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root

1- a basic cause or idea.
2- the root of a number is another number that, when multiplied by itself a particular number of times, equals that number. For example, 3 is the square root of 9 and the cube root of 27.
3- the note that forms the base of a chord in music


The fundamental tone of a chord; the lowest tone, unless the chord is inverted.

Called also fundamental note, generator, and ground note. (1) A note which besides its own sound gives overtones or harmonics. (2) That note from amongst whose overtones any chord may be selected, i.e., the chord of CGE, is produced from the vibration of the lowest note C, therefore C is said to be the root of this chord.

An attempt to reduce chords to their roots forms the chief part of many treatises on harmony, but almost insuperable difficulties are met with in consequence of certain overtones being omitted in our scale and other sounds being introduced which can only be obtained by a minute subdivision of the monochord. The flat seventh and the eleventh of nature are unused, and various notes are arbitrarily inserted in the modern scale in order to obtain more or less of temperament. Some authors derive all their chords, or rather all those called fundamental (which constitute but a very small number of the chords actually in use), from three roots - the tonic, subdominant, and dominant. Others, again, insist on only two roots, the tonic and dominant. Not a few modern musicians use the word root without reference to any mathematical laws, and only as describing a note on which, when either expressed or implied, a chord is built up. [A Dictionary of Musical Terms; Novello, Ewer and Co., London, pre-1900]


In music theory, the concept of root is the idea that a chord can be represented and named by one of its notes. It is linked to harmonic thinking—to the idea that vertical aggregates of notes can form a single unit, a chord. It is in this sense that one speaks of a "C chord" or a "chord on C"—a chord built from "C" and of which the note (or pitch) "C" is the root. When a chord is referred to in Classical music or popular music without a reference to what type of chord it is (either major or minor, in most cases), it is assumed a major triad, which for C contains the notes C, E and G. The root needs not be the bass note, the lowest note of the chord: the concept of root is linked to that of the inversion of chords, which is derived from the notion of invertible counterpoint. In this concept, chords can be inverted while still retaining their root.

In tertian harmonic theory, that is in a theory where chords can be considered stacks of third intervals (e.g. in common practice tonality), the root of a chord is the note on which the subsequent thirds are stacked. For instance, the root of a triad such as C Major is C, independently of the vertical order in which the three notes (C, E and G) are presented. A triad can be in three possible positions, a "root position" with the root in the bass (i.e., with the root as the lowest note, thus C, E, G or C, G, E, from lowest to highest notes), a first inversion, e.g. E, C, G or E, G, C (i.e., with the note which is a third interval above the root, E, as the lowest note) and a second inversion, e.g. G, C, E or G, E, C, in which the note that is a fifth interval above the root (G ) is the lowest note.

Regardless of whether a chord is in root position or in an inversion, the root remains the same in all three cases. Four-note seventh chords have four possible positions. That is, the chord can be played with the root as the bass note, the note a third above the root as the bass note (first inversion), the note a fifth above the root as the bass note (second inversion), or the note a seventh above the root as the bass note (third inversion). Five-note ninth chords know five positions, etc., but the root position always is that of the stack of thirds, and the root is the lowest note of this stack [see also Factor (chord]. Wikipedia, Root (chord)


Ramsay
"Moreover, he begins his calculations from F, the root of the Subdominant, instead of C, the root of the Tonic, which is the usual way." [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 8]

In order to find the notes for the next major key above C, we have to multiply the vibration-number of D, which is the top of the dominant C, by 3 and 5. It is out of the key of C at this point that the new key sprouts and grows, and by the primes and method which produce the key of C itself. So if we would find the relative minor of C, let us take the note which is a minor third below D - that is, B - to produce the minor. The minor sprouts and grows from this point of the key of C; for the relative minor grows out of the major, as out of the man at first the woman is taken. Moreover, B is the last-born of the notes for the major scale; for the middles, that is, the thirds of chords, are always produced by the prime 5; and the tops, that is, the fifths of chords, are produced by the prime 3, and are born before the thirds, though placed after them in the chords. Well, because B is the last-born note of the major, as well as a minor third below the top of the highest chord of the major, it seems that the minor should have this for its point of departure. Again, we have seen that the major and the minor are found in their strings and their vibrations by an inverse process, that one going back upon the other; and, there taking Nature's clue, let us proceed by an inverse process of generating the minor. Making B45 our unit, as F1 was our unit for the major, let us divide by 3 and 5 for a root and middle to B, as we multiplied by 3 and 5 for a top and middle to F. B45 divided by 3 is 15; here then is our E, the root of the chord, just where we had found it coming upward; for, remember, we found E15 by multiplying C3 by 5. This E, then, is the same in major and minor. Now B45 divided by 5 is 9; [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 31]

this is the middle of our chord, E, G, B; and remember that this also is G as we found it coming upward, C3 multiplied by 3 being G9. This is another note of the minor, the same in its quantity as that of the major. Now for another chord downward we must divide the root of the one we have found, namely E15, by 3, which will give us A5, the root of a center chord for the minor, and the very key-note of the relative minor to C. And remember that this A5 is just as we found it in coming upward, for F multiplied by 5 gave us A5. Now divide E15 by 5 and we have C3, the middle to our minor chord, A, C, E. Still we must remember that this C3 is just as we found it coming upward, for F multiplied by 3 is C3. Behold how thus far major and minor, though inversely developed, are identically the same in their notes, though not in the order in which they stand in the fifths thus generated. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 32]

