Multiple interval doubling

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    Martin Kuemerle

    My question is according to MBC 9.3.3 "If doubling of two or more intervals is simultaneously in progress, and one of the intervals must be terminated, all of the intervals MUST be terminated. Any doublings that may be properly continued may be redoubled at that point." However, it doesn't address the start of interval doubling needs to be simultaneous. So is it only the termination needs to be simultaneous or does the start need to be simultaneous too? In other words can I start a doubling of say thirds then several chords later add the doubling of fifths and then terminate both simultaneously. Of course observing the rules for doubling intervals to start with.

    Thank You!


    Hi Martin,

    Good question - While MBC2015 doesn't specify that the start of multiple interval doublings must be started at the same point, I tend to air on the side of clarity and not double a new interval while in the midst of another doubled interval.

    The Introduction to Music Braille Transcription, 2nd edition by DeGarmo, advises that "it is better not to double more than one interval, unless the doubling begins and ends simultaneously for all the intervals..." (pg 360)

    So while there is no rule that says you can't, remember that even the procedure of doubling is not required - we MAY chose to use doubling if it remains clear and is truly helpful. Once you start doubling multiple intervals, the complexity could very quickly outweigh the benefit of the procedure. It's not always about just saving space - it's about making the music easy to memorize and perform/study.

    Hope that helps!


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