Intermals - A Signal-Based Harmony Protocol

A simple protocol for describing chord voicings as a signal.


This is an idea for encoding a chord and/or harmonic information in a single floating point value.

  • The number to the left of the decimal defines the root in semitones.
  • The numbers to the right of the floating point defines rising semitone steps for each subsequent voice.
  • useful for shooting harmonic information around as signals in rnbo.
  • You can do weird chord maths maybe.

The possible chord voicings are both limited and limitless.

-- THE.INTERMAL --------------- 
   -12.074   <---- Signal    
     / \ _To the right_
    /   |> Three additional 
   /    |> voices 0, 7,
  /     |> and 11 semitones 
 /      |> above the root.
|< Root twelve semitones below 
|< whatever reference pitch.

Example Intermals

Relative to C:

0.43 //root, major 3rd, minor 3rd

0.434 //root, major 3rd, minor 3rd, major 3rd

0.34 //root, minor 3rd, major 3rd

2.34 //root, minor 3rd, major 3rd

F stacked 5ths
5.777 // f c d a  

B half-diminished
11.334 //root, minor 3rd, minor 3rd, major 3rd

-1.43  //root, major3rd, minor3rd