Genetic Root

GENETIC ROOT. - The root in the genesis of a chord, or of the whole system. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 25]

A musical sound, thus illustrated, is composed of 25 circles of vibrations, and each circle is a more or less developed sound. There are, therefore, 25 sounds in one musical sound.1 When these 25 sounds, with 19 different ratios, are fully developed and standing in the same order and in the same proportions as that in which they naturally arise in a single sound, and in this fully developed condition all heard together, they produce one grand harmonious chord of chords.2 The reason is obvious; these 25 sounds are distributed over six octaves. As B, the seventh in the octave-scale, cannot be developed save at the distance of five and a-half octaves above the fundamental sound, so on that account it has no octave in the chord, having only one circle of vibrations in Nature's grand fugue. D, the second of the octave-scale, arises at nearly five octaves up, and has only two circles of vibrations; G and E arise in the fourth octave, and have three circles each; A arises in the third octave, and has four circles; C arises in the second octave, and has five circles; while F, the fundamental sound, the genetic root of the whole system, has the first octave entirely to itself. It has also the seven circles of vibration which embrace and enclose the whole six octaves, and give unity of structure to the whole system of vibrations. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 17]

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]

See Also

Genetic Root
genetic number
genetic origin
genetic scale
genetic relation

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Friday December 18, 2020 04:38:36 MST by Dale Pond.