David Lewin on compositional uses of geometry

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David Lewin on compositional uses of geometry

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Author(s): David Lewin

Source: Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Summer, 2004), pp. 12-63

Published by: Perspectives of New Music

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25164553

Accessed: 21-10-2015 00:44 UTC

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Some Compositional

Uses

Geometry

Projective

of

Le?7ta

David Lewin

Part

I: Introduction

to the Projective

Plane; Diatonic

Modal

Examples

a school that has seven students: Ann, Bill, Carol, Dan, Eve,

and

Frank,

Gladys. Suppose the school offers seven courses: Latin,

Imagine

Math, Neurology, Psychology, Quantum mechanics, Russian, and Span

ish. Suppose the enrollment of students in courses is given by Example 1.

On the example, each asterisk indicates that the student whose initial

appears to the left is taking the course whose initial appears above. Thus

Ann is taking Math, Neurology, and Quantum mechanics;

the students

enrolled in Spanish are Carol, Frank, and Gladys; and so forth.

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13

ProjectiveGeometry

A

~B~

~C

~D

~E

~F~

~G

EXAMPLE 1

1 has the following properties:

Example

2. Any two courses have just one student in common.

3. Every course has at least three students; every student is taking at

least

4.

three

It is not

the

courses.

case

that

every

student

is taking

every

course.

appreciate the geometric metaphor, we can replace the word "student"

by the word "point," the word "course" by the word "line," and the

notion of a student's taking a course by the notions of a point's "lying

on" a line and (equivalently) of the line's "passing through" the point.

The properties above then translate as follows:

1. Any two points lie on just one line.

2. Any two lines pass through just one point.

3. Every line passes through at least three points; every point lies on at

least three lines.

4. It is not the case that every point lies on every line.

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14

Perspectives

of New Music

"plane geometry." The things have to do in particular with incidence

relations of points and lines. Only property 2 departs from Euclidean

intuition: in Euclidean plane geometxy^parallel lines do not pass through

any common point. Projective geometry, unlike Euclidean geometry (or

As

translated,

To turn the Euclidean plane into a projective plane one can adjoin a

"line at infinity," comprising formal "points" where parallel lines meet.

In the Euclidean plane one fixes a reference line; in a standard Cartesian

coordinate system this could be the horizontal X axis. For each number a

at infinity."Each line in the Euclidean plane will be tilted with respect to

the reference line at some angle a degrees; the given linemeets the line

at-infinity at point a. So a line perpendicular to the reference line meets

the line-at-infinity at point 90. A line parallel to the reference linemeets

the line-at-infinity at point 0. More generally, two parallel lines will both

be tilted the same amount with respect to the reference line; if the com

mon

extended structure is called the "Real Projective Plane." The reader can

verify that it satisfies properties 1 through 4 above.1

A projective plane is highly structured, and that structure can be musi

cally suggestive in various contexts. As a first illustration, let us return to

Example

1 and

now

read

the

seven

as

"students"

leged Chords, the Chords L through S displayed

properties now read:

the

seven

white-note

in Example 2. The four

2. Any two Chords have just one common

tone.

3. Every Chord has at least three notes; every note belongs to at least

three Chords.

4. It is not the case that every note belongs to every Chord.

EXAMPLE 2

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15

ProjectiveGeometry

EXAMPLE 3

Indeed in this particular geometry every Chord has exactly three notes,

and every note belongs to exactly three Chords. Chords L, M, and N,

taken in conjunction, suggest Phrygian modality; Chord P, when suitably

linearized, is appropriate for executing a melodic Phrygian cadence.

Obviously

Later on, I shall show how I did that.

I shall present a Lehrst?ck that demonstrates how various

Meanwhile

the

of

geometry can be projected compositionally. After setting

aspects

seven-note

the

seven-chord projective plane as in Examples 1 and 2,

up

to build a species of "Phrygian mode,"

I decided to write a three-part

I

be a Chord.

vocal piece where every three-note verticality would

to base this piece on a cantus firmus, and had the idea of com

decided

posing

the

cantus

as

tune

twenty-one-note

comprising

concatenated

tus, shaped to have a "Phrygian" character (and somewhat adjusted as

the composition went into later stages). As shown by the brackets and

letters

at

the

bottom

of

the

example,

the

first

three

notes

of

the

cantus

linearize Chord M, the next three linearize Chord L, and so on; the

melodic cadence is achieved through a linearized form of Chord P.

Imagining a vocal piece, I looked for a suitable text. I tried to find a

stylistically appropriate twenty-one-syllable text that could be sung to the

tune of the cantus firmus. Example 4, setting three seven-syllable verses

of text, seemed apt. (I modified my original cantus firmus slightly, the

better to accommodate this text.)

in no -mi -ne Do

-mi -ni.

EXAMPLE 4

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PerspectivesofNew Music

16

three Chords to which it belongs. Example 5a sketches the idea. Wsym

bolizes the note of the cantus firmus; the lines on Example 5 a indicate

the three Chords

[W,Z1,Z2\.

a) b) c)

/W\

XI

XI

III

,WV

/Wl

Yl

Zl

XI-Yl-Zl

XI-Yl-W3

Yl

72

X2?Y2-22

X2-Y2-W3

III

W2

II

EXAMPLE 5

It is not hard to see that the seven "points" of Example 5a must be the

seven distinct notes of the mode.2 One naturally hopes to be able to

arrange matters as in Example 5b, so that {XI, Yl, Zl] and {X2, T2, Z2\

will be Chords (i.e., "lines" of the geometry), projected as vocal lines in

the two accompanying voices. But this is not possible. The line deter

mined by XI and Yl will indeed contain one of the Z-points, but that

same Z-point (not the other one) will also be the third point on theX2

72 line.3

This feature of the system suggests the compositional

algorithm

sketched by Example 5c. Here Wl symbolizes the present note of the

cantus firmus, and W2 symbolizes the next note of the cantus. (The can

tuswas constructed so as not to have repeated notes.) IfW3 is the third

Wl

and

W2), then the X-notes and T-notes can be arranged

containing

so thatX1-Y1-W3

is a geometric line (i.e., a Chord), and X2-Y2-W3

is

also a geometric line (a Chord). Indeed, this arrangement is unique, up

to contrapuntal inversion of "voice 1" and "voice 2," and/or exchange

of notes Xn with notes Tw.4

The basic algorithm of Example 5 c produced the compositional study

of Example 6.

Other features of the projective geometry suggest other compositional

possibilities. Consider for instance the fact that every pair of distinct notes

belongs to exactly one Chord, to which exactly one other note also

belongs. This enables one to add a third part automatically, to any two-part

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17

Projective Geometry

nit,qui ve - - -nit,in

mi -

Do -

-ni_

-mi - ni,.

in_

no -

Do-mi-ni,_Do

-mi - - - ne inno

-mi -ni,

- mi -ne_

EXAMPLE 6

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18 PerspectivesofNew Music

example

Example 7 illustrates, adding a third part to an example fromZarlino.5

The example illustrates his "third mode";

given our particular Chord

a

course

to

it

is

natural

select

of

two-part model from one or

vocabulary,

another E-final mode. The exercise could be made more elegant if it did

not cling so doggedly to the notion that every three-note verticality had

to be a Chord of the geometric system; protocols for non-Chordal verti

calities in three voices could of course be worked out.

Another resource for composition in our geometric mode is "modula

tion" to secondary modes. This can be accomplished in several ways. First,

the Chords of Example 2 can all be transposed by a fixed number of semi

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Projective

a)

19

Geometry

b)

L'

N'

P'

(M)

?r

R'

S'

M'

N'

P'

R'

S'

(Q)

(R)

(Q)

(P)

EXAMPLE 8

sition is five semitones (Example 8a): that is because the two harmonic

triads of themode are related by T5; also the transposition introduces only

one ficta tone. The a-minor triad serves as pivot: Chord V of the trans

8b

posed mode coincides with Chord M of the original mode.Example

shows the original mode transposed by T2. This introduces ficta tones F|

and C|. Chord 5'of the transposed mode coincides with Chord Q of the

original mode. Example 8c shows a particularly idiomatic pitch-class inver

sion of the original mode, inversion-about-D. No ficta tones are intro

duced, and there aremany pivot-Chords: P'and il'coincide with R and P

respectively;Q 'coincides with Q. The mode of Example 8c could be taken

in itself as a sort of "Ionian/C-major"

structure.

suggests another sort of modulation

one

can

to other diatonic

of

mode

2.

modulate

original

Example

Namely,

to

a projective

modes

other

choices

of

realize

modes,

Chords,

given by

seven

as

notes

can

with

the

white

One

plane

"points."

easily construct

That

large numbers of such modes. For that purpose, the abstract configura

tion of Example 9 is useful.

First one selects three basic Chords, which one might think of as "pri

mary." These are the Chords corresponding to lines 123, 345, and 561

on the figure. The primary Chords must be selected so that any two of

them have exactly one common tone. C-, G-, and F-major triads could

not be selected as the three Chords, because the G and the F triads have

no common tone. One could, however, select {C, E, G}, {F,A, C}, and

{G, F, B}. Arranging the notes to suit the configuration of Example 9,

one could take C = 1, G = 3, F = 5, E = 2, B = 4, A = 6. Then the remain

ing note, D, would be number 7 in the example.

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20

PerspectivesofNew Music

If 123, 345, and 561 are all formal "lines" of the geometry, then so are

174, 376, 572, and 246.

example

the mode. The seventh note appears at the center of the triangle. Itmust

be the case that 174, 376, and 572 are all formal "lines" of the geometry;

the corresponding notes will then be formal Chords of the system.6

Finally, itmust be the case that 246 is a formal "line"; the corresponding

notes then form the seventh Chord.7

"Ionian/Cmaj";

primary Chords CEG,

FAC, GBF; other

Chords BCD, DGA,

DEF, EAB.

"Dorian"; primary

Chords DFA, GBD,

EGA; other Chords

CDE,

BEF.

ABC,

FGC,

"Mixolydian";

primary Chords GBD,

DFA, GAC; other

Chords CDE, EFG,

EAB, BCF.

EXAMPLE 10

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ProjectiveGeometry

21

{C,

Example 10a shows themode generated by the "primary Chords"

E, G}, {F,A, C}, and {G, F, B}, as begim above. This turns out to be the

mode encountered earlier in Example 8c; itwas the

"Ionian/C-maj"

inversion of our original "Phrygian" mode about D. Example 10b shows

a "Dorian" mode generated by taking {D, F, A}, {G, B, D}, and {E, G,

10c, a "Mixolydian" mode with primary Chords

{G, B, D},

{D, F, A},

serve as pivots between

and {G, A, C}. Chords DFA, GBD,

and CDE

our Dorian and Mixolydian modes; FGC pivots as a Chord for both our

Phrygian and our Dorian mode.

There is of course little reason, other than historicist sentimentality, to

assign special priority to harmonic triads as Chords, "primary" or other

wise, in constructing any formal diatonic mode (i.e., geometry).

are available. Some mathemati

Further techniques of "modulation"

ones

will

idiomatic

be

discussed

later, "collineations" in particular.

cally

* *

almost like that of Example 9, a structure consisting of seven points {1,2,

3, 4, 5, 6, 7} inwhich 123, 345, 561, 174, 376, and 572 are all formal

"lines" of the geometry. In general, 246 need not be a formal line.We

shall call any such structure a "reference quadrangle."

