twelve major keynotes

If the laws which I shall endeavour to explain develope the twelve major harmonies, with each note in succession expanding its six tones from within itself; and if each of these is found to be a lower development, which leads the ear to a corresponding higher expansion of the twelve major key-notes, and the six tones of each ascending and descending in an unbroken sequence from any twelve consecutively, the thirteenth being the octave of the first, which commences a higher or a lower series; and if the twelve minor harmonies are also gained by the same laws from their twelve relative key-notes (the thirteenth again being octave): if, again, all other notes are shown to be but higher or lower repetitions of these twenty-four harmonies—may we not consider the problem as in some measure solved? especially as the harmonies proceed in geometric as well as harmonical ratio, and an accurate parallel can be traced between the development of notes and colours, which latter correspond with all the intricacies of harmonic sounds. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Method of Development or Creation of Harmonies3, page 17]

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 12 Major Key-notes meeting by fifths veering round. Each of the seven circles represents a musical clef of the 18 tones. The note or notes, whether in musical clef on spaces or lines, are written here on the circle from which they rise. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram VII Continued2, page 31e]

The 12 Minor Key-notes, as gained from the 12 Major Key-notes, are written in musical clef. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Referring to Diagram I, page 33c]

TO recapitulate from the beginning, observe, firstly, the twelve major key-notes as they have developed from within themselves in succession, six tones in trinities seven times through seven octaves, each thirteenth note being the octave of the first note of the twelve that have developed, and being also the first of the higher series. We may retrace all as still sounding their tones, the key-notes leading the ear to the six notes of each harmony, the keys with sharps and those with flats being mingled. The ascending and descending scales always agree in their harmonies with the key-notes and their trinities. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram XV - The Twelve Major and the Twelve Minor Keys, page 42a]

See Also

major keynote
meeting by fifths
twelve minor keynotes

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Saturday March 27, 2021 02:37:43 MDT by Dale Pond.