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. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 38]

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 [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 38]

of the major being upward, and the genesis of the minor being downward. The ascending genesis, beginning with the root of the subdominant major F, produces in the ascent a scale of notes at varying distances, and of increasing levities; the middle note, D27, being carried a little above the center of the system. The descending genesis, beginning with the top of the dominant minor B, produces in the descent a scale of notes with identical variety of distances, but with increasing gravities; the middle note, D26 2/3, being pressed a little below the center of the system, thus giving rise to these two D's - one whose genetic number is 27, the major D, and one whose genetic number is 27 2/3, the minor D - the duality of D is thus residing in itself.1 [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 43]

Through the whole system, in the progression of major scales with sharps and minor scales with flats, the new sharp is applied to the middle of the major dominants, and the new flat to the middle of the minor subdominants. In the progression of major scales with flats and minor scales with sharps, the new flat is applied to the root of the major subdominant, and the new sharp to the top of the minor dominant.2 [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 43]

in their birthplace - F A C, C E G, G B D. Indeed in their birth not only is it so, but still further, the top note of the first chord is the root and generator of the third. They are linked in generative continuity. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 49]

There are two semitones in each system, B-C and E-F. But when the notes of the two systems are being generated simultaneously, the two semitonic intervals originate separately. While the major is generating the semitone E-F, the third and fourth of the major scale, the minor is generating the semitone B-C, the second and third of the minor scale. So E-F is the semitone which belongs genetically to the major, and B-C to the minor.1 These two semitones are the two roots of
THE CHROMATIC SYSTEM,
and they are found together in what has been called the "Minor Triad," and by other names, namely, B-D-F. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 50]

not follow that these are their proper names. In the first chromatic chords, in its major form, B, D, F, A♭, G is supposed to be the root; and accordingly the interval from G to A♭ has been called "a minor ninth;" from B to A♭ "a diminished seventh;" and from A♭ to B "an extreme sharp second." These names will vanish like mist of the morning when the intervals so named are seen in the system to which they belong. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 52]

The dominant seventh, G, B, D, F, a 4-note chord,1 only requires that the root G be made sharp, which will make G#-B a minor third agreeably with the structure of the other two intervals, B-D and E-F. The chromatic chord only differs from the dominant seventh in that it is wholly of minor thirds. There are four notes in a chromatic chord, but only three of them move by semitonic progression to a tonic chord. When these three notes thus move to a major chord, one is upward to the root, a second downward to the top, and the third downward also to the middle. The relative minor being a minor third below [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 52]

the major, the root of the major chord is the middle of the relative minor, and the middle of the major chord is the top of the relative minor; and as the note which has a semitonic progression downward to the top of the major has a semitonic progression upward to the root of the relative minor, so the same three notes which move in semitonic progression to the top, root, and middle of the major chord, likewise move by the semitonic progression to the root, top, and middle of the relative minor. In both cases the progressions are upward to the roots and downward to the tops; but in the major the movement is downward to the middle, while in the minor it is upward. So each one of these three of the four notes of the chromatic chord has two various movements.1 [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 53]

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]

The CHROMATIC SYSTEM of chords is developed from these three primitive chromatic chords, and in the course of its development one or two notes are brought in semitonic progression to the middle, one or two to the root, and one or two to the top of all major and minor tonic chords. Likewise, at one time or another in the course of the system, there is one note in common with the middle, one note in common with the root, and one note in common with the top of all the major and minor tonic chords. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 57]

This great genetic scale, the all-producer, the all-container, extends over six octaves on each side; for it is not till high in the sixth octave we get B in the major, and it is not till low in the sixth octave that we get F in the minor. It is in the fifth octave, however, that the note which is the distinctive mark of the masculine and feminine modes is generated. D27 in the major, and D26 2/3 in the minor, distinguishes the sex of the modes, and shows which is the head and which the helpmeet in this happy family.2 On the major side F, the root of the subdominant chord, that is the chord which is a fifth below the key-note C, is the root of all. This is the beginning of this creation. If we call the vibration-number of F one, for simplicity's sake, then F1 is multiplied by 3 and by 5, which natural process begets its fifth, C, and its third, A; this is the root, top, and middle of the first chord. From this top, C3, grows the next chord by the same natural process, multiplying by 3 and by 5; thus are produced the fifth and third of the second chord, G and E. From the top of this second chord grows the third and last chord, by the repetition of the same natural process; multiplying G9 by 3 and by 5 we [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 66]

