B flat


"The experiment illustrating "chord of mass" sympathy was repeated, using a glass chamber, 40 inches in height, filled with water, standing on a slab of glass. Three metal spheres, weighing about 6 ounces each, rested on the glass floor. The chord of mass of these spheres was B flat first octave, E flat second octave and B flat third octave. Upon sounding the note B flat on the sympathetic transmitter, the sphere having that chord of mass rose slowly to the top of the chamber, the positive end of the wire having been attached, which connected the covered jar with the transmitter. The same result followed the sound of the other spheres, all of which descended as gently as they rose, upon changing the positive to the negative. J.M. Wilcox, who was present remarked: "This experiment proves the truth of a fundamental law in scholastic philosophy, that when one body attracts or seeks another body, it is not that the effect is the sum of the effects produced by parts of one body upon parts of another, one aggregate of effects, but the result of the operation of one whole upon another whole." [Snell Manuscript - The Book, page 3]

"For instance, he discovered that the sympathetic transmitter was sensitive to what is known as B flat, D natural and F and that it was also apparently sensitive to the notes D, F# and A. By questioning Keely he found that he regarded the first three notes and their combinations as having a tendency in one direction, which he called a polar force, and the other three notes a tendency in an opposition direction, which he called a depolar force." [Public Ledger, Philadelphia, April 16, 1896]

"The relations of the components of the electric streams are: Dominant E flat, harmonic A flat, enharmonic C double flat.
"The keynote of electromagnetic sympathy in "transmissive combinations" is:




In the same way, but inversely, and still under the Law of Duality, the middle of the subdominant minor is lowered a flat. F#67 1/2 in the key of E minor is F64 in the key of A; B45 in the key of A is B♭42 2/3 in the key of D; E60 in the key of D is E♭56 8/9 in the key of G. This lowering by flats of the subdominant middle in the minors, responsive to the raising by sharps of the dominant middle in the majors, goes on through all the twelve minor keys.1 [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 62]

N.B. - The flat comes here by the prime 5, and the comma by the prime 3. Now we have the key of D provided for:-


The interval F G A, which in the scale of A was a 9-8-comma interval, must take the place of C D E of the scale of A, which is an 8-9-comma interval; and in order to do this, G has been mathematically lowered a comma. As the middle of the dominant in the major is raised a comma, so the root of the subdominant is lowered a comma. The interval A B C, which in the scale of A was a 9-5-comma interval, is here to take the place of E F G in the scale of A, which is a 5-9-comma interval; and in order to do so, B is lowered 4 commas, and so becomes ♭B; and this mathematical process makes the new scale exactly like the old one. This is the way of the minors when calculated as a descending series of scales, which is their natural way. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 84]

In a similar and responsive way Duality provides for the six major scales with flats.
The two new notes required for the scale of
F major are the B♭ of D, and the D of A minor;
for B♭ major, the E♭ of G, and the G of D minor;
for E♭ major, the A♭ of C, and the C of G minor;
for A♭ major, the D♭ of F, and the F of C minor;
for D♭ major, the G♭ of B♭, and the B♭ of F minor;
for G♭ major, the C♭ of E♭, and the E♭ of B♭ minor.1 [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 90]

sexual note in the scales of G major and E minor are the two A's; in D major and B minor, the two E's; in A major and F# minor, the two B's; in E major and C# minor, the two F's; in B major and G# minor, the two C's; and in F# major and D# minor, the two G's. These two last scales being the beginning of a second cycle of twelve scales when the scales are written half in flats and half in sharps, as we have done them in this case. Turning to the other half of our circle, those which we have, and which usually in music books are, written in flats, in F major and D minor the sexual notes are the two G's; in B♭ and G, the two C's, in E♭ and C, the two F's; in A♭ and F, the two B's; in D♭ and B♭, the two E's; and in G♭ and E♭, the two A's. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 91]

