On colours developing by the same laws as musical harmonies
—The physical properties of light and darkness briefly considered
—If the laws are correctly gained, harmonics of tones and of colours will agree
—Quotation from a lecture by Professor W. F. Barrett on the order of sonorous and luminous wave-lengths
—Fountain of musical harmonics, E root of B; in colours yellow and ultra-violet, being tints and shades of white and black
—All harmonics of sound and colour condense into a primo springing from the fountain
Multequivalency of tones and colours
Wünsch's views nearly one hundred years ago
Clerk Maxwell's, Lord Rayleigh's, and [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents1 - Harmonies]

There is much paradox, and the scheme differs so much from any hitherto published on the subject, that I am aware that, if any link can be found to be wanting in the chain, the defect will immediately be seized upon. I believe, however, that it will be found to admit of clear demonstration. Anyone who has studied the subject knows the difficulties that arise on all sides. In the problem before us, we have to reduce large fields of thought to certain elementary truths. In my endeavour to do this, I have been entirely dependent upon the discovery of the laws of Nature, as my ear is not musical enough to assist me in the matter. "All mysteries are either truths concealing deeper truths, or errors concealing deeper errors," and thus, as the mysteries unfold, truth or error will show itself in a gradually clearer light. The great mystery of music lies in its infinite resources; it teems with subtle elements and strange analogies. A musical note may be compared to a machine: we touch the spring and set the machine in motion, but the complex machinery exists beforehand, quite independent of our will; the motive power is not of our creation, and the laws on which its operation depends are superior to our control. The complex work of harmony is governed by the laws which are originated by the Creator; every note performs what He has willed, and in tracing these laws let us not be indifferent about their Author, but ever bear in mind that the source or fountain of the life and activity of harmonies arises from the Power who created the machine, and who knows how it will act. Let us also remember that we understand this machine but partially, and govern it but imperfectly, as indeed the finite can only, in a small measure, grasp the Infinite; and in any [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Method of Development or Creation of Harmonies1, page 15]

The fountain or life of musical harmonies and colours is E, or yellow; the root B, or ultra-violet: these being, in fact, tints and shades of white and black. Ascending, they partake more of white; descending, of black: the former drawing tones and colours higher, the latter lower. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, On Colours as Developed by the same Laws as Musical Harmonies2, page 19]

C rises from the fountain, and contains all tones within itself. Red also rises from the fountain, and contains all colours, with white and black.
D=the notes C and E mingled. Orange, red and yellow mingled.
E=the root of the fountain. Yellow, containing all colours, is white in its extreme.
F=the notes E and G mingled. Green=yellow and blue mingled.
G contains all tones. Blue, with more or less of black and white.
A=G and B mingled. Violet=blue, and all colours, inclining to black.
B, the key-note of the fountain. Ultra-violet=violet mingled with more black: a deeper shade of all colours—in its extreme, black. Orange, red and yellow mingled.
[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, On Colours as Developed by the same Laws as Musical Harmonies3, page 20]

Notes and colours are thus condensed into a pair springing from the fountain, and mingling with each other in an endless variety. Although yellow as a colour is explained away as white, it is, nevertheless, the colour yellow in endless tints and shades throughout nature, and proves to us that the three great apparent primaries correspond to the tonic chord of the scale of Ci.e., C, E, G = red, yellow, blue; or more correctly, C and G correspond to red and blue with the central fountain of E, white and black mingled, from which all tones and colours arise. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, On Colours as Developed by the same Laws as Musical Harmonies3, page 20]

The diagram begins with C, the third space of the treble clef, as being more convenient to write than C, the lowest note in the bass clef. The life of musical sounds rising from a hidden fountain of life is shown by the chasms of keyed instruments between B and C, and E and F; their great use will be strikingly manifest as the developments proceed. The fundamental key-note C and its root F rise from the chasms. B, the twelfth key-note, and E, its root, sound the octave higher of the fountain B. The generation of harmonies is by one law a simple mode of difference. Each major major key-note and its tones embrace the eighteen tones of keyed instruments which all lie in order for use. The power and extent of each are complete in itself, rising and developing, not from any inherent property in matter, but from the life communicated to matter. In the whole process of harmony there are limits, and yet it is illimitable. Its laws compel each key-note to follow certain rules within certain bounds; each separate key-note, being the fountain of its own system, has its own point of rest, and series after series rise and enlarge, or fall and diminish infinitely. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram I - The Eighteen Tones of Keyed Instruments, page 22a]

If we examine the line last quoted by the laws of life which regulate the foregoing scheme, we may compare it with the fundamental threefold chord of the scale of C and its relative colours,

C red rises

from the fountain key-note which contains in itself all tones. "Him first," the Son of God proceeding from the Almighty, and yet in Himself the Trinity in Unity. E, yellow or light. E is the root of B, ultra indigo, or black. "Him midst," the Almighty Father, the Fountain of life, light gradually rising and dispelling darkness. G, blue, "Him last," the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, Trinity in Unity. The Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the complemental working pair throughout the universe; each containing "the seven spirits of life." Red and blue contain all colours in each. C and G are a complemental pair, C rising from the fountain key-note which contains in itself all tones, and C and G combine all tones in each. In Chapter III. it is explained that all varieties of tones and colours may be condensed into this pair, rising from and falling again into the fountain. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Reflections on the Scheme2, page 44]

See Also

key-note of the fountain
large second
medium second
root of the fountain
small second
central fountain of E
keynote of the fountain
root of the fountain
The Fountain Head of Force

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Tuesday March 30, 2021 04:09:12 MDT by Dale Pond.