Circle | Circle | |

Sympsionics Symbol |

noun: a round shape consisting of a curved line that completely encloses a space and is the same distance from the center at every point.

**Ramsay**

"notes which are produced by the two primes, 3 and 5. As the quadrant contains all the angles which give the different proportions in *form*, so does the ratio of 1:2, or the area of an octave, contain all the different notes in *music*. The ratio of 1:2 corresponds to unity, and, like the square and the **circle** in *form*, admits of no varieties. Half the length of a string gives an octave when the string is homogeneous and uniform; if the one half has more gravity than the other, the center of gravity of the whole string gives the octave. The ratio of 1:2 rests on the center of gravity. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 27]

The major scale is composed of three fifths with their middle notes, that is to say, their thirds. And as three such fifths are two octaves, less the small minor third D to F, taking the scale of C for example, so these three fifths are not joined in a **circle**, but the top of the dominant and the root of the subdominant are standing apart this much, that is, this minor third, D, e, F. Had they been joined, the key would have been a motionless system, with no compound chords, and no opening for modulation into other keys. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 38]

lastly it is altered again and becomes, by the power of 3 once more, F#,#, and serves in four keys. But this carries us beyond the horizon of our musical world of twelve keys; for in B#, the top of the tonic E, we have reached our twelfth fifth, and it here coalesces with C of the seventh octave, and closes the **circle**. This is the way that all notes become alternately altered, either by commas and sharps in the upward genesis of scales, or by commas and flats in the downward genesis, by the alternate powers of 3 and 5. In the upward genesis in this illustration, notes by the power of 5 serve in three keys, and those by the power of 3 serve in four keys. In the minors it is just the inverse on this by the Law of Duality. But no note serves for more than either three or four keys, as the case may be. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 63]

There is nothing extraordinary in this. It is another fact which gives this one its importance, and that is that the musical system is composed of *three fifths* rising one out of another; so this note by 3/4 becomes the root not only of a chord, but the root of all the three chords, of which the middle one is the tonic; the chord of the balance of the system, the chord of the key; the one out of which it grows, and the one which grows out of it, being like the scales which sway on this central balance-beam. Thus F takes its place, C in the center, and G above. These are the 3 fifths of the system on its masculine or major side. The fractions for A, E, and B, the middle notes of the three chords, are 4/5, 3/5, and 8/15; this too tells a tale; 5 is a new ingredient; and as 3 gives fifths, 5 gives thirds. From these two primes, 3 and 5, along with the integer or unit, all the notes of the system are evolved, the octaves of all being always found by 2. When the whole system has been evolved, the numbers which are the lengths of the strings in the masculine or major mode are the numbers of the vibrations of the notes of the feminine or minor mode; and the string-length-numbers of the minor or feminine are the vibration-numbers of the notes of the major or masculine mode. These two numbers, the one for lengths and one for vibrations, when multiplied into each other, make in every case 720; the octave of 360, the number of the degrees of the **circle**. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 76]

The simple natural scale is the fifth; the compound natural scale is the octave; the harmony scale, or chord-scale, is the three fifths; the great genetic scale is six octaves; for, like the six creation days, it takes the six octaves to give birth to the elements of which the wondrous structure of our music is built up; the birthplace of B, the seventh of the octave scale, is the sixth octave of the great genetic scale. The area of the twelve major and twelve minor scales is twelve fifths or seven octaves, the twelfth fifth being a comma and the apotome minor in advance of the seventh octave. This is a quantity so small that it can be ignored in real music; and the two notes, say E# and F, joined to close the **circle** of this horizon of our music world. E# is the top of the twelfth fifth, and F is the top of the seventh octave; and they are practically, though not exactly mathematically, the same note. Illustrations of this will be found among the plates of this work. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 79]

Having found the framework of the major scale by multiplying F1 three times by 3, find the framework of the minor by dividing three times by 3. But what shall we divide? Well, F1 is the unbegotten of the 25 notes of the great genetic scale; B45 is the last-born of the same scale. We multiply upward from F1 for the major; divide downward from B45 for the minor. Again, B45 is the middle of the top chord of the major system, a minor third below D, the top of that chord, and the top of the whole major chord-scale, so B is the relative minor to it. Now since the minor is to be seen as the INVERSE of the major, the whole process must be inverse. Divide instead of multiply! Divide from the top chord instead of multiply from the bottom chord. Divide from the top of the minor dominant instead of multiply from the root of the major subdominant. This will give the framework of the minor system, B45/3 = E15/3 = A5/3 = D1 2/3. But as 1 2/3 is not easily compared with D27 of the major, take a higher octave of B and divide from it. Two times B45 is B90, and two times B90 is B180, and two times B180 is B360, the number of the degrees of a **circle**, and two times B360 is B720; all these are simply octaves of B, and do not in the least alter the character of that note; now B720/3 is = E240/3 = A80/3 = D26 2/3. And now comparing D27 found from F1, and D26 2/3 found from B720, we see that while E240 is the same both ways, and also A80, yet D26 2/3 is a comma lower than D27. This is the note which is the center of the dual system, and it is itself a dual note befittingly. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 81]

