# top of the dominant

Ramsay
"The third note of the octave scale, E, the center of the tonic chord in the key of C, is the center of the system. It is the note which has the least tendency either upward or downward, and it has immediately above it in the octave scale the note which has the greatest amount of specific gravity, F, the root of the major subdominant; and immediately beneath it the note which has the greatest amount of specific levity, D, the top of the major dominant. Thus the root of the subdominant chord and the top of the dominant are placed right above and below the center of the system, and the gravity of the one above, and the levity of the one below, causes each of them to move in the direction of the center. These tendencies are seen in the scale at whatever key it may be pitched, and by whatever names the notes may be called. And it is on account of this permanency of character of the notes that the third note of the scale, E, in the key of C, has a lower effect1 than the second, D; and that the fourth note, F, has a lower effect than either the first, second, or third; the fifth note, G, has a higher effect than the fourth, F; but the sixth, A, has a.." [scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 28]

In order to find the notes for the next major key above C, we have to multiply the vibration-number of D, which is the top of the dominant C, by 3 and 5. It is out of the key of C at this point that the new key sprouts and grows, and by the primes and method which produce the key of C itself. So if we would find the relative minor of C, let us take the note which is a minor third below D - that is, B - to produce the minor. The minor sprouts and grows from this point of the key of C; for the relative minor grows out of the major, as out of the man at first the woman is taken. Moreover, B is the last-born of the notes for the major scale; for the middles, that is, the thirds of chords, are always produced by the prime 5; and the tops, that is, the fifths of chords, are produced by the prime 3, and are born before the thirds, though placed after them in the chords. Well, because B is the last-born note of the major, as well as a minor third below the top of the highest chord of the major, it seems that the minor should have this for its point of departure. Again, we have seen that the major and the minor are found in their strings and their vibrations by an inverse process, that one going back upon the other; and, there taking Nature's clue, let us proceed by an inverse process of generating the minor. Making B45 our unit, as F1 was our unit for the major, let us divide by 3 and 5 for a root and middle to B, as we multiplied by 3 and 5 for a top and middle to F. B45 divided by 3 is 15; here then is our E, the root of the chord, just where we had found it coming upward; for, remember, we found E15 by multiplying C3 by 5. This E, then, is the same in major and minor. Now B45 divided by 5 is 9; [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 31]

In the progression - that is, the going on from one to another - of these triplets in harmonizing the octave scale ascending, Nature goes on normally till we come to the passage from the sixth to the seventh note of the scale, whose two chords have no note in common, and a new step has to be taken to link them together. And here the true way is to follow the method of Nature in the birthplace of chords.1 The root of the subdominant chord, to which the sixth of the octave scale belongs, which then becomes a 4-note chord, and is called the dominant seventh; F, the root of the subdominant F, A, C, is added to G, B, D, the notes of the dominant, which then becomes G, B, D, F; the two chords have now a note in common, and can pass on to the end of the octave scale normally. In going down the octave scale with harmony, the passage from the seventh to the sixth, where this break exists, meets us at the very second step; but following Nature's method again, the top of the dominant goes over to the root of the subdominant, and F, A, C, which has no note in common with G, B, D, becomes D, F, A, C, and is called the subdominant sixth; and continuity being thus established, the harmony then passes on normally to the bottom of the scale, every successive chord being linked to the preceding note by a note in common. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 49]

The various raisings and lowerings of notes in advancing keys, major and minor. - In each fifth of the majors ascending the top of the dominant is raised a comma. A40 in the key of C becomes A40 1/2 in the key of G; E60 in the scale of G is E60 3/4 in the scale of D; B90 in the scale of D is B91 1/8 in the scale of A. This alteration of the top of the dominant major goes on through all the twelve scales. Similarly, by the Law of Duality, each fifth in the minors descending has the root of the subdominant lowered a comma. D54 in the key of E minor is D53 1/2 in the key of A; G72 in the scale of A is G71 1/9 in the scale of D; C48 in the scale of D is C47 11/27 in the scale of G. This alteration of the root of the subdominant goes on through all the twelve minor scales. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 62]

The root of the subdominant is F, in the key of C major; and the top of the dominant is D. The difference between these two notes at the top and bottom of the chord-scale, is the quantity which two octaves is more than three fifths; it is the ratio of 27 to 30, a comma less than the minor third whose ratio is 5 to 6. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 76]

A LESSON ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF KEYS FOR THE BEGINNER.
To develop the two new notes for a new key a fifth higher, you multiply the vibration-number of the top of the dominant of the key you have by 3 and by 5, thus-

MAJOR.
C   9   D   8   E   5   F   9   G   8   A   9   B   5   C
24      27      30      32      36      40      45      48
48      54      60      64      72      80      90      96 [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 82]

