with NoteWeaver, playing can inherently produce one or more woven streams of relative musical intervals that ongoingly move musical focal points, called

Each new note plays relative to its corresponding Reference and updates the Reference to the new pitch.

Suppose you're using a keyboard and an interval note that's set to +4 is played over and over again.  This generates an ascending run of Major 3rds.  That's because there are 4 semitones in a Major 3rd interval. 

The sequence +4   -3   +4   -3  first jumps up a Major 3rd, then down a minor 3rd, then up a Major 3rd, then down a minor 3rd.    A minor 3rd interval is 3 half steps.

Each note is still chosen and played in real-time like before, however now the notes weave intricate musical tapestries that can powerfully add to, and improve, any previous style of playing..

Original human emotional feel, timing, and note dynamics are fully maintained.


Here's a Symmetric Interval Layout Example
(one of almost endless possibilities)

Intervals Keyboard picture

These Jump Down                  Repeat                         These Jump Up

The above keyboard figure shows one simple example of how Functions and their Offset values can be applied to a keyboard.

I  =  Intervals                  LI  =  Repeat Last Interval

Notice the numbers associated with the interval notes count up and down, centered about a D on the keyboard.  This is because the D is a symmetric, mirror-image keyboard location.       (Note:  G# is also a useful mirror-image location.)

The middle D note labeled "LI ?" repeats the Last Interval, whatever it was.  The ? mark simply means that the interval jump value the note triggers changes.  For example: pressing  -2   LI   +5   LI   first shifts down by a whole note, then shifts down by another whole note, then shifts up by a Perfect 4th, then shifts up by another Perfect 4th.  (because a Perfect 4th contains 5 half steps)


Base 12 Chromatic Numbering

So NoteWeaver numbering displays cleanly and works intuitively the numbers count chromatically using a Base 12 numbering system.  Base 12 numbering works cleanly for music because there are 12 chromatic notes in an octave. Base 12 numbering uses 12 digits in each place with an "a" and "b" inserted after the 9:     8   9   a   b   10   11    etc.  where 10 is an octave and 20 is 2 octaves and so on.  Same with negative values.

12 is a great number because it's divisible by such a wide variety of smaller numbers. 

One valuable thing to understand and appreciate are the multitude of interval combinations of notes that can repeat each octave while being played. It's a matter of understanding simple addition, along with notes in various scales or chords and how they may, or may not harmonize and/or work together.  

Repeating sequences that add up to 12 often end up sounding really good since they remain in the same Key for each octave and produce the same notes, over and over again. 

Here are some chromatic combinations that add up to 12:   

                          3  4  5      3  4  5      3  4  5         See Note

  5  7      5  7      5  7

  4  8      4  8      4  8

  3  3  3  3      3  3  3  3      3  3  3  3  

  4  4  4      4  4  4      4  4  4

  9  3      9  3      9  3      9  3

2  4  6      2  4  6      2  4  6

  6   6       6   6       6   6       6   6

2   2   2   2   2   2       2   2   2   2   2   2       2   2   2   2   2   2

2   2   2   6       2   2   2   6        2   2   2   6

and many more possibilities...

Of course these need to be ultimately balanced with negative jumping intervals.  

It often sounds good to hold the sustain pedal
down to produce a more full musically rich sound.

Note:       Combinations like [ 3  4  5 ] can be played in any of 6
              different orders creating unique musical effects:

3   4   5        3   5   4  

4   3   5        4   5   3  

5   3   4        5   4   3  


          Musical Intervals

  The following table lists some base 12 semitone
counts along with their associated musical intervals:

Chromatic Base 12             
Semitone Step Qty.                       Musical Interval 

     0     none,                                 Perfect Unison

  -1     or      1                       m2      minor 2nd, or a semitone
  -2     or      2                       M2      Major 2nd, or a whole step
  -3     or      3                       m3      minor 3rd
  -4     or      4                       M3      Major 3rd
  -5     or      5                       P4      Perfect 4th, or just 4th
  -6     or      6                       A4      Augmented 4th, or tri tone
  -7     or      7                       P5      Perfect 5th, or just 5th
  -8     or      8                      m6       minor 6th
  -9     or      9                      M6       Major 6th
  -a     or      a                      m7       minor 7th
  -b     or      b                      M7       Major 7th
-10     or    10                      P8       Perfect octave
-11     or    11                      m9      minor 9th
-12     or    12                      M9      Major 9th
-13     or    13                    m10      minor 10th
-14     or    14                    M10      Major 10th

-20     or    20                    P16      Perfect 2 octaves

      Musical Interval Dual-Names

Also, depending upon the musical context, the exact same intervals
can have two different names and can change on the fly during a

Chromatic Base 12             
Semitone Step Qty                        Musical Interval 

           0                                        Perfect Unison   dim 2             

  -1     or      1                                  m2      Aug Unison
  -2     or      2                                  M2             d3
  -3     or      3                                  m3             A2
  -4     or      4                                  M3             d4
  -5     or      5                                  P4             A3
  -6     or      6                                  A4             d5       ( Tritone )
  -7     or      7                                  P5             d6
  -8     or      8                                 m6             A5
  -9     or      9                                 M6             d7
  -a     or      a                                 m7             A6
  -b     or      b                                 M7       dim Octave
-10     or    10                                 P8             A7
-11     or    11                                 m9      Aug Octave
-12     or    12                                 M9            d10
-13     or    13                               m10            A9
-14     or    14                               M10            d11

-20     or    20                               P16            A17   


Why Not Just Use Standard Interval Names?

