major keynote

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

Half Note
[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram I - Eighteen Tones of Keyed Instruments, page 22c]

The Major Key-note of C is here shewn developing its trinities from within itself, veering round; C and the other 11 developing their trinities in musical clef. Below each is the order in which the pairs meet, avoiding consecutive fifths. Lastly, C# is seen to be an imperfect major harmony; and G♭, with B as C♭, make the same harmony as F#. The intermediate tones of sharps and flats of the 7 white notes are here coloured in order to shew each harmony, but it must be remembered that they should, strictly, have intermediate tints. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Major Keynote of C, page 24c]

DIAGRAM III.—MAJOR KEY-NOTES DEVELOPING BY SEVENS. "Creation is the realization of Divine Thought."::

"The divine and spiritual are not unnatural, but the very soul of nature." F. W. Reynolds, M.A.
[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram III - The Major Keynotes Developing by Sevens, page 25a]

ON a keyed instrument only twelve are major key-notes, but as the double tones C#-D♭ and F#-G♭ are roots, there are fourteen different chords. The fourteen that are roots are written in musical clef. As an example of the major chords in the different keys, we may examine those in the key of C. A major fifth includes five out of the seven of its key; with the third or central note it is the threefold chord, or fourfold when the octave note is added. Including the silent key-notes, a threefold chord embraces eight, or, counting the double tones, not including E#, eleven. The first and second chords of the seven of the harmony are perfect major chords in the key of C; the central note of the third chord, being #C-♭D, is a discord. The first pair of fifths in the scale, with its central note, is a chord of the key; if we include the octave, the last pair of fifths, with its central note, is the same chord an octave higher than the lowest chord of the seven. Of the chords written in musical clef of the twelve keys, the octave chord is only written to C, the seven of each having two chords and the scale one, thirty-six in all, or forty-eight if the octave chords are added. Notice how the chords of each seven and the chord of its scale are altered. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram V - The Chords of the Twelve Major Keys, page 27a]

THE term "key" in the minor developments must be taken in the sense in which it is understood by musicians, although it will be seen that it is only the seven of the harmony that are the relative minor keys of the majors, the scales with their chords sounding other keys. The grandeur, combined with simplicity, of the laws which develope musical harmonies are strikingly exhibited in the minor keys. Although at first they appear most paradoxical, and, comparing them with the majors, we may almost say contradictory in their laws of development, when they are in some degree understood, the intricacies disappear, and the twelve keys follow each other (with the thirteenth octave), all exactly agreeing in their mode of development. I shall endeavour to trace them as much as possible in the same manner as the majors, the lowest developments of the minor keys being notes with scales and chords, the notes always sounding their major harmonies in tones. Here an apparently paradoxical question arises. If the major keys are gained by the notes sounding the major tones, how are the minor keys obtained? Strictly speaking, there are no minor key-notes: the development of a minor harmony is but a mode of succession within the octave, caused by each minor key-note employing the sharps or flats of the fourth major key-note higher; and with this essential difference, it will be seen in how many points the developments of major and minor harmonics agree. I have carefully followed the same laws, and if any capable mind examines the results, I am prepared for severe criticism. I can only express that it was impossible to gain any other results than the seven of the harmony, the ascending and the descending scale and the chords combining three different keys. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram VIII - On the Development of the Twelve Minor Harmonies, page 32]

See Also

seven major keynotes

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Friday March 12, 2021 04:22:40 MST by Dale Pond.