Scale Intervals

  1. How to do it:
    1. in the Score, select a Voice, Measure, Part or Section;
    2. from the Menu, under Macros, choose Scale intervals…;
    3. in the Scale intervals in… floating window that opens, set the scaling parameters as follows:
      • Scale strategy: choose among the available procedures:
        • constant factor scales all melodic intervals in the selection consistently, by multiplying the size of each interval with a static scaling factor. For instance, for a Factor of 2, a minor second (1 semitone) becomes a major second (2 semitones), a minor third (3 semitones) becomes a tritone/augmented fourth (6 semitones), and so on. Therefore, with default settings, a A-A#-C#2 passage would become A-B-F2;
        • progressively scales the melodic intervals in the selection differently, based on their position within the selection; a dynamic scaling factor is used in this case, which linearly evolves between the two margins set by Start factor and End factor. For instance, if we have three minor seconds (1 semitone each) in our selection, a Start factor of 1 and an End factor of 2, then the first would be left untouched — because 1 * 1 = 1 —, the following would be converted into a major second (2 semitones) — because 1 * 1.5 ≈ 2 — and the last would become also a major second — because 1 * 1.5 = 2. Therefore, with default settings, a A-A#-B-C2 passage would become A-A#-C2-D2;
        • threshold acts similarly to constant factor, but only operates on intervals that satisfy the threshold. For instance, if set to Operate above threshold, and given a Threshold interval of 2, only the intervals above the major second would be affected — starting with the minor third (3 semitones) onwards;
      • Factor: choose whether to enlarge intervals’ size (use any value greater than 1) or shrink them (use any value less than 1). A value of 1 does not change current interval size. This parameter is only shown for the constant factor or threshold strategies, and sets a static boost or reduction throughout the selection;
      • Start factor and End factor: choose the margins for a dynamic scaling factor to be used throughout the selection. Each of these two parameters function exactly like Factor: values greater than 1 enlarge melodic intervals, those less than 1 decrease them, 1 does nothing. This parameter is only shown for the progressively strategy;
      • Threshold interval: choose a segregation limit, so that only some of the available intervals will be affected by the scaling process. This parameter is only shown for the threshold strategy;
      • Operate: choose whether scaling should occur above or below the set Threshold interval. This parameter is only shown for the threshold strategy;
      • Align result: decide how to place the scaled material with respect to the original material’s range. Since altering melodic intervals in a tune is likely to change its ambitus, the new melody could use some “realignment” (this does not “fit in place” the new melody, though — it is your responsibility to keep its range in reasonable limits). Available options are:
        • anchor on original note: keeps in place the initial note of the melody and progresses onwards with scaling, not paying any attention on how the new melody relates to the range of the old one — this is the default;
        • center on pivot original pitch: attempts to overlap the middle of the resulting melody’s range with the middle of the original melody’s range, practically centering the new melody in the range of the old one; the initial note will likely be moved;
        • ceil within original range: attempts to overlap the highest pitch in the resulting melody’s range with the highest pitch in the original melody’s range, practically ensuring that the new melody goes as high as the old one; the initial note will likely be moved;
        • floor within original range: attempts to overlap the lowest pitch in the resulting melody’s range with the lowest pitch in the original melody’s range, practically ensuring that the new melody goes as low as the old one; the initial note will likely be moved;
      • Resulting primes: choose what will happen if scaling down reduces several consecutive intervals to perfect primes; you can leave them as repeated notes (preserve) or have them collapse into a single, longer note;
      • Reverse direction: choose whether to also invert intervals’ direction while scaling them. Reverting direction works with any Factor setting.
    4. click Apply changes (the check mark button) to execute.
  2. Hints:
    • all the results of multiplication operations are rounded, the way that 1.5 becomes 2, and 1.4 becomes 1;
    • any number multiplied by 0 is 0: if you move the Factor slider all the way to its left, you turn all intervals into perfect primes; if they also consolidate (the default) you will be left with a single, long note on the first pitch off your selection; this may be of help at times, but even more helpful would be to only get close to zero. This would make only smaller intervals collapse, leaving you with a down to essentials form of your melody;
    • you can use the Scale intervals macro to obtain a chromatic inversion about various axes: choose constant factor for Scale strategy and 1 for Factor, and turn on Reverse direction. The Align result parameter will control the inversion’s axis:
      • use anchor on initial note to invert about the initial note in the original material;
      • use center on pivot original pitch to invert about the middle of the original material’s range;
      • the remaining options will arbitrarily choose an inversion axis, as not to overshoot the highest or lowest pitch in the original material (ceil within original range and floor within original range respectively);
    • see also: Use the Macros.

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