Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 9, NO. 7 / JULY 1983 / PAGE 117

Translingo. Hinrich Murken.

What is Translingo?

Translingo is an artificial language that serves to convert abstract symbols into letters, letters that may be assembled into proper words that we can pronounce and speak. It is, therefore, well suited to use by computers.

Translingo consists of several different levels. This article deals with TRA 2 or second-level Translingo, which deals with music. (TRA 1 deals with mathematics, TRA 3 with geometry.)

I consider Translingo to be a sub-set of the English language. It is the word-forming principle; the words produced are not Translingo but English.

We are now speaking of music and thus second-level Translingo:

The first letter of any Translingo term can be a capital letter, small letter, or an underlined letter. If the first letter is a capital letter, you are instructed to use your right hand to execute the musical instructions to follow. If the first letter is underlined, you are instructed to use one or both feet to execute instructions to follow.

A capital letter commonly is followed by melody instructions. A small letter is commonly followed by bass instructions, and the underlined letter defines the use of pedals--piano and/or organ.

The first letter is called the octave letter and serves to define to which octave a certain sound belongs. The following are the octave letters. (B is the lowest octave): 1 - B 2 - R 3 - T 4 - M 5 - N 6 - P 7 - S 8 - D 9 - K.

If the octave letter is a capital, use the right hand to play (melody). If the octave letter is a small letter, use the left hand to play (bass). If the octave letter is underlined, use the foot pedals.

The second letter is called the volume letter and defines how loud or quiet a sound is to be. We have the following letters: U - Very quiet E - quiet I - normal volume A - loud O - very loud Y - your choice of volume The octave letter and the volume letter are always linked in a syllable.

The third letter of a Translingo term defines the duration of sound we want. The following letters define durations of sounds: B - Whole note R - 3/4 note T - 5/8 note M - 1/2 note N - 3/8 note P - 1/4 note S - 1/8 note D - 1/16 note K - 1/32 note L - 1/64 note

Accordingly we may create words. Ram, for example means: Use right hand; place right hand near second octave of keyboard; prepare for volume A (loud); and the musical sounds are to be of 1/2 note duration.

The first three Translingo term-letters define octaves of sound, volume of sound and duration of sound, and which hand to use. If the first three letters are followed by a dash, all notes to come are to be played at once, constituting a chord. The following are the note-letters: An - C Al - C# Os - D Ax - D# In - E Or - F Us - F# At - G Ic - G# As - A Im - A# Ov - B Therefore, Ram-axanos means right hand chord; volume, loud; duration, 1/2 note; second octave; D#;C;D.

Ramazanos means right hand notes; volume, loud; duration, 1/2 notes; second octave; D#; C;D.

Observe that the note-letters are written in the way you are to finger the keyboard--they define the order of fingering.

We write right hand instructions above left hand instructions as shown in Figure 1.

Note: The first three letters defining octave, volume, and duration do not need to be repeated or mentioned unless a chenge in octave, volume, or duration is desired.

Letters above the term line indicate lead-in notes, and letters beneath the term line indicate lead-out notes: Samaxanimov.sup.Im Samaxanimov.sub.Im (Lead-in) (Lead-out) dots above letters indicate staccato: Samaxanov

Use the comma to indicate measures and the period to end musical statements. Use long straight lines and underline all musical notes and measures which go together.

The letters la mean "repeat the foregoing once." Le means "repeat twice." Li indicates three times; lo, four times; and lu, five times.

Ton means last note. Pin means last chord, das means last measure, and ros means last bar. Bos means "from the beginning." You can combine repeat letters and repeat specifications into single words. Repeat instructions always follow Translingo terms:

Sam-axanov laton

Durations of silence are written thus: By - Whole note rest Ry - 3/4 note rest Ty - 5/8 note rest My - 1/2 note rest Ny - 3/8 note rest Py - 1/4 note rest Sy - 1/8 note rest Dy - 1/16 note rest Chy - Pause

The Percussion letters are shown in Figure 2.

Percussion letters are made into single words which precede Translingo terms Chaditos sannox: Sam-axanov laton

(Percussion): (Fuction) (Repeat)

The player plays according to what is written, and since each note is fully and individually defined, he does not have to worry about keys, flats, sharps, inversions, etc.--those matters are the composer's problems. The composer must write in the proper key and define the chords and the order of note fingering. The player plays only what is written.

Translingo words are designed to display rhythm of music, and mnemonic principles have been used to allow the easy memorizing of complex music.