Now we come to a remarkable arrangement of Nature. The minor does not grow in the same way out of this third chord's top. Two features come before us: first the minor chord grows out of the major, but it is taken not from the top but from the middle, from a rib out of his side. B, the middle of the major dominant chord; B, the last-born of the major genesis; B is the point of departure in the outgrowth of the minor mode. The feminine is a lateral growth from the masculine. Another feature: it grows downward, like a drooping ash or willow. Its first generated chord is its dominant, and its last is its subdominant. Its middle chord, like the middle one of the major, is its tonic. Still further, it is generated by division, not multiplication; B45 is divided by 3 and by 5 for the root and middle of this highest chord, E and G. E15 is divided by 3 and 5 for the root and middle of the tonic chord, A and C. A5 is divided by 3 and 5 for the root and middle of the lowest chord, D and F. Thus we have the whole generation of the elements of music, six generations of harmony, like the six days of creation. Up to this point the whole process and aspect is inverse; growing from a middle; growing downward; growing by division;- while the major is growing from the top; growing upward; growing by multiplication. But here the inverse aspect ends. The generating primes of the major are 3 and 5; 3 and 5 are also the generating primes of the minor. In this essential phase of their creation their comparison is direct, not inverse. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 67]

At the extremes of these two operations we find D the top of the major dominant, and D the root of the minor subdominant; and while all the other notes, whether produced by multiplication of the major roots or division of the minor tops, are the same in their ratio-numbers, the two D's, by no speciality of production, are nevertheless specifically diverse by one comma in their vibration-number, and make a corresponding diversity in the intervals of the two modes. These, the Ray and Rah of the Sol Fa expression, originate a very interesting and somewhat mysterious feature in this great twofold genetic scale. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 67]

The varied effect of position in chords. When a chord stands as C E G C, having its root also at the top, it has its softest, dullest, most united effect; it is undramatic, with little contrast. When it stands as E G C E, having its third at the top and bottom, it has a more ticklish, interesting, far-away effect. In reveries composers often finish thus, as if it had vanished - an unsettled effect. When it stands as G C E G, with its top at top and bottom, it has its most dominant character - loud, swelling. In the position C E G C it stands mixingly with the subdominant C E f G a C, and in this its first position its unseen filling in is chiefly from the region of gravity; hence its soft, grave, dull, heavy effect; and it passes very easily to the subdominant chord. When it stands as G C E G it stands mixingly with the dominant G b C d E G, and has its third position and most brilliant effect and uprising, for its unseen filling in is then chiefly from the region of levity; and it passes easily to the dominant chord. When in its second position, its middle position E G C E, its unseen filling in is mixingly both subdominant and dominant, E f G a b C d E; it has then its most interesting and puzzling effect; on the one hand its softest, dullest, and one-est, on the other hand its most brilliant effect, as if it would at once both sink and soar. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 72]

In getting the length of a string, in inches or otherwise, to produce the scale of music, any number may be fixed on for the unit; or for the vibrations of the root note any number may be fixed on for the unit; but in the fractions which show the proportions of the notes of the scale, there is no coming and going here; this belongs to the invariables; there is just one way of it. Whatever is not sense here is nonsense. It is here we are to look for the truth. The numbers which express the quantities and the numbers which express the motions are always related as being of the same kind. The fractions bring their characters with them, and we know by this where they come from. 1/4 of a string gives a note 2 octaves above the whole string, no matter what may be its length; 2 has exactly the same character as 1; 2/4 gives the note which is 1 octave above the whole string; but in the case of 3/4 here is a new ingredient, 3; 3/4 of a string gives a note which is a fifth below the [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 75]

There is nothing extraordinary in this. It is another fact which gives this one its importance, and that is that the musical system is composed of three fifths rising one out of another; so this note by 3/4 becomes the root not only of a chord, but the root of all the three chords, of which the middle one is the tonic; the chord of the balance of the system, the chord of the key; the one out of which it grows, and the one which grows out of it, being like the scales which sway on this central balance-beam. Thus F takes its place, C in the center, and G above. These are the 3 fifths of the system on its masculine or major side. The fractions for A, E, and B, the middle notes of the three chords, are 4/5, 3/5, and 8/15; this too tells a tale; 5 is a new ingredient; and as 3 gives fifths, 5 gives thirds. From these two primes, 3 and 5, along with the integer or unit, all the notes of the system are evolved, the octaves of all being always found by 2. When the whole system has been evolved, the numbers which are the lengths of the strings in the masculine or major mode are the numbers of the vibrations of the notes of the feminine or minor mode; and the string-length-numbers of the minor or feminine are the vibration-numbers of the notes of the major or masculine mode. These two numbers, the one for lengths and one for vibrations, when multiplied into each other, make in every case 720; the octave of 360, the number of the degrees of the circle. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 76]

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Make middles in the bass as much as possible. Roots and middles, and middles and tops, do well in arrangements; for example, F and A. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 85]

Seven notes in the Octave are required for the major scale, e.g., the scale of C. All the notes of the relative minor A are the same as those of the scale of C major, with exception of D, its fourth in its Octave scale, and the root of its subdominant in its chord-scale; thus, one note, a comma lower for the D, gives the scale of A minor. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 88]