This tune is in the key of E♭ Major, and the key into which it moves for a passage is the next above it, B♭ Major. The first chord, E♭ G B♭, is the tonic; the second and third are the tonic and dominant; the fourth, C E♭ G, whose full form would be C E♭ G B♭, is the compound subdominant of the new key, which suggests the approaching modulation. The next two chords, in which the measure closes, may either be viewed as the tonic and dominant of the key, or the subdominant and tonic of the new key. The second measure opens with the same chord which closes the first measure, and is best defined as the tonic of the new key; the second chord is clearly the dominant of the new key, and the whole of the second measure is in the new key, and reads, T. D. S. T. compound D. T. Some of these chords might be read as chords of the old key, so near to each other and so kindred are the contiguous keys. All contiguous keys to a certain extent overlap each other, so that some of the chords may be variously read as belonging to the one or to the other. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 94]

Here on the keyboard we see, nearest to the front, the great 3-times-3 chord of the full genesis of the scale from F1 to F64. When this chord is struck by the notched lath represented in front of the keyboard, the whole harmony of the key is heard at once. Behind this great chord are placed, to the left the subdominant, tonic, and dominant chords of the minor. D F A, A E C, E G B; and to the right the subdominant, tonic, and dominant chords of the major, F A C, C E G, G B D. When the notched lath is shifted from F to D, the minor third below F, and the 3-times-3 minor is struck down in the same way as the major, the whole harmony is heard; and the complete contrast of effect between major and minor harmony can be fully pronounced to the ear by this means. Behind these six diatonic chords, major and minor, on the part of the keyboard nearest to the black keys, are the three chromatic chords in their four-foldness, in both major and minor form. The center one shows the diatonic germ of the chromatic chord, with its supplement of G# on the one hand completing its minor form, and its supplement of A♭ on the other hand completing its major form. A great deal of teaching may be illustrated by this plate.

ERRATUM. - B♭, first chromatic chord, misplaced.
[Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 104]

When Leonhard Euler, the distinguished mathematician of the eighteenth century, wrote his essay on a New Theory of Music, Fuss remarks - "It has no great success, as it contained too much geometry for musicians, and too much music for geometers." There was a reason which Fuss was not seemingly able to observe, namely, that while it had hold of some very precious musical truth it also put forth some error, and error is always a hindrance to true progress. Euler did good service, however. In his letters to a German Princess on his theory of music he showed the true use of the mathematical primes 2, 3, and 5, but debarred the use of 7, saying, "Were we to introduce the number 7, the tones of an octave would be increased." It was wise in the great mathematician to hold his hand from adding other notes. It is always dangerous to offer strange fire on the altar. He very clearly set forth that while 2 has an unlimited use in producing Octaves, 3 must be limited to its use 3 times in producing Fifths. This was right, for in producing a fourth Fifth it is not a Fifth for the scale. But Euler erred in attempting to generate the semitonic scale of 12 notes by the use of the power of 5 a second time on the original materials. It produces F# right enough; for D27 by 5 gives 135, which is the number for F#. D27 is the note by which F# is produced, because D is right for this process in its unaltered condition. But when Euler proceeds further to use the prime 5 on the middles, A, E, and B, and F#, in their original and unaltered state, he quite errs, and produces all the sharpened notes too low. C# for the key of D is not got by applying 5 to A40, as it is in its birthplace; A40 has already been altered for the key of G by a comma, and is A40 1/2 before it is used for producing its third; it is A40 1/2 that, multiplied by 5, gives C#202 1/2, not C200, as Euler makes C#. Things are in the same condition with E before G# is wanted for the key of A. G# is found by 5 applied to E; not E in its original and unaltered state, E30; but as already raised a comma for the key of D, E30 3/8; so G# is not 300, as Euler has it, but 303 3/4. Euler next, by the same erroneous methods, proceeds to generate D# from B45, its birthplace number; but before D# is wanted for the key of E, B has been raised a comma, and is no longer B45, but B45 9/16, and this multiplied by 5 gives D#227 13/16, not D225, as Euler gives it. The last semitone which he generates to complete his 12 semitones is B♭; that is A#, properly speaking, for this series, and he generates it from F#135; but this already altered note, before A# is wanted for the key of B, has been again raised a comma [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 107]