A generic reference quadrangle may be constructed as follows. Given

any projective plane (whether a seven-point plane or some other), select

"1" and "3" as any two distinct points. (Any line contains at least three

distinct points.) Since not all points of the plane lie on one line, select

"5" as any point not on the line 13.

The lines 13, 35, and 15 are all distinct. (If any two coincided, then

points 1,3, and 5 would all be collinear, and point 5 would lie on line

13, contrary to construction.) So, in particular, lines 13 and 15 are dis

tinct. Let L be a third line passing through point 1. (Every point lies on

at least three distinct lines.) Take "4" to be the point where line L meets

line 35. Point 4 is not the same as point 3, since Lis distinct from line 13.

Point 4 is not the same as point 5, since L is distinct from line 15.

Line L contains at least three distinct points, including points 1 and 4.

Take "7" to be a third point on line L. Then 7 cannot lie on any of the

other lines so far constructed (13, 15, or 35). If 7 were on line 13, then

line 17, which is L, would be the same as line 13?but L was taken to be

distinct from line 13. If 7 were on line 15, then line 17, which is L,

would be the same as line 15?but L was taken to be distinct from line

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22

Perspectives

of New Music

Kl

J2

[pi, p3, q2, r2\

=

J3

[plyp2, q3, r3]

Jl

Ll

K2

K3

Ml

M2

L2 = [p2, q2, s2, t)

L3 = [p3, q3, s3, t]

M3

=

[p2, r2, si, s3}

=

[p3, r3, si, s2]

=

[q2, q3, ri, si)

=

[ql, q3, r2, s2\

=

[ql, q2, r3, s3)

N=[rl,r2,r3,t\

EXAMPLE 11

15. If 7 were on line 35, 7 would be the point where L meets line 35?

but that point is point 4, and 7 was chosen to be distinct from 4.

Take "2" to be the point where line 57 meets line 13. Point 2 is dis

tinct from point 3: if2 = 3, then line 25 = line 35, and point 7 would lie

on line 35?which

it doesn't. Point 2 is distinct from point 1: if 2 = 1,

=

it

then line 25

line 15, and point 7 would

lie on line 15?which

doesn't. So 1, 2, and 3 are different points of line 13.

In likemanner, taking "6" to be the point where line 37 meets line 15,

we see that 1, 6, and 5 are distinct points of line 15. In sum, points 1

through 7 are all distinct; 123, 345, 561, 275, 471, and 673 are all dis

tinct lines.

In the general projective plane, itneed not be the case that points 2, 4,

and 6 are collinear.

Part

Projective

Applications

as fol

A generic thirteen-point projective plane can be conceptualized

lows. Let the "points" of the system be symbolized as pi, p2, p3, ql, q2,

q3, rl, r2, r3, si, s2, s3, and t.Then take as the thirteen "lines" the sets of

points J1,J2, etc. given by Example 11.

The given thirteenpoints, togetherwith the stipulated thirteen lines, form

a projective plane. The readermay check the four required properties:

1. Any two points lie on just one line.

2. Any two lines pass through just one point.

3. Every line passes through at least three points; every point lies on at

least three lines.

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Projective

23

Geometry

In the thirteen-point plane, every point lies on exactly four lines and

every line passes through exactly four points.

The thirteen-point plane can be used to structure "chromatic" modes,

if one adjoins a special symbol $ to the twelve chromatic pitch classes.

The special symbol could be realized musically as silence, or as a non

pitched event, or as a wild card. Example

such mode.

=

G,p3=?,

ql=D,

pl=B,p2

= $.

=A,?

?i=Et,?2=Ff,.tf

/i={G,F,D,C}

=

J2 {B,F, Bt, E}

=

J3 {B,G, Gf, Cf}

#2=Bt,

q3

K2

G$, ri=C,

r2=E,

r3-Cf,

tfi?{B,C,Ff,A}

=

{G,E, Et, A}

K3 - {F,Cf, Et, Ff}

Ml = {Bt,Gt, C, Et}

M2 - {D,Gf, E, Ff}

M3 = {D, Bt, C|, A}

LI - {B,D, Et, $}

L2 = {G,Bt, F|, $}

L3 = {F,Gf,A, $}

tf={C,E,Cf,$}

EXAMPLE 12

as follows. I

12 I proceeded

To construct the mode of Example

decided to make the special symbol $ the point t of Example 11. I then

considered the four lines of Example 11 that would contain the special

=

symbol t $. These four formal lines would be realized in the musical

mode by formal Chords thatwould each comprise three "genuine notes"

plus the special effect. I decided to structure themode so that those four

Chords would be transposed or inverted forms, each of any other. I spe

=

=

cifically decided that LI

[pi, ql, si, t)would be {B, D, Et, $}, that L2

=

[p3, q3, s3, t) would be

[p2, q2, s2, t) would be {Ff, G, Bt, $}, that L3

[rl, r2, r3, t) would be {C, Cf, E, $}. Thus

{F, Gf, A, $}, and thatN

the three notes B, D, and Et would be assigned in some order as the

points pi, ql, and si of Example 11; likewise the three notes Ff, G, and

Bt would be assigned in some order as the points p2, q2, and s2 of

Example 11, and so forth. Playing around with various possibilities for

those assignments, considering the other Chords that Example 11 would

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

24

Perspectives

of New Music

12. Evidently an

enormous number of such modes can be constructed.

rl

(t-1-1)-1-p3-s3v

r

/-s/-qJv

rl-p

pi-p

I-r3-(q3-q3-q3-q3)

I-P3-(ql?ql-ql-ql)-J--ql

s2-rl-qV

r3-ql-$3'

si

EXAMPLE 13

of cantus firmus.The example supposes the succession t, q2, q3 as a seg

ment of such a cantus firmus.All vertically aligned sets of four events in

the example are Chords of the generic system. At the left, the cantus fir

mus event tis harmonized by the four vertical Chords that contain it: {t,

rl, r2, r3}, {t, si, pi, ql], {t, q3, p3, s3], and (moving onwards) {t,p2, q2,

s2). The voice leading can be arranged so that the three accompanying

voices of the first three chords all form formal lines with q2, the next

event of the cantus firmus. That is?as indicated by the horizontal and

si, q3, q2) is a formal line; so is \r2,

diagonal lines in Example 13?[rl,

so

and

is

[r3, ql, s3, q2\. q2 now takes over as cantus firmus

pi, p3, q2}y

and

it

is

first

harmonized

event,

by the (unique) chord that contains both

t.

The

and

then

process

repeats, aiming at q3, the next event of the

q2

cantus

firmus.

s2?i.e., q3 must not lie on the line defined by t and q2. And of course t

and q2 must be distinct. The cantus is thus constrained as follows: itmust

contain no immediately repeated events, and no three consecutive events

may be collinear.

In Example 13, the three initial lines of "alto," "tenor," and "bass"

voices, under t in the cantus firmus, become verticalities when q2 takes

over the cantus role: the alto's initial line rl-sl-q3-q2

becomes the last

four-point verticality shown in the example; the tenor's initial line r2-pl

p3-q2 becomes the fifth four-note verticality, and so forth. This is a fea

ture of the algorithm.

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25

Projective Geometry

* * *

ena. For instance, there are exactly thirteen of what Larry Polansky calls

"ternary contours."8 These are illustrated in Example 14. The thirteen

point plane will organize these contours into mathematical "lines," each

of which is a group of four contours. Example 11 will help the reader

experiment with various modes of such grouping, assigning the symbols

ply p2, etc. in various ways to the thirteen symbols of Example 14.

EXAMPLE 14

* * *

exactly five points, and every point lies on exactly five lines. A generic

structure for the plane can be obtained by algebraic techniques to be dis

cussed later. The geometric structure could be applied, in various

"modes," to the family of twenty-one diatonic unordered dyads.

There is also a thirty-one-point projective plane; every line therein has

exactly six points, and every point lies on exactly six lines. The structure

might be of interest to those who are interested in the thirty-one-tone

scale; the geometry would single out a privileged family of thirty-one

hexachords as formal "lines" of the system. The thirty-one privileged

There

hexachords

Part

III: Algebraic

Structure

of the Projective

Plane

structurewhich is very helpful for constructing a "generic" specimen of a

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

26

Perspectives

of New Music

given plane, along the lines of Example 11 earlier. To grasp such matters,

one must firstunderstand the notion of an algebraic "skew-field."

By that term, a mathematician understands a set F of objects x, y, etc.,

upon which two binary combinations are defined. The combinations are

usually denoted using conventional symbols for addition and multiplica

tion: thus objects x and ymay be combined so as to yield a formal "sum"

x + y, and a formal "product" xy. In order to constitute a "skew-field,"

the systemmust satisfy requirements 1, 2, and 3 following.

1. Pis

denoted by 0; the additive inverse of element a; is denoted "-#".

is

2. The non-zero

element

of the group is denoted by 1; the multiplicative

identity

inverse of a non-zero #is denoted by "aT1" or by "1/V\

=

= xz

xy + xz\ (x +y)z

+yz.

Ifmultiplication

is commutative, the skew-field is called a "field." The

real numbers form a field. So do the rational numbers?those

which can

be expressed as quotients of integers. So do the numbers of form a +

is the (irrational)

b(Jl), where a and b are rational numbers and Jl

a

non-zero

a + b(Jl ) is (a

root

2.

of

The

inverse

of

square

multiplicative

cannot

denominator

vanish

because

a2 cannot

2bb)?the

-b(j2))/(aaa

not

and

b

rational

and

both

zero.9

possibly equal 2e2,

being

The integers mod 2 form a field. Those are the integers 0 and 1 with

all arithmetic reduced modulo 2?e.g.,

1 + 1 = 0. The integersmod 3 are

also a field, that is the symbols 0, 1, and 2 with arithmetic reduced mod

ulo 3: 2 + 1 = 0, 2 2 = 1 (4 is onemore than some multiple of 3), and so

forth. The integersmod 5 are a field, that is the symbols 0,1, 2, 3, and 4,

with all arithmetic reduced modulo 5. (4 3, for instance, = 2, since 12 is

twomore than some multiple of 5.) In general, for any prime number p,

the integersmod p form a field.

There are other finitefields as well. For instance, there is a field of four

elements which one can denote as 0,1, a, and a + 1. In this field, anything

added to itselfproduces 0, and a2 equals a + 1. These properties enable

one to carry out the necessary arithmetic, to verify that the structure is a

field. For instance, a(a + 1) = a2 + al = (a + I) + a = I + a + a = 1. Then (a

= 1 + 1 + a = a.

=

+ l)(a + 1) = a(a+

1) + l(a+

1)

(I) + (a + 1)

The cardinality of the field just studied, four, is not a prime number,

but it is a power of a prime. In general, for any prime number p and any

positive integer ?, there will be a field of cardinality p^. Furthermore, any

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective

Geometry

27

finite field must be one of those. Indeed, any finite skew-field must be

one of those, since a remarkable theorem shows that any finite skew-field

must be a field.

* * *

skew-field (any skew-field). Consider the family of all ordered triples <bl,

b2, b3> formed from members bl, b2, and b3 of F. We stipulate that two

such triples, say <bl, b2, b3> and <bl\ b2\ b3>, are "left-equivalent" if

there is some non-zero number k in F such that bl' = k bl, b2' = k b2,

=

and b3'

k b3. This in indeed an equivalence relation among the triples.

