Diagram IX - The Minor Keynote A and Its Six Notes


"Lord, on Thee Eternity had its foundations—all
Spring forth from Thee; of light, joy, harmony
Sole origin:—all life, all beauty Thine!"—Sir J. Bowring.

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.

When the twelve minor harmonies are traced developing in succession, we notice how exactly they all agree in their method of development, also the use of the chasms and the double tones, the seven of each harmony rising a tone when ascending, but reversing the movement in descending; keys with sharps and those with flats are mingled. The intermediate tones are here coloured, showing gradual modulation. D♭ is shown to be an imperfect minor harmony, and E♭, by employing B as C♭, is seen to be equivalent to D#. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram IX - The Minor Keynote A and Its Six Notes, page 34a]

The primaries, with their secondaries written below each in musical clef, show that the notes of each primary are the same as the third secondary below, with the exception that one of the primaries rises a tone higher. The order of rising varies as in the majors.

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]

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Saturday March 20, 2021 04:56:22 MDT by Dale Pond.