Suggested Learning Resources


2) Video Lesson: How to find prime form Bryn Hughes Channel

3) Online Reading: Finding a Set's Prime Form

4) Interactive Lesson: 

Music Theory QuickThink:

Prime Form – is one set to describe all sets in a Set-Class

-          Prime Form pitch-class-sets always start with 0

-          Prime Form pitch-class-sets are in square brackets [ ]

To find Prime Form

-          Write pitches of a set in ascending order in the most compact form on a Clock

-          This is called the NORMAL ORDER of the set

-          If there is a TIE for the Normal Order, find the “Best Normal Order”

           - To find "Best Normal Order" when there is a Normal Order Tie between two sets...

           - First, make sure the smaller intervals are listed to the left (front) of the pitch-class-set.  If this is not the case, invert the pitch-class-set using the rainbow technique.

           - Now compare the first interval of the two pitch-class-sets, whichever is smaller is the "Best Normal Order" .  If the interval is the same, compare the next interval, and so on.

-          If the Normal Order has small intervals 1st and large last, transpose the entire set so that the first pitch is 0. THIS IS THE PRIME FORM

-          If the Normal Order has larger intervals first and small intervals last, you must invert it. (Can use the Rainbow method to put it in ascending form) then transpose it so the first value is 0. THIS IS THE PRIME FORM

Objective 54.2: Examples in Music: YouTube

Objective 54.2: Calculate prime form of a set-class in integer notation