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Ramsay - Music's Seal - The Number Three

placed, like chemical elements they never lose their original natures within the same key-system.
     The extremes of the levities and gravities of a key-system are always at the extent of three fifths; and whatever notes are adopted for these three fifths, the center fifth is the tonic. As there never can be more than three fifths above each other on the same terms, so there can never be more than one such scale at the same time. A fourth fifth is a comma less than the harmonic fifth1; and this is Nature's danger-signal, to show that it is not admissible here. Nature does not sew with a knotless thread in music. The elements are so place that nothing can be added nor anything taken away without producing confusion or defect. What has been created is thus at the same time protected by Nature.
     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.
     There are joinings, however, though at a wilder limit. The system of music is not a spiral line. The minor scale is developed from the major by the law of Duality; and when this is done, D26 2/3, the root of the subdominant minor, is so near to D27, the top of the dominant major, that one note may be made to serve for both; and this joins the one extreme of the major and minor systems in this note D, which has thus duality in itself. The only other place where the dual system of major and minor stands open is at the other extreme of the two modes, between B, the top of the dominant minor, and F the root of the subdominant major; and these unjoined ends reach away till at three fifths below F, namely A♭, and at three fifths above


1 The structure and quantity of the three fifths in a major scale are always 9, 8, 9, 5 = 31 commas; but the structure and quantity of the fourth fifth is 8, 5, 9, 8 =3 0 commas; F, A, C, = 31 commas; C, E, G, = 31 commas; G, B, D, = 31 commas; d, f, a, 8, 5, 9, 8=30 commas. - Editor.

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Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Sunday October 11, 2020 06:00:13 MDT by Dale Pond.