Muzundrum: The Game of Musicians
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Building Triads

The Game of Musicians

Triads in Muzundrum are built vertically and in root position, and are limited to the types found in major scales: major, minor, and diminished. On the honeycomb, they must build upward in pitch from bottom to top: the higher notes go above the lower ones, as on a musical staff. Triads or potential triads can be formed by adding notes either above or below dice already in play.

The possibilities are many when beginning to build a triad from a single note. Let’s say, for example, there is a lone C on the honeycomb. We could place an Eb or an E above it; we could also place a an A or an Ab below it. Each of those combinations is on the way to forming some sort of acceptable triad.

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The nine legal potential triads that can be built from a lone "C".

Above, they are, from left to right:
C Major, C Minor, C Diminished; and Ab Major, A Minor, A Diminished.

At left, they are F Major, F Minor, and F# (or Gb) Diminished.

Note that all of the triads are voiced in root position.

When we start to build a triad, we don’t have to determine which particular triad we’re building; we just need to make sure that we’re creating a potential for one or more acceptable triads, as shown above. During the course of the game, that potential triad may be completed, or it may not.

About Potential Triads

As explained on the Building Scales page, scales can be initiated on the honeycomb even if there’s no possibility of them ever expanding beyond their first two notes; we don’t have to worry about there "being room" for them to expand out to their full, seven-note potential. Not so with triads: a triad cannot be begun if there is no room to finish it. We can’t begin to build a triad so close to the edge of the honeycomb that there’s no way it could ever be completed, for example; nor can we begin a triad somewhere on the honeycomb where dice already in play will prevent it from ever being fully realized.

The easiest way to make sure that we’re beginning a legal triad is to imagine it complete. Say, for instance, we wish to begin a triad by placing an Eb over a C. Is there room for a G or an F# to later be placed above? Or for an A or an Ab to later be placed below? If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then our potential triad indeed has potential: it is legal. If the answer to all of those questions is no – if there is never going to be a way to complete the triad without invalidating another scale or triad or breaking a rule – then there is no potential triad, and the die may not be placed.

Muzundrum: Building triads

In the example above, a triad could not be initiated by playing a die above the "C": the triad could not expand upward because of the edge of the board; it could not expand downward and create any sort of legal triad.

Completing Triads: Maximum Verticality

Once a triad has been completed – once it includes three dice – no more dice may be added to it on either end. There can never be more than three dice in a row stacked vertically anywhere in the game, unless they are separated by an empty cell (see Empty Cells, Miscellaneous Rules).

The Game of Musicians

Philomuse: MuzundrumProceed to "Miscellaneous Rules"

The Game of Musicians

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Principal photography by Hugh Shining Moon. Site design by J S Kingfisher and Art101.com.