the *apotome minor*; but one of these is the *original comma* which is genetically between the two D's; and it occurs here again at the 13th scale, the first of a new **circle**; it really corresponds to the two D's at the beginning of this first series. Whenever there is more than *one comma and the apotome minor* between G# and A♭, it is because there has been a mistake in counting this one over again; or some other mistake. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 86]

The reason why there are 13 mathematical scales is that G♭ and F# are written separately as two scales, although the one is only a comma and the apotome minor higher than the other, while in the regular succession of scales the one is always 5 notes higher than the other; so this G♭ is an anomaly among scales, unless viewed as the first of a second cycle of keys, which it really is; and all the notes of all the scales of this second cycle are equally a comma and the apotome higher than the notes of the first cycle; and when followed out we find that a third cycle is raised just as much higher than the second as the second is higher than the first; and what is true of these majors may be simply repeated as to the D# and E♭ of the minors, and the new cycle so begun, and all successive minor cycles. Twelve and not thirteen is the natural number for the mathematical scales, which go on in a spiral line, as truly as for the tempered scales, which close as a **circle** at this point. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 89]

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 plate is a Pendulum illustration of the System of musical vibrations. The circular lines represent Octaves in music. The thick are the octave lines of the fundamental note; and the thin lines between them are lines of the other six notes of the octave. The notes are all on lines only, not lines and spaces. The black dots arranged in these lines are not notes, but pendulum oscillations, which have the same ratios in their slow way as the vibrations of sounding instruments in the much quicker region where they exist. The center **circle** is the Root of the System; it represents F1, the root of the subdominant chord; the second thick line is F2, its octave; and all the thick lines are the rising octaves of F, namely 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. In the second octave on the fifth line are dots for the three oscillations which represent the note C3, the Fifth to F2, standing in the ratio of 3 to 2; and the corresponding lines in the four succeeding Octaves are the Octaves of C3, namely 6, 12, 24, and 48. On the third line in the third Octave are 5 dots, which are the 5 oscillations of a pendulum tuned to swing 5 to 4 of the F close below; and it represents A5, which is the Third of F4 among musical vibrations. On the first line in the fourth Octave are 9 dots. These again represent G9, which stands related to C3 as C3 stands to F1. On the seventh line of the same octave are 15 dots; these represent the vibrations of E15, which stands related to C3 as A5 stands to F1. On the sixth line of the fifth Octave are 27 dots, representing D27, which stands related to G9 as G9 stands to C3, and C3 also to F1; it is the Fifth to G. And last of all, on the fourth line of the sixth Octave are 45 dots, representing B45, which, lastly, stands related to G9 as E15 stands to C3, and A5 to F1; it is the Third to this third chord - G, B, D. The notes which arise in each octave coming outward from the center are repeated in a double number of dots in the following Octaves; A5 appears as 10, 20, and 40; G9 appears as 18 and 36; E15 appears as 30 and 60; D27 appears as 54; and last of all B45 only appears this once. This we have represented by pendulum oscillations, which we can follow with the eye, the three chords of the musical system, F, A, C; C, E, G; and G, B, D. C3 is from F1 multiplied by 3; G9 is from C3 multiplied by 3; these are the three Roots of the three Chords. Their Middles, that is their Thirds, are similarly developed; A is from F1 multiplied by 5; E15 is from C3 multiplied by 5; B45 is from G9 multiplied by 5. The primes 3 and 5 beget all the new notes, the Fifths and the Thirds; and the prime 2 repeats them all in Octaves to any extent. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 102]

When these representative dots are arranged on these six Octaves of lines, at regular distances marked out by the proportionate degrees of the **circle**, they present to the eye this beautiful symmetrical picture of the Diatonic System of Musical Vibrations. They represent all that mathematically belongs to Music. When the notes are strung [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 102]

