that Nature has done so.1 And in every new key into which we modulate Nature performs the same operation, till in the course of the twelve scales she has cut every greater note into two, and made the notes of the scale into twelve instead of seven. These we, as a matter of convenience, call semitones; though they are really as much tones as are the small intervals which Nature gave us in the genesis of the first scale between B-C and E-F. She only repeats the operation for every new key which she had performed at the very first. It is a new key, indeed, but exactly like the first. The 5 and 9 commas interval between E and G becomes a 9 and 5 comma interval; and this Nature does by the rule which rests in the ear, and is uttered in the obedient voice, and not by any mathematical authority from without. She cuts the 9-comma step F to G into two, and leaving 5 commas as the last interval of the new key of G, precisely as she had made 5 commas between B and C as the last interval of the key of C, she adds the other 4 commas to the 5-comma step E to F, which makes this second-last step a 9-comma step, precisely as she had made it in the key of C.2 [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 48]


In the center column are the notes, named; with the lesser and larger steps of their mathematical evolution marked with commas, sharps, and flats; the comma and flat of the descending evolution placed to the left; the comma and sharp of the ascending evolution to the right; and in both cases as they arise. If a note is first altered by a comma, this mark is placed next to the letter; if first altered by a sharp or flat, these marks are placed next the letter. It will be observed that the sharpened note is always higher a little than the note above it when flattened; A# is higher than ♭B; and B is higher than ♭C, etc.; thus it is all through the scales; and probably it is also so with a fine voice guided by a true ear; for the natural tendency of sharpened notes is upward, and that of flattened notes downward; the degree of such difference is so small, however, that there has been difference of opinion as to whether the sharp and have a space between them, or whether they overlap, as we have shown they do. In tempered instruments with fixed keys the small disparity is ignored, and one key serves for both. In the double columns right and left of the notes are their mathematical numbers as they arise in the Genesis of the scales. In the seven columns right of the one number-column, and in the six on the left of the other, are the 12 major and their 12 relative minor scales, so arranged that the mathematical number of their notes is always standing in file with their notes. D in A minor is seen as 53 1/3, while the D of C major is 54; this is the comma of difference in the primitive Genesis, and establishes the sexual distinction of major and minor all through. The fourth of the minor is always a comma lower than the second of the major, though having the same name; this note in the development of the scales by flats drops in the minor a comma below the major, and in the development of the scales by sharps ascends in the major a comma above the minor. In the head of the plate the key-notes of the 12 majors, and under them those of their relative minors, are placed over the respective scales extended below. This plate will afford a good deal of teaching to a careful student; and none will readily fail to see beautiful indications of the deep-seated Duality of Major and Minor. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 109]

When Plate XIII. is divided up the middle of the column, as in Plate XIV., so as that one side may be slipped up a fifth, representing a new key one-fifth higher, its subdominant made to face the old tonic, the two new notes are then pictorially shown, the second being altered one comma and the seventh four commas. The key at this new and higher pitch is by Nature's unfailing care kept precisely in the same form as the first; and wherever the major scale is pitched, higher or lower, the form remains unaltered, all the intervals arranging themselves in the same order. The ear, and the voice obedient to it, carry Nature's measuring-rule in them, and the writing must use such marks as may truly represent this; hence the use of sharps, flats, and naturals; these, however, be it observed, are only marks in the writing; all is natural at any pitch in the scale itself. All this is equally true of the minor mode at various pitches. These two plates are only another and more pictorial way of showing what the stave and the signature are usually made to express. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 114]

General remarks on the method of harmonies developing on all kinds of instruments, including the human voice
—Much paradox, but yet the scheme will admit of clear demonstration
—A musical note compared to a machine, the motive power not of our creation
—The imperfection of keyed instruments, from some notes acting two parts, attuned to the ideal of harmony within us
Macfarren quoted on the echoing power of a cathedral attuning the Amen
—Why music as an art precedes painting
—Philosophers and mathematicians have only studied music to a certain point
—Every key-note a nucleus, including the past, the present, and the future; no finality in any ultimate
—The late Sir John Herschel's views on the musical gamut alluded to
—The imperfection of keyed instruments adapts them to our present powers
—The laws will be seen to develope the twelve major and the twelve minor keys in unbroken sequence and in harmonious ratio; to gain them in geometric order [as] keyed instrument should be circular, the seven octaves interlacing in tones a lower and a higher series, . 15 [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents1 - Harmonies]

[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Method of Development or Creation of Harmonies1, page 15]

the artificial system must not be mixed up. The wonders of Nature's laws in the developments of harmonies, consist in the beautiful adaption of keyed and all other musical instruments to a range commensurate with human powers. The chromatic scale of twelve notes (the thirteenth being the octave) is not the scale of Nature. To construct a musical instrument upon real divisions of musical tones, each of them being in correct ratio with the others, it would be necessary to have a larger number of tones to the octave. In the development of harmonies on the natural system, we trace the perfect adaptation of means to ends, meeting the intricacies of every musical instrument, including that most perfect of all— the human voice. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Method of Development or Creation of Harmonies3, page 17]

I will close this Appendix with a remark once made to me by Dr. Gauntlett. I am sorry I forget where he said it occurred. "After I had been for some time organist, one of the congregation said to me, 'When you first came, the tunes on the organ were loud and clear; now, the voices of the congregation almost drown them.' I replied, 'That has been my aim —it should be so. When I began, the organ was needed to lead the voices: I have been gradually subduing it, that the voices of praise should be uppermost.'"
F. J. H. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Fragments from Dr. Gauntlett's Last Note-book, page 51]

See Also

Chapter 3 - The World Voice - II, page 51
Voice of God
vowel sounds

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Thursday April 8, 2021 04:25:35 MDT by Dale Pond.