Ramsay - How the Diatonic Germ becomes a 4-Note Chord

not mathematically identical, the genetic number of the last D, the top of the dominant major, being 27, and that of the first D, the root of the subdominant minor, being 26 2/3. Well, in the triplets of the minor we have minor thirds below their middles, D-F, A-C, E-G. In the triplets of the major we have minor thirds above their middles, A-C, E-G, B-D. But here between the triplets of the two modes we have a triplet which has minor third both below and above its middle note, two minor thirds and nothing else, B-D-F. Here, then, the Diatonic progression chords presents us with a 3-note Chromatic chord, and marchals us the way that we must go to find

of new chords and progressions now for the first time reduced to scientific order in

But, as the subdominant sixth and dominant seventh suggest that the chromatic chord should be a 4-note chord, we must find out how Nature completes this diatonic chromatic triad and makes it a 4-note chord, and that according to its own intrinsic character as of minor thirds. Nature has always a rationale in her operations which it is ever delightful to discover. Wedged in between the minor dominant and the major subdominant, this triad, B D F, has already B, the top of the dominant minor, for its root; and F, the root of the subdominant major, for its top; and its middle is the mysterious D which, in its two positions as root of the minor subdominant and top of the major dominant, stands at the two extremes of the whole twofold diatonic key, bounding and embracing all; and which in its two degrees as D26 2/3 and D27 claims kindred with both minor and major modes of the twofold key system. Surely this Janus-faced D, looking this way toward the minor and that way to the major, seems to say, "the complement of this chord, of which I am the heart, is not far to seek nor hard to find on either side." It has already B in common with the minor dominant; the very next step is to the middle of this chord, G. Roots and tops of chords may not be altered, but middles may with impunity be flattened or sharpened as occasion may require. No two of them in succession in the chord-scale have the same structure; the chromatic triad, in claiming this middle, claims it sharpened, for it must have [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 54]

page 54

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Tuesday October 27, 2020 04:22:51 MDT by Dale Pond.