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Creating a Melody in RTTTL

You create a melody in RTTTL by building a sequence of duration-pitch-octave character groupings, separating groups with a comma. Let's take a look at a duration-pitch-octave character group, as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13Figure 13 RTTTL uses a duration-pitch-octave character grouping.

The grouping 4C6 in Figure 13 instructs RTTTL to play the pitch C in the sixth octave for a duration of one quarter-note. If you want RTTTL to play the pitch D in the seventh octave for an eighth note, you write this:

8D7

It's also possible to play a D pitch without a duration or octave indication, simply by writing this:

D

In this case, the defaults settings for the duration and octave values of the RTTTL string kick in.

The following table shows the pitch values for RTTTL.

RTTTL Character

Pitch

P

Pause, rest

C

C

C#

C sharp, D flat

D

D

D#

D sharp, E flat

E

E, F flat

F

F, E sharp

F#

F sharp, G flat

G

G

G#

G sharp, A flat

A

A

A#

A sharp, B flat

H

B


Notice that the character P indicates a rest (pause). Because rests don't occur in an octave, you don't use an octave indicator when asking RTTTL to play a rest. For example, if you want RTTTL to play a quarter-note rest, you write this:

4P

RTTTL uses the character H for the pitch B and considers sharps and flats to be equivalent pitch values. For example, to indicate the pitch A flat, you use the characters G#.

NOTE

Granted, this distinction is most valid in the realm of traditional western music theory and not particularly relevant to those of you who want to make simple melodies. But I imagine that some of you who know a little bit about musical harmony might be irritated by the absence of pitch notation relevant to western musical scales and keys. On behalf of the mobile device manufacturers and telecom industry, I apologize.

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