Music Theory – 0007

MorseCodeI want a day off. I want a rest. And I am going to do just that and blow off today. Normally when I do this I post a piece of original music, say a few words about it, and then my readers can listen to it or not. I woke up today thinking about the musical “rest”.

The Rest is what we will be discussing tomorrow, where you write into a score a measured period of silence. I woke up remembering I wanted to cover this next but at the same time I was thinking about yesterday’s article where most of our focus was on changing a melody by simply altering the rhythmic values of certain notes while not even changing the duration of pitch change.

This made me think of Morse Code which is rhythmic communication, a sort of sonic braille. With it you could communicate “SOS” for Save Our Ship, “I love you”, or you could even stream an entire novel from beginning to end all using one single pitch and rhythm.

Morse Code is not music. The proper definition of music demands that there at least be a melody. Morse Code has no melody, only a single pitch and rhythm. Arguably, then, RAP is not music although it can be great art. RAP can be great poetry, RAP can use metaphor, RAP can express emotions such as rage. But RAP is not, technically speaking, music.

Back on topic.

Morse Code has been used in music. I started researching Morse Code and very quickly stumbled on pieces of music that intentionally employ it. We’re not really going to do that, but I am going to see if I can at least precisely notate “SOS” and display it here soon.

First we need to understand how to notate a rest on the score. That is tomorrow.

I provide a picture of Morse Code from Wikipedia here and also a link if you are curious about this sonic braille:


The above link is not required reading. It is merely for the curious.

Tomorrow: The musical Rest.

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