The relation is reflexive (bj- 1 bj,forj = 1, 2, 3); it is symmetric (if bj'=

=h

k bj, then bj = (l/k)

bjy, the relation is also transitive (if bj"

bj',

equivalence-classes of F-triples. That is, <0, 0, 0> is excluded as a "point"

of the geometry, but every other F-triple represents a point; among those

triples <bl, b2, b3> and <cl, c2, c3> represent the same point ifand only if

there is some non-zero ?in F such that cj = k- ?/for each y = 1,2,3.

We shall label the formal lines of the F Projective Plane by the non

zero right equivalence-classes

of F-triples, which we shall write using

The

to the triple

square brackets: the triple [XI, X2, X3] is r^i-equivalent

=

some

non-zero

if

there

is

k

in

_Fsuch

that

[XI ',XT, X_H

k, for

Xj'

Xj

each j = 1, 2, 3. Every non-zero triple represents a line; among those

triples [XI, X2, X3] and [Tl, T2, T3] represent the same line if and only

if there is some non-zero k in _Fsuch that Yj =Xj- k, for each j = 1,2,3.

The point b= <bl, b2, b3> lies on the lineX=

[XI, X2, X3] ifand only

ifthe sixnumberssatisfy

theequation (bl)(Xl) + (b2)(X2) + (b3)(X3) =

right-equivalent toX, the numbers ?y'and Xj'wi?

satisfy the same equa

tion. Hence the relation "? lies on _?" iswell-defined for points and lines.

The known algebraic behavior of such equations in skew-fields guaran

tees that the "points" and "lines" of the "F Projective Plane," as defined

above, do indeed constitute a projective plane. That is:

1. Any two points lie on just one line.

2. Any two lines pass through just one point.

3. Every line passes through at least three points; every point lies on at

least three lines.

4. It is not the case that every point lies on every line.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

28

Perspectives

of New Music

(discussed in note 1) also obtains. Remark

ably enough, every projective plane (i.e., every aggregation of formal

points and formal lines satisfying the four properties above and the Prop

can be labeled by numbers from some F Projective

erty of Desargues)

Plane so as to realize the algebraic structure described above. That is,

some suitable F.

If the Pis finite (and hence a field) we can count the number of points

in the F Projective Plane. Say the cardinality of Pis q,where q is a power

of some prime p (as earlier). The number of F-triples is then q3, and the

number of non-zero F-triples is q3 - 1. Of those, each is equivalent to q

1 others, since each triple can be multiplied by any of the q - 1 non-zero

members of F to form an equivalent triple. The number of non-zero

- 1

divided by q - 1. That number is equal

equivalence classes is then q*

to 1 + q + q2, which will be the number of points in the corresponding

=

=

+ 4 = 7; themod-2 projective

projective plane. If # 2,l + #+ #2 l+2

= 1+ 3 + 9

our

is

"diatonic"

If

seven-point

plane

plane.

#=3, 1 + ^ + ^

=

our

or

the

mod-3

is

"chromatic"

13;

projective plane

thirteen-point

=

we

contour"

If

the

obtain

q 4,

"ternary

plane.

twenty-one-point plane;

if q = 5, we obtain the thirty-one-point plane. Six is not a prime power;

there is no six-element (skew-)field, so there is no forty-three-point pro

jective plane. But there is a seven-element field, so there is a fifty-seven

point projective plane. Eight and nine are each prime powers, so there is

a

seventy-three-point

plane,

and

the Twenty-One-Point

Plane

ninety-one-point

plane.

and Musical?of

Part

III to

21 = 1+4+16;

the twenty-one-point projective plane "is" in fact the F4

where

F4 is the four-element field discussed in Part III.

Projective Plane,

=

F4 = (0,1,?,#+1};

anything added to itself is 0; a + 1 02. One verifies

=

=

=

=

= 1. 1 +

that 0(0 + 1)

03

0; (0 + l)3

1; (0 + l)2

(0 + 1)0

(0 + 1)

=

+

+

so

1

1

and

forth.

a,

[=

0]

manifests the structure of the F4 Projective Plane. Using themethod dis

cussed at the end of Part I earlier, we select any "reference quadrangle"

in the plane; let its points and lines be denoted as in Example 15: points

pi, p2, p3, q, rl, r2, and r3\ lines Jl, J2, J3, Ml, M2, and M3, each line

containing inter alia the points specified on the figure.

=

=

Now, using numbers from F4, we label pi

<1, 0, 0>, p2

<0, 1, 0>,

=

=

<0, 0, 1>, and q <1, 1, 1>. The algebraic structure of the F4 Plane

p3

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

29

ProjectiveGeometry

Jl=[p2,p3,rl,

=

J2

[p3,pl,r2,

=

J3

[pl,p2,r3,

Ml = [pl, q, rl,

M2 = [p2, q, r2,

M3 = [p3, q, r3,

EXAMPLE 15

tells us what the line coordinates forJl will be. Both p2 and p3 have first

coordinate equal to zero. That is, both are points b = <bl, b2, b3> satisfy

- 0.

Thus, both points satisfy the equation (bl)(Xl)

ing the equation bl

+ (b2)(X2) + (b3)(X3) = 0, where XI = 1,X2 = 0, and X3 = 0.We know,

from the algebraic structure developed in Part III, that the coordinates

forJl will then be [1, 0, 0]: Jlis that line containing exactly such points

b as satisfy bl =0 (more explicitly, bl 1, plus b2 0, plus b3 0 equals 0).

=

=

[0,1, 0]; J2 contains just those points b satisfying b2 0.

Similarly,J2

?

=

0.

And J3

[0, 0, 1]; J3 contains just those points b satisfying b3

Example 16 updates Example 15 to display the new information.

pl

0>,p3

<0, 0,1>

q-<lyl,l>

/Z-[1,0,0]

J2 =[0,1,0]

=

[0,0,1]

J3

Ml=[pl,q,rl,.

=

M2

[ply q, rl,

[pl,p3,rl,..

[p3,pl,rl,..

[pl p2yv3y...

l(W-O)

.K*2-0)

}(b3=0)

M3 = [p3yq} r3, .

EXAMPLE 16

=

in F4. The lineMl

shall find the line coordinates forMl

=

=

<1, 0, 0> and q <1,1, 1>.

[XI, X2, X3] passes through the points pl

we

must

1

XI

X2

have

0

plus

plus 0 X3 equal to 0 (since

Accordingly,

Next we

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

30

of New Music

Perspectives

pi lies on Ml),

lies on Ml). That is,we must have XI = 0, XI +X2 +X3 = 0. Or: XI = 0,

X2 =X3. Accordingly Ml = [0, 1, l].10

In similar fashion, we see thatM2 = [1, 0, 1], and thatM3 = [1, 1, 0].

The new information is displayed in Example

pi

<1, 0, 0>, p2

/i- [1,0,0]

=

/2 [0,1,0]

=

J3 [0,0,1]

<0, 1, 0>, p3

{p2,p3,rl,.

[p3,pl,r2,.

\pl,p2,r3,.

?fi-[0,1,1]:

{?I, ft ri,.

?I? - [1, 0,1]:

{?2, ftr2,.

M3-[l,l,0]:f^,ftr3,.

17.

<0, 0, 1>, q

<1, 1,1>

(M-0)

(?2=0)

(W-0)

=

(b2 b3)

(bl=b3)

(bl=b2)

EXAMPLE 17

Now we shall find the point coordinates for point rl. Suppose those

coordinates are <bl, b2, b3>. Since rl lies on line/i = [1, 0, 0], we have bl

=

=

= 0. Since rl lies on lineMl =

[0, 1, 1], we have b2 + b3 0, whence b2

b3 (in F4). In sum: bl = 0; b2 = ?3. ri is then labeled by the triple <0,1,1>.

Similarly, r2 is labeled by the triple <1, 0,1>, and r3 is labeled by the triple

<1,1, 0>. Example 18 updates Example 17 with the new information.

In the particular field F4, 1 + 1 = 0. Therefore, in the particular sys

temwe are now considering, the sum of rl's three coordinates is zero. So

is the sum of r2's three coordinates, and so is the sum of r3,s three coor

dinates. That is, the points rl, r2, and r3 all satisfy the equation bl + b2 +

b3 = 0. (This would not be the case in a field where things added to

themselves were not zero.) Hence the three r-points all lie on the line L =

[1, 1, 1]. Example 19 updates Example 18 with the new information.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ProjectiveGeometry

31

=

=

=

=

<1, 0, 0>, p2

<0, 1, 0>, p3

<0, 0, 1>, q <1, 1, 1>

pl

=

=

=

rl

<0,1, 1>, r2 <1, 0, 1>, r3 <1, 1, 0>

Jl =[1,0,0]:

=

[0,1,0]:

J2

=

[0,0,1]:

J3

Ml =[0,1,1]:

M2 = [1,0,1]:

M3 = [1,1,0]:

[p2,p3,rl,.

.

[p3,pl, r2,

[pl,p2,r3,.

[pl,q,rl,.

[P2,q,r2,.

[p3,q,r3,.

(bl=0)

(b2=0)

=

(b3 0)

=

(b2 b3)

(bl=b3)

(bl=b2)

EXAMPLE 18

Example

within the twenty-one-point plane. That is because the two-element field

F2 = {0, 1} is a subfield of F4. The seven points and seven lines of

Example 19 are exactly those points and lines whose coordinates can be

written using only numbers from F2. Since our original choice of refer

ence quadrangle was arbitrary,we can pause to note the interesting fact:

any choice of reference quadrangle

realizes

the seven-point

plane.

The visual image of Example 19, on the Euclidean plane of the page,

instance it does not show us that rl, r2,

begins to be deceptive now?for

and r3 are collinear.11 So we shall continue onwards from Example 19

purely algebraically, adjoining other points and lines of the twenty-one

point plane using number-triples of F4. The coordinates of our new points

and lines will all involve numbers of F4 that are not numbers of F2; thus

theywill all involve the number a of F4. Example 20 lists the twenty-one

number-triples from F4. And Example 21 lists the twenty-one lines of the

plane, giving their line coordinates in square brackets; Example 21 also

shows which points of Example 20 lie on which of those lines.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

32

Perspectives

of New Music

=

=

=

<1, 0, 0>, p2

<0,1, 0>, p3

<0, 0,1>,

pi

?

=

=

ri

<0, 1, 1>, r2 <1, 0, 1>, r3 <1, 1, 0>

Jl=[l,0,0]:{p2,p3,rl,..

=

J2

[Q,l,0]:{p3,pl,r2,..

=

[0,0,1]:

J3

[pl,p2,r3,.

1,1]: [ri, r2,r3,...

L-[l,

Ml=[0,l,l]:[pl,q,rl,..

M2 = [l,Q,l]:{p2,q,r2,..

M3 = [l,l,0]:{p3,q,r3,..

<1,1,1>

.}(W-0)

.}(f?-0)

.}(f??0)

}(M + *2 + *3-0)

. }(t?-*3)

, }(M-*3)

. )(W-t?)

EXAMPLE 19

<0,

1,0>,

?i=<l,0,0>,

?2

ri=<0,l>l>)

si =<0,1,

#>,

ii' = <0,1, a + 1>,

tl =<a,

1,1>,

fi' =<? + !, 1, 1>,

r2-<1,0,1>,

s2 = <1, 0, #>,

? + 1>,

?2 =<1,0,

?2 = <1, #, 1>,

+ 1, 1>,

?2' -<1,*

/>3

<0,0,

1>,

r3?<l,l,0>

j3 = <1, a, 0>

??? -<1, ? + 1, 0>

t3 = <1,1, #>,

# + 1>,

r?'

