**Ramsay**

lastly it is altered again and becomes, by the power of 3 once more, F#,#, and serves in four keys. But this carries us beyond the horizon of our musical world of twelve keys; for in B#, the top of the tonic E, we have reached our twelfth fifth, and it here coalesces with C of the seventh octave, and closes the circle. This is the way that all notes become alternately altered, either by commas and sharps in the upward genesis of scales, or by commas and flats in the downward genesis, by the alternate powers of 3 and **5**. In the upward genesis in this illustration, notes by the **power of 5** serve in three keys, and those by the power of 3 serve in four keys. In the minors it is just the inverse on this by the Law of Duality. But no note serves for more than either three or four keys, as the case may be. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 63]

This great genetic scale, the all-producer, the all-container, extends over six octaves on each side; for it is not till high in the sixth octave we get B in the major, and it is not till low in the sixth octave that we get F in the minor. It is in the fifth octave, however, that the note which is the distinctive mark of the masculine and feminine modes is generated. D27 in the major, and D26 2/3 in the minor, distinguishes the sex of the modes, and shows which is the head and which the helpmeet in this happy family.^{2} On the major side F, the root of the subdominant chord, that is the chord which is a fifth below the key-note C, is the root of all. This is the beginning of this creation. If we call the vibration-number of F *one*, for simplicity's sake, then F1 is multiplied by 3 and by **5**, which natural process begets its fifth, C, and its third, A; this is the root, top, and middle of the first chord. From this top, C3, grows the next chord by the same natural process, multiplying by 3 and by **5**; thus are produced the fifth and third of the second chord, G and E. From the top of this second chord grows the third and last chord, by the repetition of the same natural process; multiplying G9 by 3 and by **5** we [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 66]

Now we come to a remarkable arrangement of Nature. The minor does not grow in the same way out of this third chord's top. Two features come before us: first the minor chord grows out of the major, but it is *taken not from the top but from the middle*, from a rib out of his side. B, the middle of the major dominant chord; B, the last-born of the major genesis; B is the point of departure in the outgrowth of the minor mode. The feminine is a lateral growth from the masculine. Another feature: it *grows downward*, like a drooping ash or willow. Its first generated chord is its dominant, and its last is its subdominant. Its middle chord, like the middle one of the major, is its tonic. Still further, it is *generated by division*, not multiplication; B45 is divided by 3 and by **5** for the root and middle of this highest chord, E and G. E15 is divided by 3 and **5** for the root and middle of the tonic chord, A and C. A5 is divided by 3 and **5** for the root and middle of the lowest chord, D and F. Thus we have the whole generation of the elements of music, six generations of harmony, like the six days of creation. Up to this point the whole process and aspect is *inverse*; growing from a middle; growing downward; growing by division;- while the major is growing from the top; growing upward; growing by multiplication. But here the inverse aspect ends. The generating primes of the major are 3 and **5**; 3 and **5** are also the generating primes of the minor. In this essential phase of their creation their comparison is *direct*, not inverse. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 67]

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 organic structure of music is formed by the three ratios of 1:2, 1:3, and 1:5, from the laws of quantities and motions; but as it is only the ratio of 1:2 that has a pure, unmixed, invariable character, and as the notes produced by the first, second, and third powers of THREE have different degrees of centrifugal force, and the character of the notes produced by the first **power of FIVE** depends on the character of the notes from which they are derived, so the final character of the notes and chords is determined by the amount of force which they have acquired from the way in which they have been derived, and from their position in the system; and no matter how these notes may be afterwards placed, like chemical elements, they never lose their original force. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 95]

When Leonhard Euler, the distinguished mathematician of the eighteenth century, wrote his essay on a *New Theory of Music*, Fuss remarks - "It has no great success, as it contained too much geometry for musicians, and too much music for geometers." There was a reason which Fuss was not seemingly able to observe, namely, that while it had hold of some very precious musical truth it also put forth some error, and error is always a hindrance to true progress. Euler did good service, however. In his letters to a German Princess on his theory of music he showed the true use of the mathematical primes 2, 3, and 5, but debarred the use of 7, saying, "Were we to introduce the number 7, the tones of an octave would be increased." It was wise in the great mathematician to hold his hand from adding other notes. It is always dangerous to offer strange fire on the altar. He very clearly set forth that while 2 has an unlimited use in producing *Octaves*, 3 must be limited to its use 3 *times* in producing *Fifths*. This was right, for in producing a fourth Fifth it is not a Fifth for the scale. But Euler erred in attempting to generate the *semitonic scale* of 12 notes by the use of the **power of 5** a second time on *the original materials*. It produces F# right enough; for D27 **by 5** gives 135, which is the number for F#. D27 is the note by which F# is produced, because D is right for this process in its *unaltered* condition. But when Euler proceeds further to use the prime 5 on the middles, A, E, and B, and F#, in their original and unaltered state, he quite errs, and produces all the sharpened notes *too low*. C# for the key of D is not got by **applying 5** to A40, as it is in its birthplace; A40 has already been altered for the key of G by a *comma*, and is A40 1/2 before it is used for producing its third; it is A40 1/2 that, **multiplied by 5**, gives C#202 1/2, not C200, as Euler makes C#. Things are in the same condition with E before G# is wanted for the key of A. G# is found by 5 applied to E; not E in its original and unaltered state, E30; but as already *raised a comma* for the key of D, E30 3/8; so G# is not 300, as Euler has it, but 303 3/4. Euler next, by the same erroneous methods, proceeds to generate D# from B45, its birthplace number; but before D# is wanted for the key of E, B has been raised a comma, and is no longer B45, but B45 9/16, and this **multiplied by 5** gives D#227 13/16, not D225, as Euler gives it. The last semitone which he generates to complete his 12 semitones is B♭; that is A#, properly speaking, for this series, and he generates it from F#135; but this already altered note, before A# is wanted for the key of B, has been again raised a comma [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 107]

See Also