6-6 Pitch Pattern

Clairnote SN represents the twelve notes of the chromatic scale as two whole tone scales. (A whole tone scale is a series of notes evenly spaced a whole step apart.) One is a series of 6 line notes, and the other is a series of 6 space notes. This is known as a “6-6” pitch pattern.

6-6 pitch pattern in Clairnote SN music notation

These two whole tone scales combine in a regularly alternating pattern to form the chromatic scale.

Chromatic scale in Clairnote SN music notation

This regular pattern in the representation of pitch means that intervals, scales, and chords have a consistent appearance regardless of the current key or their vertical position on the staff. In technical terms, this is known as isomorphism (“iso” meaning “same,” and “morph” meaning “shape”).

For example, all major scales start with three line notes, followed by four space notes (or vice-versa). All minor thirds are a line note and a space note, while major thirds are two line notes or two space notes. What you see always corresponds with what you hear.

See the Scales and Intervals pages for illustrations and further discussion.

Comparison with Odd and Even Numbers

The benefits of the 6-6 pitch pattern can be understood by analogy with the distinction between odd and even numbers. Odd and even numbers help with counting and determining the relationship between two numbers. In a similar way, the 6-6 pitch pattern makes the interval between two notes easier to perceive and understand. It makes it easier to see the contours of scales and melodies and also the patterns that make up chords and harmonies.

See the Scales and Intervals pages for illustrations of the clarity and consistency that result from Clairnote SN’s 6-6 pitch pattern.

Next: Rhythm Notation