=<1,1,

r-<l,

1, 1>

U =<1, #, 0 + 1>

f = <1, a + 1, #>

EXAMPLE 20

The

'

that point b = <bl, b2, b3> lies on lineX = [XI, X2, X3]. Thus si = <0,

=

1, a + 1> (on Example 20) and Nl'

[0, # + 1, 1] (on Example 21);

=

+

+

+

+

so

as indi

0,

(1)(?

1)

l)(l)

(a

(0)(0)

point si' lies on lineNT,

cated on Example 21. sT = <0, 1, a + 1> also lies on line G = [1, a, a +

=

1], since (0)(1) + (l)(a) + (a + 1)(* +1) 0.

ingmusic which assigns the twenty-one unordered diatonic dyads to the

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective

Jl =[1,0,0]

=

J2 [0,1,0]

=

/5

[0,0,1]

=

?

[1,1,1]:

Ml =[0,1,1]

Ml[1,0,1]

M3 = [1,1,0]

M

=[0,0,1]

#2 = [0,0,1]

N3 = [0,1,0]

ATi' -[0,* + l,l]

N2' = [0 +1,0,1]

AT3' = [0 + 1,1,0]

?-[^,1,1]

K2-[1,*>1]

K3-[l,l,*]

Kl'

=[0 + 1,1,1]

Kl'

=[1,0 + 1,1]

+ 1]

K3' =[1,1,0

G = [l,0,0 + 1]:

+ 1,0]:

#=[1,0

[p2yP3ytlySlySV\

[plyp3yrlyslysi]

[pl,pl,r3,s3,s3'}

[rly rly r3y u, v)

[plyqyTlytlyt?]

[pl, qyrly tly ti }

[p3yqyr3yt3yt3' )

[PlySlyt? yt3yU)

[flySlyt? yt3yV)

[p3yS3ytly t? yU)

[plySl' ytlyt3' yV)

[flyS? ytlyt3' yU)

[p3yS3' ytlyti yV)

[rlySlyS3yti' yt? }

[TlySlyS3' yti' yt3' }

[r3ySl' yS? yti yti

[rlyS? yS3' ytly t3\

[rlyS3ySly

tly t3\

[Sly S3y S?

33

Geometry

y0, V)

(arithmetic inF4(\))

(W-0)

(?2-0)

(?5=0)

=

(bl+bl + b3 0)

(bl = b3)

(bl=b3)

(bl-bl)

(b3-a-bl)

(b3?a-bl)

(bl-a-bl)

(b3-(a + l)-bl)

=

(b3 (a + l)- bl)

(bl=(a + l)-bl)

+ b3)

(a-bl-bl

(a-bl-bl+bJ)

=

(a-b3

bl+bl)

+ b3)

((a + l)bl=bl

=

((a + l)bl

bl+b3)

((a + l)b3-bl+b2>)

+ (a + l)b3=0)

(bl+a(bl)

=

(bl+(a + l)bl + a(b3)

0)

EXAMPLE 21

listed

points

in

Example

20.

One

strategy?not

the

only

one!?is

to

the values pl = {CE}, pl = {FA}, p3 = {GB}, r3 = {EG}, rl = {DA}, r2 -

{BFU

{AC}.

EXAMPLE 22

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

34

Perspectives

of New Music

feature evident inExample 23a, where the bracketed segments are collinear.

pi r3 pi

rl p3 rl pi

pi

rl

r3 q

p3

p2

r2 r3 rl

p3 rl pi

EXAMPLE 23

ing another textural possibility. No rhythm is indicated. I have not exer

cised any special control over the voice leading here, simply trying to

project vaguely Stravinskyish spacings of the dyad-triples.

Example 23 illustrates how the reference quadrangle of Example 22

yields a seven-point subplane of the twenty-one-point plane. In the

present context, it is natural to arrive at the full plane by "diminuting"

Example 23a. To see what that means, consider the first three dyads of

Example 23a. These dyads, playing the roles of pi, r3, and p2, all lie on

line J3 of the full plane, but they do not constitute the entire line J3 of

that plane. The full line J3, as we see in Example 21, contains not only

the points pi, r3, and r2, but also the points s3 and s3', points not

appearing on the reference quadrangle. We can naturally imagine dyads

s3 and s3', in this context, appearing "in passing" to elaborate the pro

materializes that notion.

In that phrase, the progression pi, r3, p2, which began Example 23a, is

diminuted by transitional dyads {CG} and {EB} that appear on the off

beat eighths. To subsume those dyads onto line J3, we assign them the

point-values s3 and s3', the other points of lineJ3. The firstfive dyads of

Example 24a will then project line J3 in its entirety. In like spirit, the

second five dyads of Example 24a take the progression p2, rl, p3 from

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective

pi

35

Geometry

r3 p2 p2 rl p3 p3 r2 pi pi q

ri r3 q

p3

si si'

tl tl'

s3 s3'

s2 s2'

t3 t3'

p2

t2

r2 r2 r3 rl

v u

t2'

EXAMPLE 24

{CD} on the off-beat eighths; the transitional dyads are then assigned as

=

points si and si', so the phrase as a whole projects line Jl

{p2, p3, rl,

same

in

its

24a

in

the

si, si'}

entirety. Example

proceeds

spirit through

out. It turns out (in thisplane!) that every remaining point of the plane

will be referenced exactly once, by diminuting Example 23a in such a

way. One can see that by inspecting Example 21; there one sees that the

linesJl, J2, J3, L, Ml, M2, and M3 collectively reference point u, point v,

each

?-point,

each

s' -point,

each

i-point,

and

each

t' -point

exactly

once.

And those are the lineswhich appear in part on Example 23a, as progres

sions to be "diminuted."

Example 24b realizes the five-dyad lines as verticalities, elaborating the

three-dyad verticalities of Example 23b. The new dyads are shown with

filled-in noteheads. Orchestration

and/or other compositional means

entrance

amount of sustained time, etc.) could

order

of

and

exit,

(dynamics,

be used to project the idea that the open-notehead parts of each sonority is

more in the nature of a Zentralklang, while the filled-in noteheads project

Akzidentien}2 On the other hand, a composer might not choose to project

explicitly the "referentiality" of Example 23b, treating that only as a work

ingmethod to arrive at the full twenty-one-point structure.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

36

of New Music

Perspectives

DEFGABEFGABFGAB

CCCCCCDDDDDEEEE

si' pi

t3' s3

tT

t2' s2'

t3

rl

t3

r3

s3'

G A B A B B

F F F G G A

si p2 r2 s2 p3 t2

EXAMPLE 25

from the diminutions of Example 24. In working out those diminutions,

it is helpful of course to keep a running log of Example 25 as itdevelops,

to be sure that each dyad is used, and used only once.

Now thatwe have assigned a dyad to each formal point of Example 20,

fourteen lines of that example not yet involved in the constructions of

Example 24.

t3

si

tT

pi

t3'

tl

pi

si'

rl

si

s3

t3'

tT

EXAMPLE 26

Example 26a projects lines Nl, Nlf,

musical texture of Examples 23a and 24a, loosening up the rhythm and

"bowing" a bit. Example 26b imagines a more flexible texture than any

so far presented; in that texture itprojects linesJ3, G, and if as indicated.

The

interested reader, taking hints from this example, will quickly dis

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective

37

Geometry

cover many other textures inwhich to project formal lines of the plane,

and many other musical resources for linking the lines together.

Many, many other "modes" are of course available for assigning dia

tonic dyads to the formal points of Example 20. The choice of our "C

major" mode was only to facilitate hearing for the firstsuch mode to be

studied. Within a composition, one could "modulate" between different

such modes, particularly if they have formal lines in common, with which

to "pivot." Or one could transpose a mode via any number of semitones,

introducing new tones. Example 24a, using a ficta F| within our mode,

suggests one such possibility. Finally one can use mathematical

mations that are particularly characteristic for projective planes.

Part V: Collineations

in the Projective

transfor

Plane

tion is a function f that permutes the points of a projective plane among

themselves in such fashion that,whenever points p, q, and r are collinear,

so are ?(p), ?(q), and f(r). Loosely speaking, a collineation is an

operation

on points that "preserves lines." If point p varies along line L, then f(L),

the locus of the points f(p), will itself be a line. f(Z) may or may not be

the same line as L.

Obviously, collineations are particularly idiomatic sorts of transforma

tions to consider, given the points of a projective plane. The collineations

Here is the basic theorem concerning collineations: let pl, p2, p3, and

p4 be points, no three of which are collinear; let pi, p2', p3', and p4'

also be such a quartet of points; then there exists a collineation f such

=

=

=

that f(pl) =pl',

f(p2)

pi,

f(p3) p3', and ?(p4)

p4'. In this context

the p' -points may all be distinct from the ^-points, or various of the p' points may be the same as various of the ^-points; the theorem obtains in

any

case.14

As one

lineations on a given plane. To sharpen that intuition, let us examine col

lineations on the seven-point plane.

matic for the plane. Points 1, 3, and 5 of the example are non-collinear;

we can take them as the generic "pl, p2, and p3" of the theorem. We are

also to consider a generic "?>4" not lying on line 13, or on line 35, or on

line 51. Point 7 is the only possible such p4, for this plane. Given points

pi, pi, p3', and p4' as stipulated, let us find a collineation f as in the

theorem. We know that any such fmust satisfyf(l) = pl ', f(3) = pi, f(5)

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

38

Perspectives

of New Music

A seven-point plane: 123, 345, and 561 are all formal "lines" of the

geometry; so are 174, 376, 572, and 246

example

27

=

p3', f(7)

p4'. Subject to those conditions, we find that all other

ues for fare forced, iffis to be a collineation. Specifically, since point

collinear with points 1 and 3, f(2) must be collinear with f(l) = pi'

=

f(3)

p2' ; f(2) must then be the unique third point on the unique

val

2 is

and

line

must

third

and

be

the

f(4)

p2'. Similarly,

passing through pi'

unique

=

=

f(3) and p3'

f(5). And

point on the unique line passing through p2'

on

the unique line passing through

f(6) must be the unique third point

=f(5).

=f(l)and?3'

Some tedious reasoning shows that this f, the unique fwhich could be

a collineation subject to the conditions given, is in fact a collineation.

etc. but also f(l)f(7)f(4)

etc. are all lines of

That is, not only f(l)f(2)f(3)

as

is

f(2)f(4)f(6).

Example 27,

In the above arguments we did not need to stipulate f(7) = p4' ; the

=

=

and f(5) = p3'. For if that be

equation is forced by f(l)

pT, f(3)

pi,

as

must

then

and

be

described

the case,

above; each of those

f(2), f(4),

f(6)

some

with

from

among {pi', p2', p3'}, so none of

points is collinear

pair

can

must

them

be p4' ; hence f(7)

be p4', no other f-value being p4'. So

we have a stronger theorem for the seven-point plane. In that plane, a

pi'

any non-collinear {pi', p2', p3'}. This enables us to count how many col

lineations

there

are

on

the

seven-point

plane.

