Henry Cowell


with notes and an accompanying essay by DAVID NICHOLLS


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- ... ... .. • 11 .......
N ew IVluSICal Kesources

with notes and an accompanying essay by
David Nicholls

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0,.1-..1;,1, ,(I, ,I-.. O. "!,, ,t. ••..... r.1-.. IT n' ,~, .rr- .1-.. ',1,
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The Pin Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge C82 1 RI'
40 West zoth Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA
! 0 Stamford Road, Oakleigh, Melbourne 3! 66, Australia
Copyright Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1930
V Henry Lowell 19511
© Sidney Cowell 1969
© Cambridge University Press IQQ6
r irst r-uousnco 1930

This edition published 1996

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress cataloguing in publication data
Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965.
New musical resources / Henry Cowell; with notes and
an accompanying essay by David Nicholls
n. cm.
Inri 1I1,..~ in~ .. v
ISBN 0 52! 49651 9 (hardback) - ISBN 0 5'21 499747 (paperback)
I. Music - Theory - zoth Century. 2. Harm~nics (Music)
r. Nicholls, David, 1955 -. II. Title.
MT6. C7895N4 1995
/01. J. 'U<.J.lI 'IS' -,S15;lYl:JJ' MI'i
ISBN 0 521 49651 9 hardback
IS8N 0 521499747 paperback
Transferred to digital printing 2000



The Influence of Overtones in Music 3
2 Polvharrnonv 24
3 Tone-quality 32
4 Dissonant Counterpoint 35

Time 49
2 Metre 66
3 Dynamics 81
4 Form 84
5 Metre and Time Combinations 85
6 Tempo 90
7 Scates ot xnytnm 9i1
n . ..... ' r r-.. rr • I
UUIIUIlI~:I '-""lUI U:l1I UIII J...JIlICI ClIl1lllCI v ars III
2 Tone-clusters 117
"'-r .L r
."VlII;3VU LUll; LII;"L Iq.V
David Nicholls
~ Henry Cowell's "New Musical Resources" 153
David Nicholls NEW




0 , , 0 , I'
contemporary mns m~K~S ~. umversai usc 01
materials formerly considered unusable. These mate-
o , , , , " 0
nais are ill some oegrec 3' _~ rlI~ 10 ~ IT [lSI all [11 lSI -
lovers, and there is a tendency on the part of critics and
• 1 0 0 , _L '0 t_ _L t_ _J 1
tne SI}} ISLu:al PUUU\; lU Ut; :lUlllt;W Ueal UUU;;U uy l.lt;yy
music which uses only old-fashioned means. In spite of
their current use, however, little is known about the
materials of contemporary music, and there are surpris-
ingly few attempts to organize them into a unified sys-
tern. Notwithstanding some very interesting works on
new problems in music (such as Redfield's Music: a
Science and an Art), written for the most Dart bv scien-
, -
tists rather than musicians, a system co-ordinating the
various materials of modern music has not been made
public, so far as I know. Schonberg in his Harmo-
nielehr« carried the conventional study of harmony a
step further. He explained many moderately complex
harmonies- bv combining more chromatic passinz tones
and pointed out some well-known primary overtone
relationships; but his work fails to explain music as in-
volve.l !!I'll c;:,.l,.~.,h,prty'c:! nurn ;t;nnc:! A l"l1t,pr t" - .-
'0 ·_·-c . - _' , 17
as yet unpublished by Schonberg, investigates very thor-
oU~hlv the nn~~ihilitil"~ nf thl" ....... I·" .. _tnnl" ~r!!lll"· urhirh
o ~ ~
IS, however, only one facet of contemporary materials.
IX triads are built on intervals of a third, he is not thereby

mony. He not only must know why thirds are accepta-


tails of chord-connexion, perhaps for years, to gain a

tempt to explain the materials of contemporary music,

. ..



bled. Some of them are in use, some of them are presaged

unused so far. Whether such materials are or are not in


they probably have potential musical use and value.

tentatively suggested, makes the field which is opened

The result of a study of overtones is to find the im-


out that being its purpose, New Musical Resources

"modernism," and shows that much "modern" music

o true of

expression. If a technique serves to dry up and inhibit

. .


means of expression imperfect, however, does not solve

temporary music which it is evident could be improved

" 1 • '"'''', ........

of its rules are based on underlying science and more

that knowledge of musical materials is necessary. Now,


in the use of new materials results in many childish

sources to the entire tonal palette.

the methods of specific composers, no quotations have


examples have been specially constructed to illustrate

erent sorts 0 temperament, or

the overtone relationships practical for musical use. In


• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

into six parts. Our own keyboard instruments divide the


theoretical system on such a division. The quarter-tone


vide the octave into twenty-four equal steps. These



**** ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

what mayor may not be done. These are questions


and fashions in taste change. It is my conviction, how-

came about at first through wishing to explain to my-

, ,

impelled to use in composition, and which I instinc-


logical foundation. I therefore made an investigation

se were not on y In accor ance WI acoustica aw, but are perhaps the best way of amalgamating sounds

up are merely suggested, and that a separate book

wcl ~

dealt with in this work, a further extension may be

New Musical Resources was first written during 1919,

ard, of Stanford University, to whom I am deeply in-

which were


been developed to such an extent that it is difficult to

. . .