In the center column are the notes, named; with the lesser and larger steps of their mathematical evolution marked with commas, sharps, and flats; the comma and flat of the descending evolution placed to the left; the comma and sharp of the ascending evolution to the right; and in both cases as they arise. If a note is first altered by a comma, this mark is placed next to the letter; if first altered by a sharp or flat, these marks are placed next the letter. It will be observed that the sharpened note is always higher a little than the note above it when flattened; A# is higher than ♭B; and B is higher than ♭C, etc.; thus it is all through the scales; and probably it is also so with a fine voice guided by a true ear; for the natural tendency of sharpened notes is upward, and that of flattened notes downward; the degree of such difference is so small, however, that there has been difference of opinion as to whether the sharp and have a space between them, or whether they overlap, as we have shown they do. In tempered instruments with fixed keys the small disparity is ignored, and one key serves for both. In the double columns right and left of the notes are their mathematical numbers as they arise in the Genesis of the scales. In the seven columns right of the one number-column, and in the six on the left of the other, are the 12 major and their 12 relative minor scales, so arranged that the mathematical number of their notes is always standing in file with their notes. D in A minor is seen as 53 1/3, while the D of C major is 54; this is the comma of difference in the primitive Genesis, and establishes the sexual distinction of major and minor all through. The fourth of the minor is always a comma lower than the second of the major, though having the same name; this note in the development of the scales by flats drops in the minor a comma below the major, and in the development of the scales by sharps ascends in the major a comma above the minor. In the head of the plate the key-notes of the 12 majors, and under them those of their relative minors, are placed over the respective scales extended below. This plate will afford a good deal of teaching to a careful student; and none will readily fail to see beautiful indications of the deep-seated Duality of Major and Minor. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 109]

One purpose of this plate is to show that twelve times the interval of a fifth divides the octave into twelve semitones; and each of these twelve notes is the first note of a major and a minor scale. When the same note has two names, the one has sharps and the other has flats. The number of sharps and flats taken together is always twelve. In this plate will also be observed an exhibition of the omnipresence of the chromatic chords among the twice twelve scales. The staff in the center of the plate is also used as to show the whole 24 scales. Going from the major end, the winding line, advancing by fifths, goes through all the twelve keys notes; but in order to keep all within the staff, a double expedient is resorted to. Instead of starting from C0, the line starts from the subdominant F0, that is, one key lower, and then following the line we have C1, G2, etc., B6 proceeds to G♭ instead of F#, but the signature-number continues still to indicate as if the keys went on in sharps up to F12, where the winding line ends. Going from the minor end, the line starts from E0 instead of A0 - that is, it starts from the dominant of A0, or one key in advance. Then following the line we have B1, F#2, etc. When we come to D#5, we proceed to B♭ instead of A#6, but the signature-number continues as if still in sharps up [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 114]

The inner stave contains the chromatic scale of twelve notes as played on keyed instruments. The flat and sharp phase of the intermediate notes are both given to indicate their relation to each other; the sharpened note being always the higher one, although seemingly on the stave the lower one. The two notes are the apotome minor apart overlapping each other by so much; ♭D is the apotome lower than C#; ♭E the apotome lower than D#; F# the apotome higher than ♭G; G# the apotome higher than ♭A; and A# the apotome higher than ♭B. The figures for the chromatic scale are only given for the notes and their sharps; but in the mathematical series of notes the numbers are all given. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 120]

I had for a long time studied the development of the harmonics of colour, and believed that I had gained them correctly; but I saw no way of proving this. The thought occurred—Why not test the laws in musical harmonies? I wrote down the development of the seven major keys of the white notes in keyed instruments. I was perplexed by the movement as of "to and fro," but the development of numbers explained this point, and I found that the method of development in colours, tones, and numbers agreed. I remembered the keys with sharps, but had forgotten that B♭ belonged to the key of F, and here I thought that the laws failed. But I found by reference that all were correct, the eighth being the first of a higher series, the laws having enabled me to distinguish between flats and sharps, [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, General Remarks on Harmonies of Tones and Colours, page 12]

In the retrogression of harmonies, a key-note and its trinities, by sounding the same tones as when ascending, leads the ear to the same notes, and the root of each key-note becomes the fifth lower key-note. F, the root of C, becomes key-note; B♭, the root of F, the next key-note, and so on. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram VII - The Modulating Gamut of the Twelve Keys1, page 29]

