three fifths


There are very few things in music which have not change written upon them. TWELVE and THREE, however, are stable. There is nothing that will disturb the propriety of the circle of twelve fifths, as in the tempered system of music; for, although the mathematical-intonation indulges in thirteen keys, the thirteenth is simply the first of a new cycle of twelve.
The working model of three fifths is that which possesses musical life-powers; and these life-powers go with it wherever it goes, and they go with nothing else. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 74]

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]

The root of the subdominant is F, in the key of C major; and the top of the dominant is D. The difference between these two notes at the top and bottom of the chord-scale, is the quantity which two octaves is more than three fifths; it is the ratio of 27 to 30, a comma less than the minor third whose ratio is 5 to 6. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 76]

The simple natural scale is the fifth; the compound natural scale is the octave; the harmony scale, or chord-scale, is the three fifths; the great genetic scale is six octaves; for, like the six creation days, it takes the six octaves to give birth to the elements of which the wondrous structure of our music is built up; the birthplace of B, the seventh of the octave scale, is the sixth octave of the great genetic scale. The area of the twelve major and twelve minor scales is twelve fifths or seven octaves, the twelfth fifth being a comma and the apotome minor in advance of the seventh octave. This is a quantity so small that it can be ignored in real music; and the two notes, say E# and F, joined to close the circle of this horizon of our music world. E# is the top of the twelfth fifth, and F is the top of the seventh octave; and they are practically, though not exactly mathematically, the same note. Illustrations of this will be found among the plates of this work. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 79]

This plate is a representation of the area of a scale; the major scale, when viewed with the large hemisphere, lowest; the minor when viewed the reverse way. It is here pictorially shown that major and minor does not mean larger and smaller, for both modes occupy the same area, and have in their structure the same intervals, though standing in a different order. It is this difference in structural arrangement of the intervals which characterizes the one as masculine and the other as feminine, which are much preferable to the major and minor as distinctive names for the two modes. Each scale, in both its modes, has three Fifths - subdominant, tonic, and dominant. The middle fifth is the tonic, and its lowest note the key-note of the scale, or of any composition written in this scale. The 53 commas of the Octave are variously allotted in its seven notes - 3 of them have 9 commas, 2 have 8, and 2 have 5. The area of the scale, however, has much more than the octave; it is two octaves, all save the minor third D-F, and has 93 commas. This is the area alike of masculine and feminine modes. The two modes are here shown as directly related, as we might figuratively say, in their marriage relation. The law of Duality, which always emerges when the two modes are seen in their relationship, is here illustrated, and the dual notes are indicated by oblique lines across the pairs. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 106]

The Octave being divided into 53 commas, the intervals are measured, as usual, by these, the large second having 9-commas, the medium second having 8, and the small second 5. These measures are then made each the radius by which to draw hemispheres showing the various and comparative areas of the seconds. The comparative areas of the thirds are shown by the hemispheres of the seconds which compose them facing each other in pairs. The comma-measures of the various thirds thus determined are then made the radii by which to draw the two hemispheres of the fifths. The areas of the three fifths are identical, as also the attitudes of their unequal hemispheres. The attitude of the six thirds, on the other hand, in their two kinds, being reversed in the upper and under halves of the scale, their attitude gives them the appearance of being attracted towards the center of the tonic; while the attitude of the three fifths is all upward in the major, and all downward in the minor; their attraction being towards the common center of the twelve scales which Nature has placed between the second of the major and the fourth of the minor, as seen in the two D's of the dual genetic scale, - the two modes being thus seen, as it were, revolving [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 113]

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Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Wednesday December 30, 2020 04:59:32 MST by Dale Pond.