During his piano lessons, Simon has been working on a diagram that would map all the possible chords on the piano. I gave him a huge roll of paper to draw on that he spread on the floor of his piano teacher’s studio. He said he wanted to create a network of chords and how you go to other chords. “Music is basically like finding a path through the network that you like, messing with but preserving the chords in the network. What do I mean by preserving? There’re 4 things that you can do to a chord to preserve it:
- move some of the notes in the chord by multiples of an octave (like 1 octave, 2 octaves, 3 octaves, etc);
- split up or mix some of the notes in the chord (taking one note and splitting it into two copies of the same note you start with but in different octaves or mixing the note from two octaves into one);
- get rid of some notes in the chord;
- there are some notes you can add to the chord and preserve it.
So far, Simon has been able to map C Major and A Minor tonalities. He got a little bit stuck, but is determined to continue.