Because of the above potentially much more confusing dual-name, ever changing musical context of the intervals, NoteWeaver simply displays intervals and musical pitches as quantities of semitones.  Traditional interval names were experimented with and produced confusing results that filled the table cells in awkward, more visually noisy ways.  Using chromatic interval names alleviates the necessity of having to on-the-fly predict musical interval names, which is often impossible in the first place, since they can easily change on a continuous basis. Also, chromatically, interval addition and subtraction is more practical and octaves work intuitively and line up cleanly. 


Parallel and Contrary Motion Layout Example

     Parallel Notes Track Intervals               Contrary Notes Crisscross Intervals

This keyboard figure demonstrates two more types of functions:  

Red   P = Parallel Motion Notes               Blue  C = Contrary Motion Notes

The P notes play in parallel with the above figure I, Interval producing notes.  That is, after an above Interval note jumps to a new value, subsequent  P notes remain stationary and play in parallel.  When a new Interval note comes along, then new P notes play relative to the new Interval note, etc.  

Said another way, the upper Interval keyboard section ongoingly shifts the musical Key, or transposes, subsequent P notes as an integral part of the playing process. 

The C, Contrary notes do just the opposite.  As Interval notes ascend, C notes descend, and visa-versa.

Especially, when playing through various harmonic scales this can create some nice sounding interweaving harmonies where all the notes always fit together beautifully.


The interval producing and parallel/contrary keyboard sections would normally be layed out on a single keyboard during actual play, but are separate because they didn't fit on the web page together.


There are other functions that can be used to further control how The Interval System works, like:

1. Quiet reference positioning
2. Quiet reference shifting
3. Interval Zone, which sets a low and high end wrapping points of note Intervals
4. Scale selection
5. Scale transposition
6. Map incrementing, or selection that remaps the entire playing surface
7. Layering, for choosing various layer functions for the notes

Also, while NoteWeaver Echo echos the final output notes that are produced, in various ways, the Arpeggiators arpeggiate incoming notes, so held interval producing notes get ongoingly arpeggiated, and when combined with Interval Zones that wrap notes, some very intricate note sequences can be made with ease -- then when this is combined with Echo, watch out!

For example, the mp3 "Arp Echo, Not Exactly a Quaint Little Lullaby" on the home page...

Nutshell Overview of NoteWeaver

o 128 possible MIDI input channels:

          That can be directed into any of 8 layers of what's called KDG (Keyboard, Drum, Guitar) tables :

          Keyboard                                                x  8 Layers

          Drums  (or other input controllers          x 8 Layers

          Guitar                                                      x 8 Layers   

o   256 MIDI output channels

o   256 sets, called "KDG Maps," of Keyboard, Drum, and Guitar data.     All data is collected into each map and change when maps change. Each layer of each map contains its own initial scale and transposition settings.

You weave in and out of these KDG Maps as you play by selecting new maps, on the fly. This way you can entirely alter how your playing is interpreted and translated.

o   38, or so different functions

These are assignable to each keyboard or guitar input note event. A note event is a MIDI input    note that triggers a Function. An event may play a note, or trigger a host of other functions. They may generate intervals, trigger elaborate chords, switch various maps, and many other things.

o Individual offsets applied to each function.

These offsets are usually in number base 12 since there are 12 semitones per octave:

                                 . . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a b 10 11 12 13 . . .

This also helps you vertically line up digits during editing. For example, a note of 46 will be 2 octaves below a note of 66. An offset of -30 will produce a -3 octave offset as an interval offset choice.

o   256 programmable chords:

Chords can contain up to 32 individual notes and are edited using a quick, intuitive editing grid. The Chord Notes environment lets you choose the note output sequence. The chord note order is the same as they are entered on the grid. The Chord Notes environment lets you place notes on the grid in any musical Key you're comfortable with, and NoteWeaver makes the relative translation.

o   256 programmable chord synth assignments:

Using the Chord Synths screen, each chord can be sent to 16 synths, selectable from the group of 256. You custom prioritize each note by synth to speed up chord output.

By playing 1 note, you can produce up to 512 total notes sent to 16 synths. This event that creates 512 notes is recorded in a song file as only 6 bytes. However, the final industry standard MIDI compatible file that is generated contains all 512 notes of information. The reason for the difference in size is that the internal song feeds the KDG and chord tables to produce the final output.

o   256 mappings of sets of 256 channels of output synth configuration.

o   256 programmable scales that map all 128 MIDI final output notes ranging from 0 - 127 into 128 selectable notes.

o   Sequencer made up of the Tracks window. The sequencer helps you record and edit multiple tracks of NoteWeaver events. The events take up little data since during playback they feed back through the arrays of NoteWeaver tables.

o   Score screen that displays music notation for 20 groups of 6 synths, each of final output.