thirteenth scale

Getting Fifths as we ascend toward the number twelve they are in themselves the same, but with regard to their relationships they are quite different. Before and up to the twelfth fifth no scale has all the notes at the same distance above the first scale of the series. But after twelve, the thirteenth scale for example, B#, supposing the scale to be marked by sharps only, is a comma and a very small ratio above C; Cx is the same distance above D of the first scale; Dx the same above E; E# is the same distance above F; Fx the same distance above G; Gx the same distance above A; and Ax the same distance above B. So the scale of B# is just the scale of C over again at the distance of twelve-fifths, only it is a comma and the apotome minor higher; and each series of twelve-fifths is this distance higher than the preceding one. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 30]

the apotome minor; but one of these is the original comma which is genetically between the two D's; and it occurs here again at the 13th scale, the first of a new circle; it really corresponds to the two D's at the beginning of this first series. Whenever there is more than one comma and the apotome minor between G# and A♭, it is because there has been a mistake in counting this one over again; or some other mistake. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 86]

This diagram shows pictorially the open in the spiral of the mathematical scales, in which, if written in sharps only, B# is seen a little, that is, a comma and the apotome minor, in advance of C, and as the first scale of the new cycle; for it is a violation of Nature's beautiful steps to call it a thirteenth scale of this order, since every scale in the order is 31 commas in advance of the preceding, whereas B# is only one comma and a small fraction in advance of C. If the scales be written in ♭s and #s for convenience of signature, then G# is seen a comma and apotome in advance of A♭; while the whole circle of keys advancing by fifths are each 31 commas in advance of the preceding. We may therefore cast utterly from us the idea of there being more than twelve mathematical scales, and view the so-called thirteenth as simply the first of a new round of the endless spiral of scales. There is, however, in this note a banner with the strange device, "Excelsior," for it leads us onward into ever-advancing regions of vibrations, and would at last bring us to the ultimate and invisible dynamic structure of the visible world. The tempered system of 12 keys, as in Fig. 1, is by causing the G# and A♭ to coalesce and be one, as the two D's are already literally one by Nature's own doing. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 118]

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Monday January 4, 2021 03:46:55 MST by Dale Pond.