A Horological and Mathematical Defense of Philosophical Pitch, C256
A Horological and Mathematical Defense of Philosophical Pitch
By Brendan Bombaci All Rights Reserved Copyright 2013 Lulu Press ISBN: 978-1-304-36230-8
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I propose an alteration of the concert pitch standard outlined in ISO 16. !As of now, it is set to A440 (A=440Hz), which has been chosen subjectively (rather than empirically as based upon the mathematical or geometrical values of art composition), as most all other concert pitch standards have been chosen throughout history. !I have sought out various ways to make a compositionally cogent concert pitch standard, and I have succeeded at ﬁnding one which is perfectly tailored to synchronize with both the sexagesimal timekeeping system upon which all music is measured, and the 5 Limit Tuning system. !It is wellknown that this form of just intonation is the most consonant of all tuning systems, including equal temperament (whether or not equal temperament mostly corrects for the near-Wolf ﬁfth of just intonation). !In as much, it is perfectly suited to be the model tuning system for this innovative new pitch standard, especially when one considers its fractional values for deriving each note of the chromatic scale. !I will now explain both of my justiﬁcations in detail with some corroborative horological references. It should be imagined that music, which hinges upon the second and minute hands of the clock for metering rhythm, should have a pitch frequency which is similarly correlated. !When tuning music to A440, most of the pitch frequencies are not whole numbers; the ﬁrst octave of B (B1), for example, is 61.74Hz. !If this were set to 60Hz instead, being the only note of the chromatic scale which comes close to synchronizing with the clock as a fractal continuance of the sexagesimal system, we would ﬁnd the middle C note, C256, at the “scientiﬁc” or “philosophical” pitch of Joseph Sauveur  and Ernst Chladni [1, 2]. !At the ﬁrst octave of C, we would have the value of 1Hz, perfectly matching the second hand of the clock. Using 5 Limit Tuning set to C256, the frequencies of notes C4 (256), G4 (384), E4 (320), D4 (288), and B4 (240) are reducible to, respectively: 1, 3, 5, 9, and 15, and you may notice that these notes rearrange to a set of “stacking thirds,” in
!There are likely many more astronomical references to be made through this system. meaning there are 12 Signs that pass in one day. the numbers 1. B. and it is a duplicate measurement of the further preceding Babylonian “barleycorn” or “she” unit of time. the amount of minutes in one day. and likewise. how various notes interact with one another.perfect chordal harmony. for the sake of remaining true to horology in sonic form. and I will leave those discoveries to the curious. and the frequency in Hz of the F# when tuned with this method. !This is historically and modernly observed in various parts of Asia as well. which is a harmonic of 15). 16. it is safe to say that a standardization of musical frequencies ought to be tailored to the very horological science which tone and rhythm are measured by to begin with. !In the meanwhile. !Half of a day is akin to half of a precession of equinoxes. !The conversion between helakim and seconds is this: 1 helakim = 3.” and also because it becomes far more intuitive to explain. 4 and 5 represent the most commonly used values for meter in classical and modern music. when denoted as C. and 32. !With the lowest C also standing in for its multiples of 2. all of the numbers which are member to that set of stacking thirds are the very same numbers which comprise the numerators and denominators by which every chromatic note is derived (except 45. effectively marking the passage of 1/72nd of one degree of celestial rotation in a day. E. !This number is equivalent to the amount of years that it takes for a Sothic Cycle to pass*. !There are 1080 helakim per hour. harking back to but making better sense than the “Music of the Spheres.! There are important historical implications to this system as well. can be manifested by simply transposing a song.! 72 helakim. 4. 8.333 seconds. are equal to 4 minutes. ! The second hand of Western timekeeping was extrapolated from it. and therefore 25920 helakim per day (and that many years in one astronomical Precession of the Equinoxes). thereby. and D. !Any “brighter” compositional sound. 2. The helakim is an ancient and still used unit of time in Hebrew horology . !This gives a discrete measurement unit that relates each minute to a visibly interesting astronomical cycle that has captured the imaginations of many cultures worldwide. G.
* ! !The Sothic Cycle calendar that Eduard Meyer invented in 1904. making it quite geometrically and astronomically intrinsic. periods of 2160 helakim are similar to!the 2160 years of one astrological Age. !In addition. or 60 seconds to every 18 helakim. The usefulness of tuning to C256 is inarguably better than any other standard. such is desired by proponents of A440. !4 minutes multiplied by the whole 360 degrees equals 1440. in simple math. 3. in order to
. like the 72 years that pass in one degree of celestial precession. !This makes for more melliﬂuous tonicity.
!Thusly. !Hebra. then the Great Year (Precession of Equinoxes) would be 26. 2003) 5. (Sydney. is based upon a miscalculation.
. 2002).920 years. History of Performing Pitch: The Story of “A. !Meyer derived the duration of the cycle by multiplying the number of days in one year by the 4 years it takes to see one degree of Equinox Precession. !As such. a lack of deﬁnitely incontrovertible markers of time. he would have to note that the 360 degree system is used to divide the Great Year. abr. Damien F. that 72 years pass for each one degree of celestial rotation – 72 years by 360 degrees = 25. !Bruce Haynes. !Mackey.” pp 42. The Sothic Star Theory of the Egyptian Calendar: A Critical Evaluation.440 years. France: Chez Courcier. and Other Units. 1809) 4. such as a lack of synchrony between Egyptian historical records and those of other nations whom Egypt had contact with. and not an equivalent to 365.
1. !If his system was correct. New South Wales. !Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni. 360 degrees x 4 years = 1. and a lack of precision in the original astronomical dates used to reference his conclusion by .208 years long. !There are indeed more modern criticisms of his original version of the Sothic Cycle. Measure for Measure: The Story of Imperial. pp 53 (The John Hopkins University Press. Maryland: Scarecrow Press. which is off by approximately three centuries compared to modern calculations. ﬁrst. ed. Alex. 2.53 (Lanham. !What he should have done is recognize. Traitéd’acoustique. Metric. Australia: University of Sydney.calibrate historical recordings of ancient Egypt to modern time tables using Leap Years. 1995).25 degrees. pp 363 (Paris.