There are two octaves in the key of C, as it is called. Now for the scale of a fifth higher than C, that is G, multiply the top of the dominant, that is the highest note of the chord-scale, by 3 and by 5, and the two new notes for the scale of G will be found; the rest of the notes are the same mathematically as those of C. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 82]

The chords of the scale are S F A C, T C E G, D G B D. Now D is the top of the dominant. Well, take it as D27 or D54 it is all the same, higher or lower octave.
D27                                          D27
3                                              5
2) 81         A,                             2)185      F#
2) 40 1/2   A,                             2) 67 1/2  F#
20 1/4   A,                                 33 3/4   F# [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 82]

If the minors are to be developed by sharps in an ascending series of fifths, then the mathematical process must be, as in the majors, by multiplying the top of the dominant by 3 and by 5, and they will then follow the majors. But the Genesis must first necessarily be produced by the descending process. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 84]

There are 32 notes required for each octave for the 13 major and the 13 minor mathematical scales. These 32 notes are by the law of duality arranged symmetrically from D as a center upwards to G#, and downwards to A♭. D itself serves for 2 of the 32 on the piano. The first black keys on each side of D serve for nominally 3 notes each = 6. The first white key above and the first below D serve for 2 notes each = 4. The second white key above and the second below serve each for 3 notes = 6. The second black keys above and below D serve each for 3 notes = 6. The third black key above D is G#, the third below is A♭; this key, for it is one, serves for 2 of the 32. There is a comma of difference between D minor and D major. Six fifths below the minor D26 2/3 is A♭, the root of the subdominant of the key of E♭ minor; and six fifths above the major D27 is G#, the top of the dominant of F# major. The difference between this minor A♭ and this major G# is two commas and [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 85]

THE OPENING FOR MODULATIONS.

In passing from one key to another in the fellowship of keys in a composition, the new key grows out of the top of the dominant and converts the old dominant into a tonic. The dominant and subdominant being at the opposite extremes of the key, with the tonic between them, are not related by affinity. This want of affinity makes an opening in the system for the new chord to come in by, and it, being related by affinity to the chord of the old dominant, which is now the new Tonic, comes in and establishes itself and the new key for the time. It is this gap between subdominant and dominant, along with the affinity existing between the new key and the old dominant, which makes this musical event to be so gracefully accomplished. This is what is called natural modulation, the passing for a time into another key in the course of a composition; and its abundant and habitual use in music, even in the simplest chorales, shows how natural and acceptable it is. The young student will find illustrations in the second lines of the Psalm tunes - Watchman, Sicily, Tranquility, Eaton, Birmingham, Jackson, Bethel, Bedford, and Sheffield. Take Watchman, for example, and let the young student follow carefully, noting each chord of the little passage, which we shall analyse for his help. It is by such practice that he will become by-and-by familiar with the kinship of keys and the legitimate resources of harmony. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 93]

top of the dominant; the third is the middle of the tonic; the fourth is the root of the subdominant; the fifth is the top of the tonic; the sixth is the middle of the subdominant; the seventh is the middle of the dominant; and the eighth, like the first, is the root of the tonic. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 97]

dominant; and either of these chords may also follow the tonic; but when the dominant follows the subdominant, as they have no note in common, the root of the subdominant is added to the dominant chord, and this forms the dominant seventh; and when the subdominant follows the dominant, the top of the dominant is added to the subdominant, and this forms the subdominant sixth. The sixth and seventh of the octave scale is the only place these two compound chords are positively required; but from their modifying and resolvable character they are very generally used. When the dominant is compounded by having the root of the subdominant, its specific effect is considerably lower; and when the subdominant is compounded by having the top of the dominant, its specific effect is considerably higher. In the octave scale the notes of the subdominant and dominant chords are placed round the notes of the tonic chord in such a way was to give the greatest amount of contrast between their notes and the tonic notes. In the tonic chord the note which has the greatest amount of specific gravity is its root; and in the octave scale it has below it the middle and above it the top of the dominant, the two notes which have the greatest amount of specific levity; and in the octave scale it has above it the middle and below it the root of the subdominant - the two notes which the greatest amount of specific gravity. The third note of the scale, the middle of the tonic chord, is the center of the system, and is the note which has the least tendency either upwards or downwards, and it has above it the root of the subdominant, the note which has the greatest amount of specific gravity, and it has below it the top of the dominant, the note which has the greatest amount of specific levity. Thus the root of the subdominant is placed above, and the top of the dominant below, the center of the system; the specific gravity of the one above and the specific levity of the one below cause them to move in the direction of the center. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 98]

