A Theory of Everything

Hey, shouldn’t everyone have one? I’ve suggested many times on this blog that number is at the heart of all things. Here’s one article:¬†Pythagoras’ Epiphany. I think the beauty of music, especially harmony, is similar to the beauty of math, but happening in real time. It slightly parts the veil, deepening the view of what…

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Tonal Gravity and the Major Scale

In my last post, I proposed a simple way to graph tonal gravity against the octave. Overtonal notes, generated by multiplying, are restful, stable — they have positive polarity, pulling toward the center. Reciprocal notes, generated by division, are restless, unstable — they push. I call this negative polarity. Mixed-polarity notes have both, and I’ve…

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Putting Some Numbers on Tonal Gravity

I believe the sensation of tonal gravity is the most important driver of tension and resolution in tonal music, music that has a central key note. The tonic is like a sun, creating a gravitational field around it. The lattice is a beautiful map of this gravitational field, in harmonic space. Tonal gravity acts like…

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Three Flavors of Seventh Chord

Chords and other collections of notes have consistent, recognizable shapes on the lattice. A major chord is a triangle sitting on its base, a minor chord is a triangle on its point. Yesterday’s post has videos showing these chords. In the songs I know and write, the next most common chords after major and minor…

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The Blue Tritone

I have a favorite note. Don’t tell the others. It’s the septimal flat five, or septimal tritone. I call it 7b5 on the lattice. There are many reasons why I love this note. One is that Jimi played it, and he’s my favorite musician of them all. Another is that this note is rarely discussed…