Subdominant - F, A, C E G, B, D - dominant


- and it is balanced between the two forces. If the effects of notes or chords depended solely on their ratios, then the effect of the subdominant, tonic, and dominant would have been alike, for these chords have exactly the same ratios. The centrifugal force of the notes of the dominant chord would take if away from the tonic chord; but Nature, in her skill to build and mix, has in the octave scale placed the middle of the dominant B under the root of the tonic C, and the top of the dominant D under the middle of the tonic E; so that these two rising notes are inevitably resolved into the tonic chord. The gravitating tendencies of the notes of the subdominant would take it also away from the tonic; but in the octave scale Nature has placed the middle of the subdominant A above the top of the tonic G, and the root of the subdominant F above the middle of the tonic E; so that these two falling notes also are inevitably resolved into the tonic chord. In this way two notes resolve to the center of the tonic, D upwards and F downwards; one to the top, A to G, and one to the root, B to C. Nature has thus placed the notes which have upward tendencies under the notes having downward tendencies; she has also related them by proximity, the distance from the one to the other being always either a semitone or the small tone of the ratio 9:10. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 95]

ANOTHER LETTER TO A PUPIL.


The System of Musical Sounds might be sketched as follows : - Three different notes having the simplest relations to each other, when combined, form a chord; and three of these chords, the one built up above the other, form the system.

Three times three are nine; this would give nine notes; but as the top of the first chord serves for the root of the second one, and the top of the second for the root of the third, in this way these three chords of three notes each are formed from seven different notes.

The middle one of these three chords is called the tonic; the chord above is called the dominant; and the chord below is called the subdominant. The order in which these three chords contribute to form the octave scale is as follows : - The first note of the scale is the root, of the tonic; the second is the top of the dominant; the third is the middle of the tonic; the fourth is the root of the subdominant; the fifth is the top of the tonic; the sixth is the middle of the subdominant; the seventh is the middle of the dominant; and the eighth, like the first, is the root of the tonic.

In the first six chords of the scale the tonic is the first of each two. The tonic chord alternating with the other two produces an order of twos, as - tonic dominant, tonic subdominant, tonic subdominant. The first three notes of the octave scale are derived from the root, the top, and the middle of the tonic dominant and tonic; the second three are derived from the root, top, and middle of the subdominant, tonic, and subdominant. The roots, tops, and middles of the chords occurring as they do produce an order of threes, as - root, top, middle; root, top, middle. The first, third, fifth, and eighth of the scale are from the tonic chord; the second and seventh from the dominant; and the fourth and sixth from the subdominant. In the first two chords of the scale the tonic precedes the dominant; in the second two, the subdominant; and in the third two the tonic again precedes the subdominant; and as the top of the subdominant chord is the root of the tonic, and the top of the tonic the root of the dominant, this links these chords together by their roots and tops. The second chord has the top of the first, the third has the root of the second, the fourth has the root of the third, the fifth has the top of the fourth, and the sixth has the root of the fifth; and in this way these successive chords are woven together. The only place of the octave scale where there are two middles of chords beside each other is at the sixth and seventh. The seventh note of the octave scale is the middle of the dominant, and the sixth is the middle of the subdominant. These two chords, though both united to the tonic, which stands between them, are not united to each other by having a note in common, inasmuch as they stand at the extremities of the system; and since they must be enabled to succeed each other in musical progression, Nature has a beautiful way of giving them a note in common by which to do so - adding the root of the subdominant to the top of the dominant, or the top of the dominant to the root of the subdominant, and this gives natural origin to compound chords. The tonic chord, being the centre one of the three chords, is connected with the other two, and may follow the dominant and dominant; and either of these chords may also follow the tonic; but when the dominant follows the subdominant, as they have no note in common, the root of the subdominant is added to the dominant chord, and this forms the dominant seventh; and when the subdominant follows the dominant, the top of the dominant is added to the subdominant, and this forms the subdominant sixth. The sixth and seventh of the octave scale is the only place these two compound chords are positively required; but from their modifying and resolvable character they are very generally used. When the dominant is compounded by having the root of the subdominant, its specific effect is considerably lower; and when the subdominant is compounded by having the top of the dominant, its specific effect is considerably higher. In the octave scale the notes of the subdominant and dominant chords are placed round the notes of the tonic chord in such a way was to give the greatest amount of contrast between their notes and the tonic notes. In the tonic chord the note which has the greatest amount of specific gravity is its root; and in the octave scale it has below it the middle and above it the top of the dominant, the two notes which have the greatest amount of specific levity; and in the octave scale it has above it the middle and below it the root of the subdominant - the two notes which the greatest amount of specific gravity. The third note of the scale, the middle of the tonic chord, is the center of the system, and is the note which has the least tendency either upwards or downwards, and it has above it the root of the subdominant, the note which has the greatest amount of specific gravity, and it has below it the top of the dominant, the note which has the greatest amount of specific levity. Thus the root of the subdominant is placed above, and the top of the dominant below, the center of the system; the specific gravity of the one above and the specific levity of the one below cause them to move in the direction of the center. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 98]

