I have a naïve question, but this has been bothering me for a while now. Wouldn't it be simpler and more convenient to have 6 note names instead of 7?
So we basically have the same 12 notes but renamed using six note names.
BEFORE: A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#
AFTER: A A# B B# C C# D D# E E# F F#
C major (
W W H W W W H) became:
C D E E# F# A# B# C
The whole tone scale became:
C D E F A B
The benefits of not having note names that differ by a semitone come when you want to understand what notes a chord may consist of.
For example, we have a major seventh chord, which consists of a major third (4 semitones), a perfect fifth (7 semitones), and a major seventh (11 semitones).
If we want to know notes in
Cmaj7 and we think like this:
- we got each second note:
C E A C
- we put accidentals:
C E(no accidental as in tonic, because 4 semitones is even)
Ab(7 is odd and less than 8 which is A),
Cb(11 is odd and less than 12 which is C).
- So it is
C E Ab Cbnotes.
I saw Why does the scale have seven (or five) notes? Why not six? question and I understand why we have the current notation for historical reasons and many things already be on top of it, but I wonder if we would make notation from scratch and can we reduce complexity using only 6 notes or am I missing the bigger picture here?