There

are

seven

ways

of

must be dis

selecting pi' ; then there are sixways of selecting p2' ?which

tinct from pT . The line pi'p2'

contains three points; p3' must be

selected so as not to be any of those points; hence there are fourways of

selecting p3'. The total number of choices for pi', p2', and p3' is then

seven times six times four, or 168; there are 168 possible collineations.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

39

ProjectiveGeometry

On those seven points, one out of thirtypermutations will be a collinea

tion.15 One naturally searches for particularly interesting subgroups of

collineations. And there are some.

In particular, there exist permutations which are seven-cycles, which are

also collineations. Consider once again the numerical diagram of Example

27; let us apply to that diagram the permutation (1734652). This permu

tation corresponds to the function fwhich maps f(l) = 7, f(7) = 3, f(3) = 4,

= 1.

. . .,

f(2)

Example 28 shows the effect of the permutation on the dia

=

gram: where point 1 used to be we find point 7

f(l); where point 7 used

=

=

to be we find point 3

f(7); where point 3 used to be we find point 4

=

. . , and where

f(3),.

point 2 used to be we findpoint 1 f(2).

That

EXAMPLE 28

28 the set of points [7, 1, 4} - {f(l), f(2), f(3)}. Checking back on

Example 27, we see that 714 is in fact a line ofthat example. So {f(l),

f(2), f(3)} is a line of Example 27. Likewise, where line 345 used to be on

=

Example 27, we now find on Example 28 the set of points {4, 6, 2}

{f(3), f(4), f(5)}. Checking back on Example 27, we see that 462 is in fact

a line ofthat example. So {f(3), f(4), f(5)} is a line of

Example 27. And so

forth; in this fashion we check that the permutation fmaps all lines of

Example 27 onto lines, fis thus a collineation.

That is particularly nice because f, as a permutation, is also a seven

To see why that is nice, let us begin by calculating the

cycle (1734652).

iterates of the function f; let us write f1for f, f2 for ff, f3for fff,. . . , f6for

ffffff,and f? for the identitymap on the seven symbols. The

seven iter

ates are then f*= (1734652), f2= (1362745), f3= (1423576), f4=

=

=

=

(1675324), f5 (1547263), f6 (1256437), and f? ( ).16

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

40

Perspectives

of New Music

Since fffffff

(seven times) is the identity function, it follows that (fw)(P)

_=f(m + n)where the sum m + nis

computed modulo 7. (We can throw away

seven

"f's that appears in fff. . . taken m + n times.) Thus f

any string of

and its iterates form a group of transformations on the seven points, a

group isomorphic to the additive group of integersmod 7.

Looking back two paragraphs at the permutations which express f and

its iterates, we can see that the group is simply transitive on the seven

symbols. That means: given any numerical symbol i from one through

=

seven, and any symbol y (possibly

i), there exists a member of the group

{f?, f1, f2, f3, f4, f5, f6} that permutes i to j; further, there exists a unique

such member of the group. A little thought will persuade the reader that

this simple transitivity is a direct consequence of af"s being a cycle.Given i

and j, we find those symbols in the expression f = (1734652); we then

count how many steps to the "right" we must proceed, to get from i to j

in that expression. Ifwe proceed n steps to the "right," then fn (f iterated

n times) will map i to j; furthermore no other fmwill do the trick?it will

map i to the symbol that lies m steps to the "right."

The group of f-iterates, being simply transitive, induces on the family

of seven points a GIS structure in the sense of Lewin.17 We can, that is,

treatP as a formal "interval" between symbols i and y, ifP is that partic

ular iterate of fwhich maps i to j. Or we can consider fn to be the opera

tion of formal "transposition" by that formal interval.

To illustrate the phenomenon,

let us consider the firstseven-point dia

tonic mode we explored earlier, the one which can be symbolized as in

Example

29.

Lines

275, 376, 246

EDF, GDA, BDC, GFC

EXAMPLE 29

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective

41

Geometry

=

=

=

=

=

=

3, F

4, A

5, C

6, and D

1, G

2, B

Example 29 identifies E

=

= 7. Under this

becomes f

identification, the permutation f (1734652)

=

f, that is replaces E by D, D by B, B by F, F by C, C by

(EDBFCAG).

A, A by G, and G by E. This mapping can be considered as a formal

in the diatonic GIS under consideration.

"collineation-transposition"

Example 7 earlier added a third part to a Zarlino example, so that

every three-part verticality would be a formal Chord (line) of Example

29. Example 30 applies the f transformation to every note from the

opening phrase of Example 7, producing a "collineation-transposition"

of the phrase in the pertinent GIS. A one-sharp signature has been

applied for purposes of euphony. That does not change the diatonic loca

tion of the note F, whether as F natural or F sharp.

i=

?

=w=

rJ9 J

??

wm

gEf

?=

e?*E

m

Opening

=

permutation f (EDBFCAG)

Example

by the

30

of the same

Example 31 displays another collineation-transposition

=

the

phrase from Example 7, now by the permutation f6 (EGACFBD),

inverse of f (the "complementary interval" of fin the GIS).

hears that the

Examples 30 and 31 make the collineation audible?one

Chords remain the same, en masse, even though the individual notes are

transformed. That is, the three-note verticalities of Examples 30 and 31 are

the same enmasse as the three-note verticalities of Example 7, even though

the verticalities appear in different places within the different compositions.

Another choice of permutation g, provided that g is both a seven-cycle

and a collineation, would lead to another collineation-GIS on the struc

ture of Example 29. A considerable number of such g exist for the seven

point plane.18

Many

The

resources

become

available

from

the presence

of GIS

structure.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

42

Perspectives

of New Music

^s

Opening

^^

=

permutation f6 (EGACFBD)

Example

by the inverse

31

projective plane called "correlations" and "polarities." A correlation f

maps the points p of the plane onto the lines f(p), in such fashion that

collinear points map to concurrent lines: ifp, q, and r all lie on one line,

then the lines f(p)y f(q)> and f(r) all meet at one point. A correlation f

determines a mapping f* of lines onto points: given a line L, as p varies

along the line L, the varying line f(p) must continually pass through a

certain point q, where all the lines f(p) "converge." f*(L) is defined to be

that point q. One can show: if the lines LI, L2, and L3 are concurrent,

then the points f*(Ll), f*(L2), and f*(Z3) must be collinear.

The situation gives rise to a mapping Pf of points to points, which

must be a collineation. The correlation fis called a "polarity" if f*fis the

= L if and

only if

identity collineation. In case f is a polarity, then f(p)

=

a

some

f

will

which

lie

For

there

in

be

p.

f*(L)

points p

polarity

general

on their own f-transforms; the locus of such points is called a "conic,"

and the lines L which are the f-transforms of those points are called "tan

=

gents" to the conic. If f(p) L and p lies on L, then L is "tangent to the

Mathematicians

which polarities behave on the Real Projective Plane.

To explore the musical applications of such matters would

lengthen

this article unduly; the interested reader is referred to pertinent math

ematical texts, and should be able?if interested?to find musical applica

tions

galore.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective Geometry

Applications

Dimensional

Projective

43

metric spaces of three dimensions, which we shall call "(projective)

3spaces." Abstractly, we could give incidence rules applying to certain

formal objects called "points," "lines," and "planes," to define such

structures. For instance, every pair of distinct points lies on just one line;

every triple of distinct and non-collinear points lies in just one plane;

every pair of distinct planes has in common just one line; every triple of

distinct planes, not all including any one line, has in common exactly one

point; if two points both lie in a certain plane, then so does the line

determined by the points; if a point lies on a line and that line lies on a

plane, then the point lies in the plane; and so forth.

Refining such notions into a set of axioms is important and worth

study. But here itwill be much easier to define projective 3spaces algebra

ically.Given any skew-field F, we take the formal points of the _F3space to

of non-zero number-quadruples

from F.

We take the formal planes ofthat space to be right equivalence-classes of

non-zero number-quadruples. We say that the point <bl, b2, b3, b4> "lies

in" the plane [XI, X2, X3, X4] if the equation

=

(bl)(Xl) + (b2)(X2) + (b3)(X3) + (b4)(X4) 0

is satisfied, (kbl, kb2, kb3, and kb4 satisfy this equation if and only if bl,

b2, b3, and b4 do; Xlk, X2k, X3k, and X4k satisfy this equation if and

only ifXI, X2, X3, and X4 do.)

A line is then defined as the set of points lying on any two distinct

planes. Those will be the points whose numerical coordinates satisfy two

non-equivalent

such

equations.

The desired incidence rules for points, lines, and planes all fall out

from the algebraic structure so defined. These are essentially the inci

dence rules of our Euclidean geometric intuition, except that there is no

such concept as "parallel." E.g., a line cannot be parallel to a plane; a line

not in a plane must meet that plane at just one point. And so forth. The

algebraic definition ensures that every formal plane of F projective 3space

has the structure of an F Projective Plane (Fprojective 2space).

If F is a finite (skew-)field, of cardinality q, then F projective 3space

contains exactly 1 + q + q1 + q^ points. Thus F2 3space contains 1+2 + 4

+ 8 = 15 points; F3 space contains 1 + 3 + 9 +27 = 40 points.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

44

Perspectives

of New Music

The

notion of collineation transfers intact; correlations now map

2spaces.

to

points

planes, and so forth.

Much

POINTS

pi =<1000>

= <0100>

?2

= <00\0>

p3

= <0001>

p4

= <1100>

ql2

=

#I.? <1010>

= <1001>

ql4

= <0110>

q23

= <0101>

q24

= <00l\>

q34

rl

r2

r3

r4

=<0111>

= <1011>

= <1101>

= <1110>

? = <1111>

PLANES

.O =[1000]:

K2 = [0100]:

.O = [0010]:

K4 = [0001]:

L12 = [1100]:

L13 = [1010]:

L14 - [1001]:

L23 = [0110]:

?24 = [0101]:

L34 = [0011 ]:

Ml = [0111]:

M2 = [1011]:

M3 = [1101]:

M4 = [0111]:

^=[1111]:

{pl,p3,p4,ql3,ql4,q34,r2}

{pi,p2,p4, ql2, ql4, q24, r3\

[pi,p2, p3, ql2, ql3, q23, r4\

[p3,p4,ql2,q34,r3,r4,s]

[p2,p4, ql3, q24, r2, r4,s]

[p2,p3, q!4, q23, r2,r3, s]

(W-0)

=

(62 0)

(W-0)

=

(b4 0)

=

=

(bl + b2 0; bl b2)

=

=

+

(bl b3 0; bl b3)

=

(bl + b4 0;bl= b4)

[pl,p3,ql3,q24,rl,r3,s]

[pi,p2, ql2, q34, rl, r2, s\

[pi, q23, q24, q34, r2,r3,r4\

[p2,ql3,ql4,q34,rl,r3,r4\

[p3,ql2, ql4, q24, rl, r2,r4\

[p4,ql2,ql3,q23,rl,r2,r3\

=

=

(b2 + b4 0; b2 b4)

=

=

+

(b3 b4 0; b3 b4)

=

+

+

(b2 b3 b4 0)

=

(bl+b3 + b4 0)

=

+

+b2

b4

(bl

0)

=

(bl + b2 + b3 0)

=

=

(b2 + b3 0; b2 b3)

(bl + b2 + b3 +W

0)

EXAMPLE 32

relieve the page of visual clutter, pi = <1, 0, 0, 0> has been abbreviated as

= <1000> and so forth.

pi

We can find the lines of the 3space in several ways. Let us consider the

line common to planes K3 and K4, for a start.That linewill comprise the

points common to the two planes, and we can read those off Example 32

as [pi, p2, ql2\. We see that those are exactly the points whose coordi

nates satisfyboth b3 =0 and b4 = 0?the equations determining both K3

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective

Geometry

45

and K4. There is an interesting feature about the line [pi, p2, ql2\: ifwe

"add" pi to ply coordinate by coordinate, we obtain the coordinates of

q!2y the third point on the plp2 line. Schematically:

<1000>

plus <0100>,

equals <1100>.

coordinate by coordinate,

Ifwe "add" pi to ql2 in the same way, we obtain the coordinates of p2y

the third point on the plql2

line. Schematically:

<1000>

plus <1100>,

equals <0100>.

coordinate by coordinate,

=

=

<aly a2y a3y a4> and b <bl, b2, b3, b4> and c <cl, c2, c3, c4> are the

three distinct points of a line in that space. Then cl = al + bl, c2 = a2 +

=

=

b2, c3 a3 + b3, and c4 a4 + b4. This enables us to find the third point

of a line very quickly, knowing the other two.