The intervening chord between the Diatonic and Chromatic systems, B, D, F. - This chord, which has suffered expatriation from the society of perfect chords, is nevertheless as perfect in its own place and way as any. From its peculiar relation to both major and minor, and to both diatonic and chromatic things, it is a specially interesting triad. F, which is the genetic root of all, and distinctively the root of major subdominant, has here come to the top by the prime 2. D, here in the middle, is diatonically the top of the major dominant, and the root of the minor subdominant; and on account of its self-duality, the most interesting note of all; begotten in the great genesis by the prime 3. B, the last-begotten in the diatonic genesis, top of the diatonic minor, middle of the dominant major, and begotten by the prime 5, is here the quasi root of this triad, which in view of all this is a remarkable summation of things. This B, D, F is the mors janua vitae in music, for it is in a manner the death of diatonic chords, being neither a perfect major nor a perfect minor chord; yet it is the birth and life of the chromatic phase of music. In attracting and assimilating to itself the elements by which it becomes a full chromatic chord, it gives the minor dominant the G# which we so often see in use, and never see explained; and it gives the major subdominant a corresponding A♭, less frequently used. It is quite clear that this chromatic chord in either its major phase as B, D, F, A♭, or its minor phase as G#, B, D, F, is as natural and legitimate in music as anything else; and like the diatonic chords, major and minor, it is one of three, exactly like itself, into which the octave of semitones is perfectly divided. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 101]

Six Octaves required for the Birth of the Scale

EXPLANATION OF PLATES.
[BY THE EDITOR.]


THIS plate is a Pendulum illustration of the System of musical vibrations. The circular lines represent Octaves in music. The thick are the octave lines of the fundamental note; and the thin lines between them are lines of the other six notes of the octave. The notes are all on lines only, not lines and spaces. The black dots arranged in these lines are not notes, but pendulum oscillations, which have the same ratios in their slow way as the vibrations of sounding instruments in the much quicker region where they exist. The center circle is the Root of the System; it represents F1, the root of the subdominant chord; the second thick line is F2, its octave; and all the thick lines are the rising octaves of F, namely 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. In the second octave on the fifth line are dots for the three oscillations which represent the note C3, the Fifth to F2, standing in the ratio of 3 to 2; and the corresponding lines in the four succeeding Octaves are the Octaves of C3, namely 6, 12, 24, and 48. On the third line in the third Octave are 5 dots, which are the 5 oscillations of a pendulum tuned to swing 5 to 4 of the F close below; and it represents A5, which is the Third of F4 among musical vibrations. On the first line in the fourth Octave are 9 dots. These again represent G9, which stands related to C3 as C3 stands to F1. On the seventh line of the same octave are 15 dots; these represent the vibrations of E15, which stands related to C3 as A5 stands to F1. On the sixth line of the fifth Octave are 27 dots, representing D27, which stands related to G9 as G9 stands to C3, and C3 also to F1; it is the Fifth to G. And last of all, on the fourth line of the sixth Octave are 45 dots, representing B45, which, lastly, stands related to G9 as E15 stands to C3, and A5 to F1; it is the Third to this third chord - G, B, D. The notes which arise in each octave coming outward from the center are repeated in a double number of dots in the following Octaves; A5 appears as 10, 20, and 40; G9 appears as 18 and 36; E15 appears as 30 and 60; D27 appears as 54; and last of all B45 only appears this once. This we have represented by pendulum oscillations, which we can follow with the eye, the three chords of the musical system, F, A, C; C, E, G; and G, B, D. C3 is from F1 multiplied by 3; G9 is from C3 multiplied by 3; these are the three Roots of the three Chords. Their Middles, that is their Thirds, are similarly developed; A is from F1 multiplied by 5; E15 is from C3 multiplied by 5; B45 is from G9 multiplied by 5. The primes 3 and 5 beget all the new notes, the Fifths and the Thirds; and the prime 2 repeats them all in Octaves to any extent. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 102]

THE GENESIS.


In Fig. 1, the mathematical framework of the scales major and minor, is shown the genesis of the scale. F1, in the top figure, is multiplied by 3, and that by 3, and that by 3, which brings us to D27, top of the major dominant. F1 is the root of the whole system. C3 is the top of the first chord, and from that grows the next, and from that the next; and so we have F, C, G, and D, the tops and roots of the major system of chords. When these 3 roots are each multiplied once by 5, the middles of the chords are found, as shown - A, E, and B; so B is the last-born of the major family. When B is taken 4 octaves higher at the number 720 and divided by 3, and that by 3, and that by 3, we get the notes E, A, and D, which are the roots and tops of the minor system of chords. Dividing B, E, and A each by 5 once, we get the middles of the 3 minor chords, as shown. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 103]