Keys Roots Fourths
[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram VII - The Modulating Gamut of the Twelve Keys2, page 30]

Table of Keys
[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Twelve Scales Meeting by Fifths, page 31a]

Finally, trace the twelve keys by fifths as they veer round through the seven circles, each circle representing the eighteen tones. Beginning with C in the innermost circle ascending, C becomes the root of G, G of D, and so on. In descending, begin with C in the outermost circle (though really the first of a higher series which we have not the power of striking on instruments); F, its root, becomes the key-note, B♭ the root and then the key-note, and so on. The keys thus gained are written in musical clef below. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Twelve Scales Meeting by Fifths, page 31a]

AS an example of the twenty-four, compare A major, developing, in Diagram II., with A minor, Diagram IX., taking the notes in the order which they sound in trinities. The three notes of the primaries sounded by A minor are, first, the same root as the major; the two next are the fourth and seventh higher notes (in the major, the fifth and sixth); the secondaries only vary by the sixth and seventh notes being a tone lower than in their relative major. Observe the order in which the pairs unite; the fourth in depth, sounded seventh, isolated. A and its root do not rise from the chasms. The fundamental key-note C was seen not to be interfered with, neither is the fundamental minor key-note A; G# on the one side, and B♭ on the other, being the key-notes. The seven of each minor harmony embrace only seventeen tones. C major and A minor are the only two keys which sound the seven white notes of keyed instruments. The minor scale and chords of A are not included in this remark. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram IX - The Minor Keynote A and Its Six Notes, page 34a]

THE same laws are followed here as in the development of the major scales. In that of A, F, the sixth note, has risen to F#, in order to meet B, which has previously sounded. In descending, the seventh note, B, falls to B♭, in order to meet F, which has also previously sounded. The notes, ascending or descending, always follow the harmony of their key-note, except when rising higher or falling lower to meet in fifths. We may here trace the twelve, the ascending scale sounding the fifth harmony higher than its key-note, and, in descending, sounding the fifth lower harmony. The four pairs of each scale are written at the end of the lines. If we strike the twelve scales as they follow in succession, the thirteenth note being the octave of the first, and leader of a higher twelve; having gained them six times, at the seventh they gradually rise (though beyond the power of a keyed instrument) into the higher series of seven octaves, and again, in descending, they fall lower, and are linked into the lower series of seven octaves. Nine notes of any ascending minor scale may be struck without the necessity of modulating beyond the fifth harmony. For example, in the scale of A, its tenth note, C#, rises to meet the sixth note, which has previously sounded. In descending, E♭, the eleventh note, meets B♭, the seventh note, which has previously sounded. The scale of A may be traced veering round by reference to Diagram IX., beginning with A, and carrying the four lowest notes an octave higher, F rising to F# in ascending, B falling to B♭ in descending. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram XI - The Twelve Minor Keynotes with the Six Note of Each, page 36a]

ALTHOUGH only twelve notes of a keyed instrument develope perfect minor harmonics, there are fifteen different chords, the double tones D#-E♭, E#-F♭, A#-B♭ all sounding as roots. The fifteen roots are written in musical clef. A major and a minor fifth embrace the same number of key-notes, but the division into threefold chords is different. In counting the twelve, a major fifth has four below the third note of its harmony, and three above it; a minor fifth has three below the third note of its harmony, and four above it. A major seventh includes twelve key-notes, a minor seventh only eleven. As an example of the minor chords in the different keys, we may first examine those in the key of A, written in musical clef. The seven of its harmony have two threefold chords, and two of its ascending scale. If we include the octave note, the highest chord of the descending scale is a repetition (sounding an octave higher) of the lowest chord of the seven in its harmony, and the second chord of the descending scale is a repetition of the first chord of its ascending scale. These two repetition chords are only written to the key of A: the chords of the other eleven keys will all be found exactly to agree with those of A in their mode of development. We may again remark on the beautiful effect which would result if the colours of the minor chords could be seen, with the tones, as they develope. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram XII - The Chords of the Twelve Minor Keys, page 37a]

See Also

B flat major
Vibratory Physics - True Science
B Flat 3rd Octave
root of B flat

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Tuesday April 6, 2021 04:53:33 MDT by Dale Pond.