When Ramsay gave a course of lectures in Glasgow, setting forth "What constitutes the Science of Music," his lecture-room was hung round with great diagrams illustrating in various ways his findings; an ocular demonstration was also given of the system of musical vibrations by his favorite illustration, the oscillations of the Silent Harp of Pendulums. A celebrated teacher of music in the city came to Mr. Ramsay's opening lecture, and at the close remained to examine the diagrams, and question the lecturer, especially on his extension of the harmonics to six octaves. Having seen and heard, this teacher went and shortly after published it without any acknowledgment of the true authorship; and it was afterwards republished in some of the Sol-Fa publications, the true source unconfessed; but our plagarist stopped short at C, the top of the tonic, instead of going on to F, the sixth octave of the root of all; the effect of this was to destroy the unity of the great chord. The 22 notes instead of 25, at which this teacher stopped, allowed him, indeed, to show the natural birthplace of B, which Ramsay had pointed, but it beheaded the great complex chord and destroyed its unity. If C, the root of the tonic, be made the highest note, having quite a different character from F, it pronounces its character, and mars the unity of the great chord. Similar diversity of effect is produced by cutting off only two notes of the 25 and stopping short at D, the top of the dominant; and also, though in a weaker degree, by cutting off only one note of the 25 and stopping at E, the middle of the tonic; this, too, disturbs the unity of the fundamental sound. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 111]

DIATONIC RESOLUTIONS, SIMPLE AND COMPOUND.

In the major system, when the tonic chord follows the subdominant one, there is one semitonic progression to the middle of the tonic, and one note in common with the root, so these two chords are linked together in different ways. When the tonic chord follows the dominant one, there is one semitonic progression to the root of the tonic, and one note in common with its top, so these two chords also are linked together in two different ways. When the tonic chord follows the compound dominant, i.e., the dominant seventh, there are two semitonic progressions, one to the middle and one to the root, and one note in common with its top, so these two are linked together in the same two ways; but the semitonic progression being double gives this resolution great urgency. And now we come to the two chords, the subdominant and dominant, which have no note in common, and must, when they succeed each other, be helped to come together. Nature teaches us how this is to be done by a process of borrowing and lending which will establish between them a similar relationship to that which keeps the continuity of the other chords in succession. We have seen that the top of the subdominant and the root of the tonic are a note in common to these chords, and so the top of the tonic and the root of the dominant also are a note possessed in common by these two chords. In like manner in this disjunct part, when the dominant follows the subdominant, the root of the subdominant is lent to the top of the dominant, and thus they come to have a note in common. The top of the [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 111]

subdominant also moves by semitonic progression to the middle of the dominant, and so, like the simple chords, they are brought into continuity. When the subdominant follows the dominant, the top of the dominant is lent to the root of the subdominant, and they come to have also a note in common; and the middle of the dominant moves by semitonic progression to the top of the subdominant; and thus resolving continuity is established between them. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 112]

With perfect duality of response does resolution of chords go on in the minors. When the tonic chord follows the subdominant one, they have for their note in common A, i.e., in the key of A; and the middle of the subdominant moves by semitonic progression to the top of the tonic. When the tonic chord follows the dominant one, the top of the tonic and the root of dominant E is a note in common, and the top of the dominant goes by semitonic progression to the middle of the tonic. These simple chords are thus linked together exactly with the same degree of continuity as the simple chords of the major. When the tonic chord follows the compound subdominant, this compound chord, like the compound dominant in the major, has two semitonic progressions - one to the top and one to the middle of the tonic - and they have one note in common. When the compound dominant follows the subdominant, the root of the subdominant is lent to the top of the dominant, and thus a note in common is created, and the middle of the subdominant moves by semitonic progression to the root of the dominant. When the compound subdominant follows the dominant, the top is lent to the root of the subdominant, creating a note in common between them, and the root of the dominant goes to the middle of the subdominant in semitonic progression. This is the way of Nature. The unbroken continuity of her ways is perfectly illustrated in the linked sweetness and kinship of chords in a key; or when one key passes by modulation to another key; and that through all the chords and all the keys. We shall see wondrously more of this when we come to the study and contemplation of the Chromatic System of Chords. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 112]

THE OPERATIONS OF DUALITY IN VARIOUS SPHERES.

In Fig. 1 is shown the way in which duality arranges the new sharp in the majors to the middle of the dominant, and the new flat to the middle of the subdominant in the minors, all through the six scales done in flats and sharps. The flat goes to the root of the subdominant and the sharp to the top of the dominant in the other six, as in Fig. 2. This is the invariable way that the new sharps and flats are responsively added all through the system. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 120]

Fig. 3 illustrates the way Nature teaches us by example how to compound so as to enable chords that are separated by the intervention of others to pass to each other. In the middle of the chord scale Nature gives the root of the one chord to the top of the other, and the top of the one to the root of the other; in compounding we are taught by this example to do the same, and the top of the separated dominant is given to the root of the [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 120]

distant subdominant, and the root of the separated subdominant is given to the top of the distant dominant. Here also duality holds sway. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 121]