We have seen that [pi, p2, qli\ is a line, specifically the line common

The

for those

two planes, [0010] and [0001], we obtain [0011], the coordinates for

plane L34. Checking Example 32, we see that the line indeed lieswithin

L34y as well as K3 and K4. K3, K4, and L34 are the three planes which

contain the line.We could thus denote the line as well by \K3, K4, L34\.

To be symmetrical, we shall then write /pi, p2, ql2/ for "the line [pi,

p2, ql2)"

In general, we see that ifI and j are distinct numbers from one to four

inclusive, with i < j, then /pi, pj, qij/ will be a line. If m and n are the

other two numbers between one and four inclusive, with m < n, then the

line /pi, pj, qij/ is the same as the line \Km, Kn, Lmn\, the line where

those three planes all meet. There are sixways of choosing such an i and

j, so there are six such lines. Example 33 continues the tally of lines

within F2 3space in this fashion.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

PerspectivesofNew Music

46

/piy PJ>

W/

/pi, ri, s/

\Km,Kny Lmn\

=

\Kj,Mi, Lmn\

\Ljm,Ljn, Lmn\

/qij, qmn, s/

/qij, ri, rj/

\Ki,Mi, N\

\Lij,Lmn, N\

\Lmn,Mm, Mn\

6 such lines

(anydistinct i and j; m< n the other numbers)

12 such lines

m<

n

the

other

numbers)

(any i;j<

4 such lines

(any i;j< m< n the other numbers)

4 such lines

m<

n

other

the

(i< j;

numbers)

3 such lines

(i< j; m< n the other numbers)

6 such lines

example

33

The example shows that there are thirty-fivelines in all. Let us check out

the coordinate addition feature for the line containing points p2 and r4.

p2 =<0100>;

=

adding r4 <1110>, coordinate by coordinate,

we obtain <1010>, which is ql3.

As we see from Example 33, /p2, ql3, r4/ is indeed a line. The same

addition feature will obtain for the coordinates of any three planes pass

ing through one line. The feature depends on the fact that F2 has only

the two elements 0 and 1,with 1 + 1 = 0.

sider for instance Example 34.

contexts. Con

smalltom-tom

jWijP]jIPiJ]J]J?]]iPJ7P

example

34

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective

47

Geometry

Let us write a "1" every time an eighth note in the stream is played by

the tom-tom, and a "0" every time the note is played by the snare drum.

Then the firstgroup of four notes from the example can by symbolized as

the second group of four notes can be symbolized as "1111,"

"1011,"

and so forth; the pertinent aspect of the sixteen four-note groups can be

as 1011 1111 1000 0010 0101 1110 0110 0011 1100 1001

transcribed

1010 0001 0000 0100 0111 1101.19

^

r'rr'rrrr'r*" '" r*?*r*r!rrr*!*rr*1"

rr- irurir*r*i- *ri

example

same

abstract

structure.

Here

\ir l*rrrlrr*r

35

Example

the

89-104

"1"

represents

quarter

note

shows

in

the

bass drum, and "0" represents a quarter rest in that instrument. The six

teen groups of four quarters transcribe into exactly the same binary code:

1011 1111 1000 0010 0101 1110 0110 0011 1100 1001 1010 0001

0000 0100 0111 1101.

article on Babbitt's

Christopher Wintle's

Semi-Simple Variations

includes an analysis of other such rhythmic series, there involving groups

of four

sixteenths

within

the

singer,

there

are

the quarter-note

pulses.20

four

accompanying

instruments;

for

present

pur

poses let us call them "instrument 1" through "instrument 4." The first

stanza is "set" as an epigraph: all instruments are silent. (It might be

appropriate to have the singer speak these verses.) Each of the other fif

teen stanzas is setwith its own unique combination of instruments. One

can attach a code number to each stanza by writing a "1" for each instru

ment that is participating, and a "0" for each instrument that is sitting

out. Thus "1011" encodes that stanza where instruments 1,3, and 4 are

playing, while instrument 2 is sitting out. The epigraph encodes as 0000.

One can easily imagine many other contexts for which such code is

appropriate. For instance, we could define four registers in a piece, within

one

of which

themusic,

any

note

must

sound.

Given

a certain

articulated

span

of

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

48

PerspectivesofNew Music

the average) during that span; the symbol "0" could indicate "being

soft" (ditto) during that span. Supposing that events in each register

could be unequivocally determined as "loud" or "soft" during any partic

ular formal "span," then each span would generate a code label to indi

cate the loudness or softness of its various registers. 0101, for instance,

would mean that events in registers 1 and 3 were soft during the span,

while events in registers 2 and 4 were loud.

In the musical contexts discussed so far, each four-digit binary number

encodes what can properly be called a state of a musical system, that is, a

span of time. In each case, we may find the system in state 0000 just as

well as any of the other states. That is one reason why it seems strained to

states, with the points <1000>,

identify (only) the fifteen "non-zero"

etc. of F2 3space. Another reason is that the incidence relations

<0100>

of points, lines, and planes in the geometric space are not particularly well

are collinear. (Observe

and <1001>

geometry, points <0111>,

<1110>,

the addition feature.) But ifwe try to realize these points in the bass

drum texture of Example 35, we shall find ourselves trying to group in

some

"natural"

way

the

three

measures

<rest,

beat,

beat,

beat>,

<beat,

beat, beat, rest>, and <beat, rest, rest, beat> ofthat example; the three

measures do not seem to group musically in any particularly natural way.

Of course we have made plenty of "artificial" identifications, of formal

geometric points with various musical quiddities, in earlier parts of this

paper. But we can in fact find a more natural sort of identification here.

to indicate the corresponding state of a musical

Let us write "@1001"

the

is

system;

"@," that is, "at" or "in" the corresponding state.

system

We can then identify the fifteen non-zero number-quadruples with the

fifteen possible changes of state. The change of state <1100> means:

change what things 1 and 2 are doing; do not change what things 3 and

4 are doing. For example, suppose the system is in the state @1001;

apply

the change of state <1100>. Then the firstand second digits of @1001

will change, while the third and fourth digits remain what theywere. The

change of state thus produces the new state @0101.

Here we envisage the change of state as a dynamic entity, operating

upon the static states. It has somewhat the nature of a formal "transposi

tion," of one state into another, or of a formal "interval" between con

secutive states.We could develop the notion farther in that direction, if

we wished, but then we would have to allow the null change "<0000>"

as a formal "interval" or "transposition." That would lead to a different

mathematical model

It

(a "vector space" rather than a "geometry).

would also mar the idea of change, since in some ways it is problematic to

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective

49

Geometry

parameters actually changes: would we not more intuitively hear a "repe

tition" or "prolongation"? Of course, ifa composition forces us to accept

the idea of "one state per measure," or something of the sort, then we

could force ourselves to hear a formal "change of state" with each new

measure.

teen

non-zero

The

number-quadruples

to represent

the change of state

produces the new state @(al

a2

<bl

+ bl)(a2

"changes"

a4,a3

b2 b4>

+ b2)(a3

b3

+ b3)(a4

of

state.

+ b4),

where all the algebra is in F2. That is because al "changes" if and only if

it becomes al + 1, mod 2; ifal does not change, it remains al + 0. So if

bl =1, al changes to al + bl; if bl = 0, al remains al + bl. And similarly

for a2,

a3,

a4.

=

=

=

<dl, d2,

Suppose that b <bl, b2, b3, b4>, c <cl, c2, c3, c4>, and d

are

on

some

us

d4>

the

three

line

of

the

Let

d3,

geometry.

points

imagine

and applying the changes of state b, c,

starting at state @(al)(a2)(a3)(a4)y

and d seriatim thereafter.At the end of this process we will arrive back in

the opening state, @(al)(a2)(a3)(a4).

That is because, starting in the

we

will

seriatim

progress

opening state,

through states

@(al+bl

@(al + bl + cl

@(al + bl + cl + dl

)(a2 + b2

){a3 + b3

)(a4 +),b4

)(a2 + b2 + c2

)(a3 + b3 + c3

)(a4 + b4 + c4 ), and

)(a2 + b2 + c2 + d2 )(a3 + b3 + c3 + d3) (a4 + b4 + c4 + d4).

= bl +

Now, as we observed earlier, dl

cl; adding dl mod 2 to both sides

ofthat equation, we derive 0 = bl + cl + dl. Likewise 0 = b2 + c2 + d2,

and so forth. Hence

(al + bl + cl + dl) is simply al, and so forth; the

as asserted.

final state above is simply @(al)(a2)(a3)(a4),

Thus the spatial "closure" of the line /b, c, d/ is reflected in a musical

closure here, the closure of the progression we can symbolically denote

=

by @a, @(a + ?), @(a + b + r), @(a + b + c + d) @a.

Since b + c = d, we can rewrite the above progression as @a, @(a + ?),

@(a + d), @0. State @(a + c) is not traversed during the progression, but

the state can easily be accessed from any of the states @a, @(a + b),or@(a

b, c, and d: @(a + c) can be attained by applying change c to state @a, or

by applying change d to state @(a + ?), or by applying change b to state

@(a + d).

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

50

Perspectives

of New Music

If one starts at a statewithin the orbit [@a, @(a + b), @(a + c), @(a + d)},

and ifone applies successively any sequence of changes from within the line

/by c, d/, one always remains within that orbit of four states. The sixteen

states partition up into four such orbits for the line /b, c, d/. A different

linewill partition the sixteen states into four different four-state orbits.

Similarly, if change b varies within any plane of the geometry, the six

teen states are partitioned into two eight-state orbits. For instance, the

points bwithin the plane Kl are those bwhose firstcoordinate bl is zero;

when such b are applied in any sequence starting from a certain state @a,

then the first state-coordinate will never change from its original value

the particular progression. If instrument 1 was silent to

al, whatever

progression; if instrument 1 was playing to begin with, instrument 1 will

remain playing throughout the plane-progression.