For example, the chapter on dissonant counterpoint

• l' • ... V II U ... & & V n
***** ••••••••••• * •••••••• *** ••••••
... nrt other works of an earlier m iod Similar develon-
- .. •
ments have been made in many of the branches
t"P~tprt Such is encouraoino and seems to oivl"
~. & 0;> <.> .... <.>
further proof that the theory as postulated has validity.


Tone Combinations
•••••••••• a


and emphasize certain salient ideas which there will be occasion to apply, and which are necessary to the under-

standing of what follows; for while the musical public may be familiar with the idea that our musical materials

have undergone a change from simple to more complex during musical history, it is apt to be a general

many particular facts are known; and comparatively

lowed the series of natural overtones. Many musicians know the intervals roduced b the lower members of

the overtone series, but few have considered all the different as cts of the relationshi s formed b them or

have studied higher overtone relationships.

Music is based u n, and conditioned b ,the h s-


rnusical tones have a relation to each other which is


each tone produced generates a series of overtones

definite mathematical ratios. These overtones stretch

tain distance; instruments can follow them further yet;

construction, certain overtones are lacking or very dim,

the means of giving individuality of tone-quality to


Experiment has shown that if the fundamental tone

tones as our m ern ones, an It IS per aps or t IS reason that only the simple major triad, formed by some


Dayton Miller, well-known acoustician and author of

.. .

the forty-fourth overtone with his unaided ear. A num-

plex of higher and more dissonant overtones.

.. .

our modern instruments, it is evident that they have

what we can regard as acceptable harmonic combina-


vestigation should prove of interest and benefit and is heartil recommended to an one wishin to work out

••••••••••••••••••••••••••• * ••••••

1 win .' wake the


dueing the fundamental tone. The string, however,

accord, without any added outside persuasion, it begins

. .


divided at the centre of the string, which is compara-

o e ,

to sound together; although at times when the vibra-

the string vibrating three times as fast as the funda-

into fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths, etc., ad in finitum;

The following chart of overtones brings out all the

In the first column the major scale is written from


tave above. It is convenient to close the chart at this


The third column gives the names of the intervals


.... ,£0" ...................... A,£oi:>VU"'''',£oi:>
Notesof Overtone Intervals Vibration Serial
Major Notes Index (on Numbers
Scale base 0/ ot Par-
(R~!IIrt nn.\ ,f)\ tialt·
,. .~ , ,
c. .C Large major second 128 -= 8(r6) 8
(HD) smau rrunor thud 112. = 7{lb) 7
a q6-6(r6)
2 .. .G Minor third 6
e. .... E Major third 80 =- 5(16) 5
r r. n. .t: f01lrth tlA=A(Ttl\ A
b ' , ..
r» on _I' ct.1. .Q .1.£\ -
~ ..... . _ "" ......................... "tv ;)\""1 ;)

u Perfect octave
c ........ c 32.- 2(16) 2.
c. . . . . . .. (Fundamental C, generating
overtones) ,6 = d,6) I
• The fundamental C and its series of overtones form the
series of partials.
have 32 vibrations to the second, the next higher G
.0 :l . ..1 cl. _1. LI. . ...... l
~u VIU1. , 4UU O)U UU up U11UU~U Ull; O)I;UI;;). .1.111;
number of vibrations of each overtone will be an ex-
__ .. _ .1 .. ·.1 .c .c ..l .. 1. .tt: . ... ~11 _ .. _ ..
A ........... ' -r va. .LV, c: ..... u. L ... ", Y1' ......
in uninterrupted regularity=-a (times 16), 3, 4, 5, etc.
T ..... :11 &.... .J .. 1.._ .... l.... .... .. ...... ~_.. : ...... In,.1 ....... ,.~1..
..... , ....... .., .... ...... A ............ v ......... ,., .... '" ................ .... ...........
ts More than that, the vibration speed of each successively

4 times, 8 times, 16. Since, then, the vibration speed be-

. ... .

s tion of the chart shows that this is just what happens .


chart as here given; thus, since there is but one interval


, ,

four in the third, it follows that there must be eight

if we


tions as are made by the lower tones of the series. Com-

methods, restores the chord to what seems consonant

sonant tones, then, are those for which the ear, in a

tion. What has been called discord results either when

to t e ear.

It is a notable fact that certain combinations accepted

**** ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

musical age in which he lives. It is this fact, proved by

fact that, acoustically speaking, there is no point at

Overtone Intervals Vibration Serial
Notes Index (on Numbers
base of of Par-
c. .C Small minor second 16
b. .B Large minor second 15
a 13
Small major second 10 (This chart is a continuation of the previous chart, carried

an octave hi h . r . .

in pitch with the tones of our present scale system.)