The middle Fig. is the same, the central D's being made a pivot point on which to turn the minor down against the major in an inverse relation, setting the dual notes in file. The multiplying primes are set over the roots. The arrows point out the notes so found. The two D's are here seen right opposite of each other, because the intervals between C D in the major and E D in the minor are equal. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 103]

are always when they have returned to the side from which they were started. The Pendulographer, also, when writing the beautiful pictures which the musical ratios make when a pen is placed under the control of the pendulums, always finds his figure to begin again when the pendulums have finished their period, and have come for a fresh start to the side from which the period began. This confirms our author's definition of an oscillation of a pendulum. Fig. 3 is an illustration of the correct definition of a Musical Vibration, as also given in this work. Although the definition of an oscillation is not identical with that of a vibration, yet on account of their movement in the same ratios the one can be employed in illustration of the other as we have here done. Fig. 4 is a uniform rod suspended from the end as a pendulum; it will oscillate, of course, at a certain speed according to its length. In such a pendulum there are three centers related in an interesting way to the subject of Music in its three chords - subdominant, tonic, and dominant, which roots are F, C, and G. The center of gravity in the middle of the rod at 2, suspended at which the rod has no motion, corresponds to F, the root of the subdominant, in which there is the maximum of musical gravity. The center of oscillation at 3, which is one-third of the length of the rod from the end, is like the root of the tonic whose number is 3 in the genesis of the scale from F1. In this point of suspension the oscillations are the same as when suspended from the end at 1. The point at 9 is at a ninth from the center of oscillation. Our author discovered that, if suspended at this point, the pendulum had its highest rate of speed. Approaching the end, or approaching the center of oscillation from this point, the rate of speed decreases. Exactly at one-ninth from the center of oscillation, or two-ninths from the end, is this center of velocity, as Ramsay designated it; and it corresponds in some sort also to the root of the dominant G, which is 9 in the genesis of the scale from F1; its rate of vibration is nine times that of F1. The dominant chord is the one in which is the maximum of levity and motion in music. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 105]

THE GROWTH-LIKE CONTINUITY OF CHORDS AND KEYS.


Under the symbol of a music plant this plate gives us to realize the growth-like continuity of chords and scales. The roots of the three chords of a key are represented in F, C, and G of the key of C. The plant might be represented as a creeping stem, like the creepers of the strawberry, with its progressive roots struck into the earth; but it is better to show an upward stem with aerial roots, for such are the roots of the musical plant. The main stem of the plant has the three chords, F a C e G b D; that is, F a c, C e g, G b d, the subdominant, tonic, and dominant. The terminal chord, D f# a, is to show that the keys as well as the chords GROW out of each other. Include the side branches which terminate with the octave notes of the chords, read thus - F a c f, G e g e, G b d g, because a chord is felt to be most complete in its unity when thus shut in by the octave note of its root. This is the reason why the great three-times-three chord does not stop at D, the top of the dominant chord, but goes on to the sixth octave of the fundamental root, shutting all in by the great peacemaker, F, in order to preserve the unity of the effect which this chord of chords produces. Before D. C. Ramsay showed that the scale of Harmonics extended to six octaves, it was by teachers of the science of music only extended to four. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 110]

When Ramsay gave a course of lectures in Glasgow, setting forth "What constitutes the Science of Music," his lecture-room was hung round with great diagrams illustrating in various ways his findings; an ocular demonstration was also given of the system of musical vibrations by his favorite illustration, the oscillations of the Silent Harp of Pendulums. A celebrated teacher of music in the city came to Mr. Ramsay's opening lecture, and at the close remained to examine the diagrams, and question the lecturer, especially on his extension of the harmonics to six octaves. Having seen and heard, this teacher went and shortly after published it without any acknowledgment of the true authorship; and it was afterwards republished in some of the Sol-Fa publications, the true source unconfessed; but our plagarist stopped short at C, the top of the tonic, instead of going on to F, the sixth octave of the root of all; the effect of this was to destroy the unity of the great chord. The 22 notes instead of 25, at which this teacher stopped, allowed him, indeed, to show the natural birthplace of B, which Ramsay had pointed, but it beheaded the great complex chord and destroyed its unity. If C, the root of the tonic, be made the highest note, having quite a different character from F, it pronounces its character, and mars the unity of the great chord. Similar diversity of effect is produced by cutting off only two notes of the 25 and stopping short at D, the top of the dominant; and also, though in a weaker degree, by cutting off only one note of the 25 and stopping at E, the middle of the tonic; this, too, disturbs the unity of the fundamental sound. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 111]

DIATONIC RESOLUTIONS, SIMPLE AND COMPOUND.


In the major system, when the tonic chord follows the subdominant one, there is one semitonic progression to the middle of the tonic, and one note in common with the root, so these two chords are linked together in different ways. When the tonic chord follows the dominant one, there is one semitonic progression to the root of the tonic, and one note in common with its top, so these two chords also are linked together in two different ways. When the tonic chord follows the compound dominant, i.e., the dominant seventh, there are two semitonic progressions, one to the middle and one to the root, and one note in common with its top, so these two are linked together in the same two ways; but the semitonic progression being double gives this resolution great urgency. And now we come to the two chords, the subdominant and dominant, which have no note in common, and must, when they succeed each other, be helped to come together. Nature teaches us how this is to be done by a process of borrowing and lending which will establish between them a similar relationship to that which keeps the continuity of the other chords in succession. We have seen that the top of the subdominant and the root of the tonic are a note in common to these chords, and so the top of the tonic and the root of the dominant also are a note possessed in common by these two chords. In like manner in this disjunct part, when the dominant follows the subdominant, the root of the subdominant is lent to the top of the dominant, and thus they come to have a note in common. The top of the [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 111]

PLATES XVII. & XVIII.