If instrument 1 was

silent to begin with, then any other state inwhich instrument 1 is silent

will be accessible via some ?-change within the plane Kl.

lend even more structuring to this abstract system. The interested reader

may explore to what extent the system may or may not be analytically

have not myself as yet undertaken such analyses; the present article is

meant only to suggest and develop compositional possibilities. An appen

dix will

offer

some

observations

on

change

structure

in the

state-rows

of

The geometric system as it stands can be applied to anymusical context

where "states" are determined by each of fourmusical quiddities necessar

ily doing either "this" or "that" over each well-defined "span" of the

music.21 The entire apparatus generalizes easily to fivemusical quiddities,

sixmusical quiddities, D musical quiddities each doing "this" or "that";

themathematics follows in theway the reader will expect, involving projec

tive 4space, projective 5space, projective (D- 1) space, all with respect to

the field F2. Many of the observations made above rely heavily on the

properties of F2; the systematics do not generalize very satisfactorily to F3

situations where each musical quiddity is necessarily

spaces, modeling

one

of

three

doing

things (rather than one of two things) over any span, or

F4 spaces, modeling situations where each musical quiddity is necessarily

doing one of four things over any span, etc. Nevertheless, musical situa

tions which can be articulated by distinguishing "this or that" among suffi

cientlymany quiddities are ubiquitous enough, so that the applicability of

On another tack: there are thirty-one points in F2 4space. (31 = 1+2

+ 4 + 8 + 16.) Itmight be interesting to try applying that structure to the

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ProjectiveGeometry

51

notes each, "planes" of seven notes each, and "hyperplanes" of fifteen

notes each. One might begin, for instance, by staking out a "basic" dia

tonic

seven-note

plane.

We have already observed that 31 = 1 + 5+25,

also be structured by the F5 plane; there the "lines," within any particu

larmode, would be thirty-one hexachords.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

52

PerspectivesofNew Music

Appendix

rows of Babbitt's All Set, and of his Semi-Simple Variations.

STATES CHANGES

1. @1011

2.

HEXCODE

<0100>

<0111>

<1010>

<0111>

@1111

3. @1000

4.

6.

7.

8.

9.

@0010

5. @0101

D

C

<1011>

<1000>

<0101>

<1111>

<0101>

<0011>

<1011>

<0001>

<0100>

<0011>

<1010>

@1110

@0110

THIRD POINT

3

D

?0011

@1100

10. @1001

11. ?1010

12. ?0001

13. ?0000

14. ?0100

15. ?0111

16. ?1101

EXAMPLE 36

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ProjectiveGeometry

53

lists,from top to bot

row

states

of

the

from

All

the

sixteen

the

list of states may be

tom,

Set,

checked against Examples 34-5 and the earlier discussion thereof.

The next column, headed "CHANGES,"

lists the changes between

at the top

consecutive pairs of states. For example, the change <0100>,

is

#1

of the CHANGES

the

STATES

and #2 to

column,

change between

The

code does not

nor

nor

does the third digit change,

the fourth digit; the second

change,

entry

digit does change. That behavior is encoded by the CHANGE

no change in the first, third, and fourth digits; change in the

<0100>:

STATE

may also be computed

algebraically, by adding the two STATES digit by digit mod 2: 0, the first

is 1 + 1 (mod 2), the sum of the firstdigits from

digit of the CHANGE,

STATE 1 and STATE 2; 1, the second digit of the CHANGE,

is 0 + 1

(mod 2), the sum of the second digits from STATE 1 and STATE 2; and

so forth.

provides a

convenient shorthand for labeling the various CHANGES.

Each HEX

CODE

symbol is the hexadecimal number corresponding to the four

to its left. Thus

the first

digit binary number of the CHANGE

CHANGE,

<0100>, when read as a binary number, corresponds to the

decimal number 4. (It has 0 ones, 0 twos, 1 four, and 0 eights.) The dec

imal number 4 corresponds to the hexadecimal number 4, the firstHEX

CODE

number. The third CHANGE,

<1010>, when read as a binary

number, corresponds to the decimal number 10. (It has 0 ones, 1 two, 0

fours, and 1 eight.) The decimal number 10 corresponds to the hexadec

imal number A, the thirdHEXCODE

number. (After reaching 9, hexa

decimal numbers continue with A = decimal 10, B = decimal 11, C =

decimal 12, D = decimal 13, E = decimal 14, and F = decimal 15; decimal

16 is then hexadecimal 10.) The eighth CHANGE,

<1111>, when read

as a binary number, corresponds to the decimal number 15. (It has 1

one, 1 two, 1 four, and 1 eight.) The decimal number 15 corresponds to

number.

Each CHANGE

number represents a formal "point" in the projective

are the same; hence

geometry at hand. No two consecutive CHANGES

determines a formal "line" of the

every pair of consecutive CHANGES

geometry.23 Since that geometry is a geometry over the mod-2 field,

every line contains exactly three points. As discussed in the text earlier,

given two points, we can determine the third point on their line by add

ing theirmod-2 coordinates, digit by digit. Let us consider, for example,

in Example 36, the CHANGES

the first two CHANGES

<0100>

and

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

54

Perspectives

of New Music

digit by digit mod 2, we obtain

the CHANGE

<0011>.

So <0011>

is the third point on the line deter

mined by <0100> and <0111>. That third point, <0011>, has the hexa

decimal code number 3. (It has 1 one, 1 two, 0 fours, and 0 eights, so it

corresponds to decimal 3, which is hexadecimal 3.) The final column of

enters the hexadecimal code

POINT,"

Example 36, headed "THIRD

number "3" in the appropriate place, to show that the point with HEX

CODE

3 is the third point on the line given by the points with HEX

4 and 7. (NB: we do not perform any arithmetic with the hex

numbers, which are only convenient labels; all our arithmetic is per

formed mod 2 on the four-digit binary numbers, digit by digit.)

CODES

on Example 36, the CHANGES

<1011> and <1000>. Adding those two

and

<0111>. That third point, <0011>,

is again the point with HEXCODE

3. Accordingly the hex number "3" is entered in the final column of

Example 36, to the right of the fifthand sixth changes, to show that the

3 is the third point on the line given by the

point with HEXCODE

<0011>

B and 8.

points with HEXCODES

on Example 36,

In general, then, any two consecutive HEXCODES

to

with

POINT

number

the

THIRD

code

the

together

right, constitute

some

formal

"line"

of

our

geometry.

We

have

just

seen,

in connection

that the points with HEXCODES

B,

a

recurs

on the table, in connection with the

and

3

form

line.

That

line

8,

tenth and eleventh CHANGES.

We can thus observe that the line deter

mined by the tenth and eleventh CHANGES,

hex3 and hexB, is the same

as the line determined by the fifth and sixth CHANGES,

hexB and hex8.

the

line

the

thirteenth

and

fourteenth

determined

Similarly,

by

hex4 and hex3, is the same as the line determined by the

CHANGES,

firstand second CHANGES,

hex4 and hex7. Our geometry thus enables

us to find interesting sorts of "recurrences" in the pattern of consecutive

CHANGES.

Itmay be significant that our two recurrent "lines," hexB83

and hex473, are coplanar. (The points with HEXCODES

B, 8, 3, 4, and

=

+

7 all lie in one plane?the

"b3

b4

0.")

plane

The pattern of CHANGES

has a number of other interesting struc

tural features as well. The palindrome hex7-hexA-hex7,

formed by the

is one such feature; so is the palin

second through fourth CHANGES,

drome hex5-hexF-hex5,

formed by the seventh through ninth

CHANGES.

Itmay be significant that the points involved in the two pal

indromes all lie in one plane. (The points with HEXCODES

7, A, F, and

5 all lie in the plane "?2 + b4 = 0.")

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective Geometry

55

The hex5-hexF-hex5

palindrome (seventh through ninth CHANGES)

is preceded by points hexB and hex8, from the hexB8 line, and followed by

points hex3 and hexB, also from the hexB8 line. Thus a looser sort of pal

indromic structure extends from the hexB of the fifthCHANGE

through

That articulates the first four

the hexB of the eleventh CHANGE.

the loose palindrome,

and the last four

CHANGES,

preceding

the loose palindrome. The first four CHANGES

CHANGES, Mowing

to

the

line hex473; so do the last four CHANGES.

include reference

Of course, all thiswork is pre-analytic, not strictlyanalytic. Still, itdoes

suggest things to investigate during the course of an analysis. Further

things are suggested by themeter of Example 34, which groups STATES

in pairs. We could accordingly examine CHANGES

between STATES

between consecu

lying two order-numbers apart, as well as CHANGES

on

we

tive states. Following up

that idea,

could also examine CHANGES

between STATES yet more widely separated in order position, wherever

Example 37 is the analog for Example 36, using the rhythmic state

row from the Semi-Simple Variations. (Wintle's ample analysis is cited in

are hexl-hex6-hex2

succession: the fifth through eighth CHANGES

are hexl-hex6-hex4

hexE; the ninth through thirteenth CHANGES

can

hexE-hex2. Hex4-following-hex6

(tenth and eleventh CHANGES)

be regarded as a substitute for hex2-following-hex6

and

seventh

(sixth

6, 2, and 4 form a

CHANGES),

line. (That is, the line hex64 is the same as the line hex62.) After the sub

stitution of hex4 for hex2, at the eleventh CHANGE,

hex2 appears after

that cements

all, following hexE (twelfth and thirteenth CHANGES);

the association to the seventh and eighth CHANGES,

where hexE fol

lowed hex2.

Babbitt changes by <1111> each STATE of the row, to obtain what he

treats as "the inversion" of the row.When a given STATE of the row is

transformed in this fashion, each of its attacks becomes a rest in the

"inverted" STATE,

and each of its rests becomes an attack in the

"inverted" STATE. The "inverted" STATE thus complements the rhyth

mic pattern of attacks and rests in the given STATE.

Given our

is rather a

algebraic/geometric

point of view, Babbitt's "inversion"

CHANGE

of the entire row seriatim, CHANGING

each STATE by

<1111>

seriatim. The transformation behaves more like a formal "trans

each

position," than a formal "inversion"; one could similarlyCHANGE

STATE of the row seriatim by any other <bl b2 b3 b4>. Given any two

s and t of the original row, let s' and t' be the transformed

STATES

STATES under any such "transposition"

(including Babbitt's). Let us

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

56

PerspectivesofNew Music

STATES CHANGES

1. @1111

HEXCODE

<0011>

<1101>

<1010>

<1001>

<0001>

7

<0110>

7. @0101 4

<0010>

8. @0111 C

2. @1100 E

3. @0001 7

4. @1011

THIRD POINT

5. @0010 8

6. @0011

<1110>

9. @1001 F

<0001>

10.@1000 7

6

2

E

ll.@1110

<0110>

<0100>

A

<1110>

12.@1010

<0010>

13.@0100 C

14.@0110 9

<1011>

15.@1101 6

<1101>

16.@0000

B

D

EXAMPLE 37

<bl b2 b3 b4>. We can write s'

= s + b and t' =t + where the

denotes

b,

plus sign

digit-by-digit addition

from s' to t' is given by the four-digit

mod 2. Then the CHANGE

binary number s' + t', and that number is (s + b) + (t + b), which is s + t,

which is the CHANGE

from the

transformed STATE s' to the transformed STATE t' is exactly the same

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Projective

Geometry

as the CHANGE

from the original STATE s to the original STATE

The transformation preserves the CHANGE-structure

exactly.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

57

t.