Another remarkable thing is that these dual numbers, when multiplied into each other, always come to 720. Now this number, as we see in the great genesis, corresponds to 1 in the major, being the point of departure for the development of the feminine mode, as 1 is the point of departure in the masculine mode. This 720 is the octave of 360, which is the number of *the degrees of the circle*, so divided in the hidden depths of human antiquity; and when F1 becomes F2, then B360 is the answering note and number in the dual system. All the notes in the masculine development are above F2; and all the notes in the feminine development are below B360. The unoccupied octave between F1 and F2 and that between B720 and B360 may be counted as the octave heads or roots of the two modes, and then F2 and B360 as the points from which the development of music's diversity begins; and it is noteworthy that the number of the

**degrees of the circle**should be found in this connection. When was the

**circle**so divided? Who divided it so? And why did he, the unknown, so divide it? Was Music's mystery known in that far-off day before the confusion of man's sinking history had blotted out so much of the pure knowledge of pristine days? [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 119]

**Hughes**

The modulating gamut

—One series of the twelve keys meeting by fifths through seven octaves

—Keys not mingled

—A table of the key-notes and their trinities thus meeting

—The fourths not isolated

—The table of the twelve scales meeting by fifths

—The twelve keys, trinities, scales, and chords thus meeting are written in musical clef

—The twelve meeting through seven circles, each **circle** representing the eighteen tones

—The keys of C and G meeting, coloured

—Retrospection of the various major developments, . . . . 29 [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents3 - Harmonies]

In the diagrams the **circles** are not drawn as interlacing into each other, from the difficulty of representing them accurately as rising spirally in geometric progression. If we endeavour to realise the development of harmonies, both in geometric order, and at the same time advancing and retiring, as in musical clef, we must imagine a musician having the physical power of striking all the notes on a circular keyed instrument of seven octaves, linked to a lower series of seven octaves, and a corresponding series of seven higher. But in fact the depth of the lower series, and the height of the higher, are alike unfathomable to our present powers. C, the first note of the seven octaves, sounds the four lowest tones, F, G, A, B of the lower series; and B, the last and highest note of the seven octaves, sounds in its harmony C♮ and D# of the higher series of sevens. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Method of Development or Creation of Harmonies3, page 17]

The primitive laws of any science should be capable of succinct statement, but in combination with others they become more complex and delicate, and error is proved if in the developments they do not echo each other. If, therefore, musical harmonies are correctly gained, the same laws will develope harmonies of colour, and will agree with the colours of the rainbow, the **circle** of which is divided by the horizon. All who are interested in the laws which regulate these two sciences will doubtless know the interesting lectures delivered by W. F. Barrett (Professor of Experimental Physics in the Royal College of Science, Dublin), and the article written by him and published in the *Quarterly Journal of Science*, January, 1870, entitled "Light and Sound; an examination of their reputed analogy, showing the oneness of colour and music as a physical basis." I will quote shortly from the latter for the benefit of those who may not have met with it. "The question arises, Has all this æsthetic oneness of colour and music any physical foundation, over and above the general analogy we have so far traced between light and sound? We believe the following considerations will show, not only that it has some foundation, but that the analogy is far more wonderful than has hitherto been [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, On Colours as Developed by the same Laws as Musical Harmonies1, page 18]

The tones between the seven white notes of keyed instruments, and the tints and shades between the seven colours, cause the multequivalency of colours and of tones; consequently every colour, as every musical harmony, has the capability of ascending or descending, to and fro in **circles**, or advancing and retiring in musical clef. It is a curious coincidence that Wünsch, nearly one hundred years ago, believed in his discovery of the primary colours to be red, green, and violet; and in this scheme, red, answering to the note C, must necessarily be the first visible colour, followed by green and violet, but these not as primary colours, all colours in turn becoming primaries and secondaries in the development of the various harmonies. To gain facts by experiment, the colours must be exactly according to natural proportions—certain proportions producing white, and others black. In this scheme, green and red are shown to be a complementary pair, and therefore (as Clerk Maxwell has proved) red and green in right proportions would produce yellow. The same fact has been proved in Lord Rayleigh's experiments with the spectroscope. Yellow and ultra-violet, [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, On Colours as Developed by the same Laws as Musical Harmonies3, page 20]

THE five **circles** represent a musical clef on which the twelve notes of a keyed instrument are written. Six of the notes are shown to be double, *i.e.*, sounding two tones, eighteen in all, including E#, which is only employed in the harmony of F#, all others being only higher or lower repetitions. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram I - The Eighteen Tones of Keyed Instruments, page 22a]

The 18 tones of keyed instruments are represented round this **circle**, and again below in musical clef. As all, with the exception of G♭ and A#, become in turn either Major or Minor Key-notes, or both, no distinction is made between tones and semitones throughout the scheme. In this diagram the 12 Major Key-notes are written thus

THE first

**circle**on this diagram represents seven major key-notes, beginning with C on the third space in the treble clef, and sounding as their roots the seven last key-notes which have developed. The second is a continuation of the first