These two plates show the chromatic chord resolving into the twelve major and twelve minor tonic chords of the twenty-four scales. There seems to be twenty-five, but that arises from making G♭ and F# in the major two scales, whereas they are really only one; and the same in the minor series, E♭ and D# are really one scale. C in the major and A in the minor, which occur in the middle of the series, when both sharps and flats are employed in the signatures, are placed below and outside of the circular stave to give them prominence as the types of the scale; and the first chromatic chord is seen with them in its major and minor form, and its typical manner of resolving - the major form rising to the root, and falling to the top and middle; the minor form falling to the top, and rising to the root and middle. The signatures of the keys are given under the stave. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 116]

Another remarkable thing is that these dual numbers, when multiplied into each other, always come to 720. Now this number, as we see in the great genesis, corresponds to 1 in the major, being the point of departure for the development of the feminine mode, as 1 is the point of departure in the masculine mode. This 720 is the octave of 360, which is the number of the degrees of the circle, so divided in the hidden depths of human antiquity; and when F1 becomes F2, then B360 is the answering note and number in the dual system. All the notes in the masculine development are above F2; and all the notes in the feminine development are below B360. The unoccupied octave between F1 and F2 and that between B720 and B360 may be counted as the octave heads or roots of the two modes, and then F2 and B360 as the points from which the development of music's diversity begins; and it is noteworthy that the number of the degrees of the circle should be found in this connection. When was the circle so divided? Who divided it so? And why did he, the unknown, so divide it? Was Music's mystery known in that far-off day before the confusion of man's sinking history had blotted out so much of the pure knowledge of pristine days? [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 119]

Fig. 3 illustrates the way Nature teaches us by example how to compound so as to enable chords that are separated by the intervention of others to pass to each other. In the middle of the chord scale Nature gives the root of the one chord to the top of the other, and the top of the one to the root of the other; in compounding we are taught by this example to do the same, and the top of the separated dominant is given to the root of the [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 120]


Hughes
The eighteen tones of keyed instruments veering round and in musical clef below, the twelve seen that develope major keys
—The seven colours answer to the seven white notes
—The use of the two chasms, the key-note C and its root F rising from them
—A major key-note complete in itself, embracing the eighteen tones
—In the whole process of harmony there is limit, every key-note having its point of rest, and yet it is illimitable, . . . . . . . 22 [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents2 - Harmonies]

The roots of the minor chords
—The difference between a major and a minor chord
—The chords of the twelve keys in musical clef, those of A coloured, . . .37 [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents3 - Harmonies]

In a few remarks on "Tones and Colours," inserted in the Athenæum of February 24, 1877, I alluded to the great loss I had sustained by the sudden death of Dr. Gauntlett. I often retrace with grateful remembrance the kind manner in which he examined this scheme when it was but crude and imperfect; with a very capacious intellect, he had a warm and generous heart, causing him to think over with candour any new ideas placed before him. He was of the greatest use to me, by corroborating the points which I had gained. I remarked to him one day, "I find that, of the double tones, F# is a key-note and G♭ a root." He replied, "You must have a right foundation to work upon, or you would never have ascertained the necessity of the two poles; you have gained the double tones correctly, and the development of harmonies without limit. On this point I have always felt the failure of the laws followed by the musician." [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Dr. Gauntletts Remarks1, page 13]

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]

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]

A key-note developing its harmony may be compared to a seed striking its root downwards, and rising upwards. On striking a note, it sounds from within itself, in a rapid and subdued manner, the six kindred tones necessary to its harmony, and all which do not belong to that individual harmony are kept under; thus all harmonies are in sevens. Each seven forms an ascending and descending series; the ear is aware of the tones, but not of the order in which they rise. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram II - The Twelve Keynotes1, page 23]

The arrangement of a key-note and the six tones which it sounds may be simply explained by writing tones in a musical clef as notes. In this diagram we have the harmony of C and its root F. Both of these rise from the chasms, and hence this harmony is not so closely linked to that of B, and its root E, as to the other eleven harmonies. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram II - The Twelve Keynotes1, page 23]

The three lowest of the six tones are complementary pairs with the key-note and its two highest tones. Observe the curious order in which the tones sound, avoiding consecutive fifths. First, we have the key-note and its root, or fellow; next A; then D and its root; and then E, whose root, A, has already sounded between the first and the second pair. B, the fourth and central tone in depth, sounds seventh, and, finding no fellow within the compass of the harmony developing it, is isolated. Observe also how closely a key-note and its kindred tones are linked into each other. The Primaries spring from the key-notes, the Secondaries from the Primaries; the first pair comprises a key-note and a tone of the Primaries, the other two pairs have each a tone of the Primaries and a tone of the Secondaries. The key-note, after giving out its tones in trinities, or [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram II - The Twelve Keynotes1, page 23]