58 PerspectivesofNew Music

Notes

as well, the Property of Desargues. The property is cumbersome to

state, but it is highly important, and it should be put down here:

Let x, y, z, and u be four distinct points, no three of which are col

linear. (The four Properties guarantee the existence of such a quartet,

as we shall later see.) Let x' be any third point on the line xu; let

y' be

on

on

zu.

third

line

let

z'

the

be

the

third

line

any

yu;

any

point

point

can

:

not

show

that

x'

does

if

it

then

the

line

did,

(One

equal y'

x' u would equal the line y' u, i.e., the line xu would equal the line yu.

But then x, y, and u would be collinear, contradicting the original

conditions of choice. In similar fashion, one shows that y' is not z',

and that z' is not x'. Thus x' and y' determine a line x' y', etc.)

Let h be the point where line xymeets line x' y' ; let i be the point

where line yz meets line y' z' ; let j be the point where line zx meets

line z' x'. The Property of Desargues

is this: the three (distinct)

To see how the property ismanifested in Example 1, let us take for

instance x = Ann, y = Bill, z = Carol, and u = Gladys. One checks that

no three of these students are in any one course

together, so no three

of

them

are

"collinear."

Take

x'

to be

any

third

student

sharing

course with x = Ann and u = Gladys; here x' can only be Dan. Take

= Bill and u =

y' to be any third student sharing a course with y

can

to

here

Eve.

be

z'

Take

be

third

student shar

any

Gladys;

y'

only

=

=

ing a course with z Carol and u Gladys; here z' can only be Frank.

Now construct the point hwhere lines xy and x' y' meet: find the stu

dent hwho is taking both a course along with Ann and Bill, and also

a course along with Dan and Eve. That student, as we see from

=

=

Example 1, is Frank. So h Frank, i the point where line yz meets

line y' z' = the student taking both a course along with Bill and

=

= the

Carol, and a course along with Eve and Frank. So i Dan. j

= the student

zx

meets

where

line

line

z'

x'

point

taking both a

course along with Carol and Ann, and a course along with Frank and

Dan. So j = Eve. According to the Property of Desargues, h, i, and j

are collinear; that is, therewill be a course whose students include h =

=

=

Frank, i Dan, and j Eve. And in fact there is such a course.

which

Projective planes

satisfy the Property of Desargues are called

Since

all

the

Desarguesian.

planes we shall be studying are Desargues

we

assume

shall

this

ian,

property as well, during the present article,

"

when we speak ofa ccprojective

plane.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ProjectiveGeometry 59

and Tl are distinct because distinct lines have only one

in

common, and Wis already the one point in common between

point

the WXlinc and the WT line. By the same argument, either of theX

and X2

and Z2. XI

2. XI

theXs and theZs are distinct; similarly the Ts and the Zs are distinct.

3.

Proof: Let v symbolize the line containing XI and Tl, in Example 5a.

Let F symbolize the third point of v. F cannot be W, for the WXline

meets line v in only one point, and that point must be XI (not V). V

cannot be X2, for the same reason. F cannot be T2, for the WT line

meets line v in only one point, and that point must be Tl (not V).

Without

loss of generality, we can label Zl and Z2 so that V = Zl.

Tl -Zl

is a line.

Thus we may suppose that v =XI

Let v' be the line containing XI and 72. Let V be the third point

of v'. By the same sort of reasoning just traversed for v and V, we can

of Example 5a. F

in factmust

conclude that F must be a Zpoint

be Z2. For ifF were Zl, then the distinct lines v and v' would have

two distinct common points?both XI and Zl.

72 -Z2 is a line.Now let v" be the line containing

Thus vf =XI

X2 and 72; let F'

be the third point of v". As before, V" must be

one of theZ-points. As before, too, V" cannot be Z2. For in that case

72 -Z2, and v" would have two distinct points in

v" would be X2

common with v' =X1 -T2 -Z2. So V" must be Zl, and v" must be

X2-T2-Z1.

line v containing XI and Tl is the same as the third point V" of the

line v" containing X2 and 72.

4.

like those in note 3 above.

iche, 1558, trans.Vered Cohen, ed. Claude Palisca (New Haven: Yale

University Press, 1983), p. 62.

6.

Points 1 and 7 determine a line, line 17. Line 17 intersects line 345

in a unique point. 3 cannot be that point; if itwere, then lines 173

and 123 would share two distinct points, a contradiction. Similarly, 5

cannot be the point where line 17 intersects line 345. Therefore, 4

must be the point where line 17 intersects line 345. So 174 is a line.

Similar reasoning shows that 376 is a line, and that 572 is a line.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

60 PerspectivesofNew Music

7.

Line 24 is not any of the three "primary" lines 123, 345, and 561.

Nor is it any of the three lines observed in note 5, that is, lines 174,

line 24 is the "seventh line" of the system. A

376, and 572. Hence

similar argument shows that line 46 is also "the seventh line," as is

une 26. That is, points 2, 4, and 6 all lie on "the seventh line," which

is therefore 246.

8.

Music Theory 36.2

ody: Some Formal Aspects of Contour," Journal of

259-84.

(Fall 1992),

9.

Proof: Suppose a and b are rational numbers, not both zero, such

that 02 = 2b1.We will demonstrate a contradiction.

Since not both a and b are zero, neither a nor b is zero (consider

ing the equation they are assumed to satisfy). In particular, b is not

zero. So we may divide by b; let r be the absolute value of a/b. r is a

=

positive rational number, and by the equation assumed, r2 2. Thus r

=

Jl, and the square root of 2 is a rational number. That is not true,

so our contradiction is established.

zero and whose second and third coordinates are

equal will be of

form [0, k, k] for some non-zero k. That triple is (right-equivalent

to [0,1,1].

11.

points in his reference quadrangles.]

no

lines connecting

(1963, Universal Edition 13993).

12. The

Plus Minus

13. It is clear that ifboth fand g are collineations, then so is fg. (It must

"preserve lines.") It is not immediately clear that the inverse function

of fwill be a collineation, but such is the fact. It is easily demon

strated by using the algebra of the appropriate skew-field.

14. The proof ismost easily provided by algebraic techniques; readers

with some background in linear algebra should be able to provide a

proof, or to follow one in a mathematical text.

15. There are 7! possible permutations on the seven points (7 6 4) of

these are collineations. 7! divided by that number equals (5-3-2),

which is 30.

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ProjectiveGeometry 61

=

i.e., 1 to 3. f2 (13 something).

to

4 and f1maps 4 to 6, so f2 (f iterated) maps 3 to 4 to

3

f1maps

=

to

3

6.

f2

6, i.e.,

(136 something).

And so on, up to f2= (1362745). Then:

f1maps 1 to 7 and f2maps 7 to 4, so f3 (f twice iterated) maps 1 to 7

to 4, i.e., 1 to 4. Or one can just count three steps to the right of the

=

symbol 1, in the expression (1734652) for f. f3 (14 something).

to

the right of the symbol 4, in f = (1734652),

Counting three steps

we find the symbol 2. f3maps 4 to 2. f3= (142 something).

three steps to the "right" of the symbol 2, in f =

Counting

we

find the symbol 3. f3maps 2 to 3. f* = (1423 some

(1734652),

so

forth.

thing). And

17. David Lewin, Generalized Musical Intervals and Transformations (New

Haven: Yale University Press, 1987). A discussion of simply transitive

groups and GIS structure appears on pages 157 and following.

18. This situation generalizes to finiteprojective planes in general. That is,

given a finiteprojective plane with _Vpoints, there always exists a permu

tation f of thoseNpoints which is both an _V-cycleand a collineation.

The situation generalizes even farther: given a finiteprojective space

of any dimension, with N points, there always exists a permutation f of

those N points which is both an _V-cycleand a collineation. We shall

discuss projective spaces of three and more dimensions later on.

I am grateful to Prof. Noam Elkies of the Mathematics Depart

ment, Harvard University, for supplying me with a proof of the

above fact (in a private conversation).

my

attention.

spectives ofNew Music 14.2 and 15.1 (1976), 111-54. The rhythmic

analysis

appears

on

pp.

141-5.

21. The "spans" are perhaps most naturally defined as temporal seg

ments. They could easily be defined formally by other musical criteria

as well, but I do not see how to get enough of them thatway to gen

erate interesting patterns, let alone an interesting composition.

22.

If each quiddity is doing one of three things, one can formally break

the performance down analytically into two binary oppositions, first

doing "either thing 1 or one of the other things," then, ifdoing one

of the other things, doing "either thing 2 or thing 3." And so forth

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

62 PerspectivesofNew Music

probably evoke a suspicious or hostile musical reaction from most

readers. (It does from me.)

Indeed, the idea of analyzing virtually everything by sufficiently

many binary oppositions is under some fire these days, from a num

ber of sides in a number of ways. So, in fact, is the notion of analyz

ing anything at all by any binary opposition. The issues touch very

closely on the potentialities of computers, and on their interrelations

with various aspects of human activity, individual or social. I do not

presume to address pertinent matters of computer science, logic, psy

chology, metaphor, gender, race, etc. in the present context, but I

cannot resist quoting

black

and white, as itwere, and then composing with the

ing

of

these

play

opposites. One can then engage in all the games

that academic composition has led us to know how to play. One

can balance this with that, produce climaxes, and so on. I'm

afraid all I can say is that it doesn't interestme.

It doesn't seem to me to radically change the situation from

the familiar convention. It simply takes these new ways of work

What

remains

at home

with

one's

familiar

ideas

of

the

so that one

drama?of

the

mind. Whereas, I thinkwe are in a more urgent situation, where

it is absolutely essential for us to change our minds funda

mentally. And in this sense, I could be likened to a fundamental

ist Protestant

preacher.

. . What

.

we need is a use of our Art which alters our lives?is

our

useful in

lives.We are familiarwith those plays of balance, so

they couldn't possibly do anything more to us, no matter how

novel theywere, than they have already done. "New wine in old

bottles." (Interview with Roger Reynolds, inContemporary Com

posers on Contemporary Musky ed. Elliott Schwartz and Barney

Childs (New York: Holt, Rinehart andWinston, 1967), 345-6.)

the

The reader may gauge my own attitudes?or

ambivalences?by

material I have written in the present Part of this paper, and by the

material in the present note. And by my having written such a note.

It seems manifest to me that some binary oppositions are meaning

ful, and that others can be made so in certain contexts. It also seems

silly and destructive to me to worship that notion. A certain ambiva

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ProjectiveGeometry 63

"mu." If one refuses to value binary choices on principle, then one

cannot

value

one's

own

binary

choice

not

to value

choices.

One

can

he comes very close to courting such a danger in the

choice?though

quoted passage. Or one can simply refuse to engage in dispute,

which (at present) seems advisable to me.

can be the same. If the CHANGE

two consecutive CHANGES

+

from STATE N to STATE N

1) were the same as the CHANGE

(

23. No

have to be the same as STATE N. (We shall see why presently.) But

that cannot happen here, since Babbitt's STATE-row does not con

tain any duplicate STATES.

To see why STATE (N + 2) would have to be the same as STATE

AT in the case above, we can recall that the CHANGE

from STATE

+

N to STATE

is

the

(N

1)

given by summing

digits of the two

(N + 2) is given by summing the digits of the two

1) to STATE

were the same,

STATES, digit by digit. So if the two CHANGES

(STATE (N

mod 2, digit by digit. In this algebraic situation, we could cancel the

summand "(STATE

(N + 1))" from both sides of the equation, and

infer that STATE N = STATE (N + 2).

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