**circle**. The seven previously developed key-notes are now the roots of seven higher key-notes. The intermediate notes are not coloured, but may be seen to be complementary pairs. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram III - The Major Keynotes Developing by Sevens, page 25a]

The first

**circle**are 7 Key-notes, their roots having been the last 7 Key-notes that have developed. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The First Circle are 7 Keynotes, page 25c]

The second

**circle**is a continuation of the first, shewing the 7 previously developed Key-notes are the roots of the 7 higher Key-notes. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The First Circle are 7 Keynotes, page 25c]

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]

The 12 Major Key-notes meeting by fifths veering round. Each of the seven circles represents a musical clef of the 18 tones. The note or notes, whether in musical clef on spaces or lines, are written here on the

**circle**from which they rise. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram VII Continued2, page 31e]

Ascending, begin with C in the innermost

**circle**, F being its root. The Key-note C becomes the root of G, G becomes the root of D, and so on. In descending, begin with the octave Key-note C in the outermost

**circle**. F, the root of C, becomes the fifth lower Key-note. F is the next Key-note, and becomes the root of B♭, &c. The 12 Keys in their order are written in musical clef below. Lastly, the Keys of C and G, ascending on a keyed instrument, are written in music as descending; therefore, to shew correctly notes and colours meeting, it is necessary to reverse them, and write C below G. All are seen to be complementary pairs in tones and colours. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram VII Continued2, page 31e]

Round the

**circle**the eighteen tones of keyed instruments are shown; the twelve developing perfect minor keys are written thus

, the seven white-keyed notes are coloured, the intermediate tones left uncoloured. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram VIII - On the Development of the Twelve Minor Harmonies, page 32]

Referring to Diagram I., the 18 tones of keyed instruments are here again represented, both round the **circle** and in musical clef. In this diagram the 12 Minor Key-notes are written thus

; the 7 white notes of a keyed instrument are here coloured; the five intermediate tones, as before, are left uncoloured. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Referring to Diagram I, page 33c]

The second **circle** is a continuation of the first; the seven previously developed key-notes become, as before, the roots of seven higher. The uncoloured intermediate notes are in the same way complementary pairs. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram X - Minor Keynotes Developing by Sevens, page 35a]

The first **circle** are 7 Minor Key-notes, their roots having been the last 7 Key-notes that have developed. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, First Circle are 7 Minor Keynotes, page 35c]

The second **circle** is a continuation of the first, shewing the 7 previously developed Key-notes are the roots of the 7 higher Key-notes. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, First Circle are 7 Minor Keynotes, page 35c]

Lastly, we trace the twelve ascending by fifths as they veer round through the **seven circles**, each **circle** representing the eighteen tones, beginning with A in the innermost **circle**. A becomes the root of E, E of B, and so on. In descending, we begin with A in the outermost **circle**, though it is in fact the commencement of a higher series which we cannot strike. D, its root, becomes the fifth key-note lower, and so on. The keys of A and E are coloured, to show the result of the minor harmonies meeting by fifths. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram XIV - The Modulating Gamut of the Twelve Minor Keys by Fifths3, page 41a]

Among the many subjects which excite interest at the present time is the question whether the doctrine of Evolution is true or false. Milton had evidently some glimpse of its truth, as we see in the following lines:—

"Air and ye elements! the eldest birth

Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run

Perpetual **circle**, multiform, and mix

And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change

Vary to our great Maker still new praise!" [*Paradise Lost*, Book V.] [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Reflections on the Scheme4, page 46]

"I esteem myself fortunate in being introduced to you, and becoming acquainted with your beautiful work on 'Tones and Colours.' I have, to the best of my ability, worked out your idea, by writing down in music the various discords in use amongst musicians, and resolving them according to the laws of Harmony, and I find in all cases the perfect triad agrees with what you term the trinities in colours. The way in which you find the whole **circle** of Major and Minor keys by pairs in colours is deeply interesting, and must be true. The only point of divergence between your system and that recognised by all musicians is the ascending Minor Scale. No musically trained ear can tolerate the seventh note being a whole tone from the eighth. The Minor second in the lower octave descending is very beautiful, and it is strange how all composers feel a desire to use it. To mention one case out of hundreds, I may cite Rossini's well-known air, 'La Danza.'

"Yours faithfully,

"W. CHALMERS MASTERS." [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Supplementary Remarks and Diagrams, page 53]

See Also

**Cube**
**cube-sphere**
**Propositions of Geometry**
**Quadrature of the Circle**
**Sphere**
**Square**
**Sympsionics**