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Scale systems seem to have a second, latent tonal center



Mark Helms


22.08.2009 11:29


If you graph where the various tones are in any given scale, most of them have a surprise in store for you. Their pattern of placement will nearly always be symmetrical, yet the axis of symmetry will seldom go through the tonic. It seems that most scales have, in essence, two tonics: one for each of the brain's hemispheres. Erasmus Darwin seems to have been right on the cusp of discovering what lies at the heart of much of music's affective power. His system of tone-color correspondence places Green at D, the note which is right on the axis of symmetry for the C major scale. And putting Green at the axis makes sense, as Green is right in the middle of the visible spectrum, perfectly placed for anchoring a symmetrical tone-color palette.

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Message  Scale systems seem to have a second, latent tonal center
Mark Helms 22.08.2009 11:29  
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