Pitch Cents


cents — absolute pitch representation in hundredths of semitones


The cents representation is used to represent absolute pitch in units of hundredths of semitones with respect to middle C. Each equally tempered semitone spans a distance of 100 cents. Middle C is designated zero cents. All other pitches are represented with respect to this reference, hence A4 is 900 cents and A3 is -300 cents. Cents may be specified as either integer or real values.

Pitch tokens may be modified by the presence of additional signifiers. The open brace `{' denotes the beginning of a phrase. The closed brace `}' denotes the end of a phrase. The open parenthesis `(' denotes the beginning of a slur. The closed parenthesis `)' denotes the end of a slur. The semicolon `;' denotes a pause.

Rest tokens are denoted by the lower-case letter `r'.

Barlines are represented using the "common system" for barlines — see barlines.


It is recommended that files containing predominantly cents spines should be given names with the distinguishing `.cnt' extension.


The following table summarizes the cents mappings of signifiers and signifieds.

0-9 decimal values . decimal point; or null token - minus sign + plus sign (optional) r rest = barline; == double barline ( slur start ) slur end { phrase mark (start) } phrase mark (end) ; pause sign —– ——————————

Summary of cents Signifiers


A sample document is given below:


**cents **cents !tempered !untempered =1 =1 {1200 {1209. 700 720.4 700 698 =2 =2 (800 (804.1 700)} 722)} =3 =3 r r 500 1100 492 1131.2 =4 =4 400 1200 397 1202 == == *- *- ———– ————-


The following Humdrum commands accept cents encoded data as inputs:

cents change numerical precision of **cents values freq translates cents to freq kern translates cents to kern pc translates cents to pc pitch translate cents pitch to numerical pitch semits translates cents to semits solfg translates cents to solfg tonh translates cents to Tonh vox determine active and inactive voices in a Humdrum file

The following Humdrum command produces cents data as output:

cents translates cents, freq, fret, kern, MIDI, pitch, semits, solfg, specC, and Tonh to cents – ————————————- ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-


The following tandem interpretations can be used in conjunction with **cents:

MIDI channel *Ch1 meter signatures *M6/8 key signatures *k[f#c#] key *c#: tempo *MM96.3 —————— ————

Tandem interpretations for cents


` barlines, cents, **freq, freq, **fret, **kern, kern, **MIDI, midi, **pitch, pitch, **semits, semits, **solfg, solfg, **specC, specc, **Tonh, tonh`