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Mixed Messages

The harmonic lattice can be divided into four quadrants. Northeast is pure overtonal energy. All these notes are reached by multiplication alone. Powers of 3 and 5 are in the numerators, and the denominators are all powers of 2. Southwest is pure reciprocal energy. You get there by dividing. All the 3’s and 5’s are…

The Tonic Major Chord

The tonic is the center of the lattice. A drone note on the tonic establishes the center of that particular musical universe. Adding a major third and a perfect fifth (5/4 and 3/2) further reinforces the center and starts to carve out some territory on the map. This is the tonic major chord: In my…

The Major Third

Multiplying a note by 2 creates an octave, and multiplying it by 3 creates a perfect fifth. Multiplying by 5 gives yet another new note, the pure┬ámajor third.5-1 5/1 is over two octaves above the original note, so you have to reduce it twice (divide by 4) to get it down into the same octave.5-4…

Between the Keys

I grew up thinking that music was made with a particular set of twelve notes, the ones on the piano keyboard. I had a vague sense that there were other scales in the world, but I thought of them as “more primitive” or perhaps subsets of the 12-tone scale, like that pseudo-Asian music you make…

Some New Recordings

I’ve added a few new tracks to the Audio page today. Two of them are live cuts with Jody Mulgrew, my great musical pal. The Cove is my song and Jack of Hearts is his. They were both sung at the Greco’s in Shell Beach, a couple of years apart. We plan to do some…

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Untempered Music

For almost two years now, I’ve been exploring the nature of music almost full-time. I threw out everything I knew, started with the most basic thing I could think of, the number 1, the origin of the musical universe, and worked my way from there. My explorations quickly led to the underpinnings of musical harmony,…