The Method of Development or Creation of Harmonies1



"In every art or science, we expect accuracy according to the nature of the subject-matter, and the end which it is proposed to attain."

THIS scheme is grounded upon the belief that a key has been gained which unites grandeur with simplicity, the laws of which are wonderfully simple, although most complex in their working, explaining all the intricacies which arise in the developments of harmonies.
There is much paradox, and the scheme differs so much from any hitherto published on the subject, that I am aware that, if any link can be found to be wanting in the chain, the defect will immediately be seized upon. I believe, however, that it will be found to admit of clear demonstration. Anyone who has studied the subject knows the difficulties that arise on all sides. In the problem before us, we have to reduce large fields of thought to certain elementary truths. In my endeavour to do this, I have been entirely dependent upon the discovery of the laws of Nature, as my ear is not musical enough to assist me in the matter. "All mysteries are either truths concealing deeper truths, or errors concealing deeper errors," and thus, as the mysteries unfold, truth or error will show itself in a gradually clearer light. The great mystery of music lies in its infinite resources; it teems with subtle elements and strange analogies. A musical note may be compared to a machine: we touch the spring and set the machine in motion, but the complex machinery exists beforehand, quite independent of our will; the motive power is not of our creation, and the laws on which its operation depends are superior to our control. The complex work of harmony is governed by the laws which are originated by the Creator; every note performs what He has willed, and in tracing these laws let us not be indifferent about their Author, but ever bear in mind that the source or fountain of the life and activity of harmonies arises from the Power who created the machine, and who knows how it will act. Let us also remember that we understand this machine but partially, and govern it but imperfectly, as indeed the finite can only, in a small measure, grasp the Infinite; and in any

page 15

When the twelve minor harmonies are traced developing in succession, we notice how exactly they all agree in their method of development, also the use of the chasms and the double tones, the seven of each harmony rising a tone when ascending, but reversing the movement in descending; keys with sharps and those with flats are mingled. The intermediate tones are here coloured, showing gradual modulation. D♭ is shown to be an imperfect minor harmony, and E♭, by employing B as C♭, is seen to be equivalent to D#. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Diagram IX - The Minor Keynote A and Its Six Notes, page 34a]

If the foregoing harmonies of sound and of colour have been rightly developed from the Scriptures, I trust they will be considered as steps gained towards the belief that Evolution is the law of the Almighty for the continuance of activity throughout the universe, and towards an increasing study of Creation and Revelation as mutually explaining each other. According to my belief, the Scriptures must be based on the principle which is explained of keyed instruments at the conclusion of Chapter II. In the development of musical harmonies the beginning and the ending are unfathomable. It is the same in the Scriptures. No musical note or colour can be separated from those below and above it. Neither can any portion of the Bible be separated: every part embraces the past, [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Reflections on the Scheme4, page 46]

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Saturday April 3, 2021 05:20:17 MDT by Dale Pond.