We here trace the twelve harmonies developing in succession. Notice how exactly they all agree in their mode of development; also the use of the chasms between E and F, B and C. Remark also the beautiful results from the working of the double tones, especially C#-D♭, and E#-F♭, causing the seven tones of each harmony, when ascending, to rise one tone, and, descending, to reverse this movement. F#-G♭ is the only double tone which acts as F# when a key-tone, and G♭ when the root of D♭. The root of each harmony is the sixth and highest tone in each succeeding harmony, rising one octave; when it is a double tone, it sounds according to the necessity of the harmony. The intermediate tones are here coloured, showing gradual modulation. The isolated fourths (sounding sevenths) were the previously developed key-tones; these also alter when they are double tones, according to the necessity of the harmony. Beginning with B, the isolated fourth in the harmony of C, the tones sound the twelve notes of a keyed instrument, E# being F♮, and the double tones, some flats, some sharps. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Combinations of dissonance, rests, page 24]

THE first circle on this diagram represents seven major key-notes, beginning with C on the third space in the treble clef, and sounding as their roots the seven last key-notes which have developed. The second is a continuation of the first circle. The seven previously developed key-notes are now the roots of seven higher key-notes. The intermediate notes are not coloured, but may be seen to be complementary pairs. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram III - The Major Keynotes Developing by Sevens, page 25a]

In the progression of harmonies these are always closely linked into each other. If any key-note is taken as central, its root will be the fifth note of its harmony below, and it becomes in its turn the root of the fifth note above. If we add the silent notes, the root of the central note is the eighth below, and becomes the root of the eighth above. To explain the lower series of the notes sounding the six tones from within themselves, the only plan appeared to be to write the tones as notes in musical clef. By reference to Chapter V., we see that the lowest series still sound their tones, and lead the ear to the higher series of a key-note, and the six notes of its harmony, as they follow each other in trinities. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram III - The Major Keynotes Developing by Sevens, page 25a]

The first circle are 7 Key-notes, their roots having been the last 7 Key-notes that have developed. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The First Circle are 7 Keynotes, page 25c]

The second circle is a continuation of the first, shewing the 7 previously developed Key-notes are the roots of the 7 higher Key-notes. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The First Circle are 7 Keynotes, page 25c]

The roots of the chords are first written. The Key-note C and its trinities are shewn to have 2 chords. The chords of the 12 Major Keys, as they follow in order. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Roots of the Chords, page 26c]

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]

In the retrogression of harmonies, a key-note and its trinities, by sounding the same tones as when ascending, leads the ear to the same notes, and the root of each key-note becomes the fifth lower key-note. F, the root of C, becomes key-note; B♭, the root of F, the next key-note, and so on. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram VII - The Modulating Gamut of the Twelve Keys1, page 29]

Keys Roots Fourths
[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram VII - The Modulating Gamut of the Twelve Keys2, page 30]


Finally, trace the twelve keys by fifths as they veer round through the seven circles, each circle representing the eighteen tones. Beginning with C in the innermost circle ascending, C becomes the root of G, G of D, and so on. In descending, begin with C in the outermost circle (though really the first of a higher series which we have not the power of striking on instruments); F, its root, becomes the key-note, B♭ the root and then the key-note, and so on. The keys thus gained are written in musical clef below. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Twelve Scales Meeting by Fifths, page 31a]

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. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram IX - The Minor Keynote A and Its Six Notes, page 34a]

The second circle is a continuation of the first; the seven previously developed key-notes become, as before, the roots of seven higher. The uncoloured intermediate notes are in the same way complementary pairs. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram X - Minor Keynotes Developing by Sevens, page 35a]

The second circle is a continuation of the first, shewing the 7 previously developed Key-notes are the roots of the 7 higher Key-notes. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, First Circle are 7 Minor Keynotes, page 35c]

Ascending, begin with A in the innermost circle, D being its root. The Key-note A becomes the root of E, E becomes the root of B, and so on. Descending, take the Key-note A in the outermost circle. D, the root of A, becomes the fifth lower Key-note, and G its root, and then G becomes the Key-note, and C its root. The same remarks concerning the writing of the meeting fifths, which are made below the corresponding diagram of the major gamut, apply to this one. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram Shews the Modulating of the 12 Minor Keys, page 41e]

DIAGRAM XVII.—The roots of the minor chords—The difference between a major and a minor chord—The chords of the 12 minor keys follow. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Additional Diagrams, page 57]

In the Minor Scale, the Trinities and Scale develope five pairs; the last pair become the fifth higher key-note and its root, consequently the sixth pair would develope the higher key.[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Seven of each Harmony with its Scale, page 59]

The roots of the Minor Chords. The difference between a Major and a Minor Chord. The Chords of the 12 Minor keys follow. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Roots of the Minor Chords, page 61]

See Also


Harmonies of Tones and Colours
middle
Poles in Harmonies
root of C
root of the chord
root of the dominant
root of the fifth lower seven
root of the major subdominant F
root of the major subdominant
root of the minor subdominant
root of the subdominant chord
root of the subdominant minor
root of the Subdominant
root of the Tonic
Scientific Basis and Build of Music
Subdominant
Tonic
top of the first is the root of the second
top of the second is the root of the third

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Thursday April 15, 2021 03:05:48 MDT by Dale Pond.