In other words, there is no greater difference between

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• of

lack of musicality on the part of any singer who sang

A melody with percussion accompaniment but no

In early ecclesiastical music, when an attempt was


former materials the new ratio 3: 4, producing the in-

the ear found could be agreeably joined to the inter-

first introduced was considered a discord, then a dis-

turies was it freely permitted as a concord.

nificance of musical progress in its earlier stages. Each

of such composers in their own day, because we read


did appreciate and herald them. These followers, how-

, ,

and by reading the actual press-notices of the time, one

* •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

seventh degrees, and descending with natural sixth

whole-tone-scale passage, and ended one of his works

admired were some of his earlier works which did not

U£~U£&, .. &, ,

almost universally considered to be the greatest living

, ,

of free use of ninth chords, as well as secondary seventh

nor form. By t e time Wagner's music oun acceptance, Debussy, by his development of the whole-tone

oped the use of this scale far beyond the conception of

can be said

It is interesting to observe that as musicians became

tone series for their harmonic material, there was a


I: 2 (octaves), 2: 3 (fifths), and 3: 4 (fourths), as har-

ing t at tone into 0 er armoruc matenai. or example, two tones used together in a new interval may

ratio between the tones in question. Thus, the inter-

8: 15, whereas if it were spaced three octaves and a

tinctions between intervals which have been called by

their component tones are placed.

ing a step higher into the range of overtones for mu-

. .. .

do not provide, are generated by the overtone series. -k w ractice of

Oriental music, show that these tones are not beyond t

man ear can find musical use in some form and under

become a byword for any mention of intervals less than

struct instruments capable of producing quarter-tones

ere IS a quarter-tone plano In t e conservatory 0 Moscow which was built in 1864, and Georg Rimsky-

using em or many years. e a Ion a onservatory in Prague a department for quarter-tones is con-


quarter-tones. This seems an important consideration,

. .

Haba has also investigated the many intervals which

s e , not give the quarter-step, but an interval a little smaller


quarter-step is a 30: 31 ratio. Therefore it would seem

ease of dividing the half-step exactly in half. Theremin's instruments may make it possible to play the in-

tervening and acoustica y simp er interva s WIt as great ease as quarter-tones; thus one of the main dif-

eu ties, t at of per ormance, can e so ve .

Sliding tones, based on ever-changing values of pitch

S.ueh tones are very frequently used in primitive mu-

Natural sounds, such as the wind playing through r whistlin .

formance rather than composition, as there is no clearly defined method of notatin them.

ing to imitate the sounds of nature by using musical

found in nature, such a composer would build perhaps

natural sound-that is, sliding pitches-not with the


(as in Hawaiian music), the distance covered by the

. .

Many familiar chords are explainable as not too far

men. fifth, and sixth partials; the diminished triad from the

the augmented triad are found by combining the sev-

, " ,

and thirteenth partials, or the ninth, eleventh, and


for Musicology, has built an instrument on which at

out the aid of resonators. The principle is not that the

tones being resonated by the wooden sound-chamber.

bers, under certain circumstances, respond only to

that some part of the resonator will respond only to

ot er circumstances a part 0 t e resonator WI VI rate at one-third the speed of the fundamental, thus pro-

ucmg a tone one octave an ate ow t at 0 e original sounding body. Through an extention of this

Garbusov shows that, under ordinary conditions of

to the original sound by the time it reaches the ear,


explains the subdominant, always a necessary foil to

. .

e ; n J s

a major triad, the first four undertones form a minor

formed from the undertones are generated down-

erst column gives the serial numbers by which underpartials may be designated. Each fraction indi-

cates w at portion of the vibrations per second of the fundamental-in this instance 256-will produce a

given undertone. It will be remembered that in the


Perfect 5th

•••• *.***************************.

Undertone Series Illustrated b Middle C as Fundamental

Serial Under- Intervals Vibrations· per Second

Nos. of tones



(Fundamental C, generating

1/6 1/7

Large minor jrd Small minor 3rd


42. 667 (1/6 of 256) 36.5714 (1/7 of 256)


1/9 1/10

ajor an Large major second Small rna' or second

1/11 1/I2



Large ni!nor second

not coincide in pitch with our present scale system. The

third column shows the intervals created between successive undertones; and the fourth column gives the


Future progress in enriching harmonic material need

In such a series one fundamental tone is always taken

example. Now, it is an acoustic fact that overtones can

formed on C be played simultaneously with one formed

strictly the mathematical principle of overtones. (See


• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

are simplified by a grouping within the harmony into


plete simplicity and clarity in the use of many different


use of materials which not only have no specific re ..


handled by classical masters than is possible today. No


Polyharmony is used by many composers, usually

• 0

me was 0 armony a one. en t IS IS one,

polyharmony assumes recognizable shape and can be

tones a fifth apart, they may be built on tones a third

also be formed from different overtones in the same

s tern, the chords within the polychord should be spaced

confused with each other; as when they are inter-


plicated single dissonance. When placed a reasonable



major an minor tria s. us, on t e overtones 0

We can base the major triad of C, and on the under-

tone, F minor. The nomenclature obscures the fact

it will be convenient to designate minor chords by their

We can make a simple beginning in mapping out

to be four in number-namely, C major and G major;

, ,

major, G major, and F major. The combination of

lated tones are also four in number-namely, F minor

we n m a inon rune POSSI e com matrons, as 0- lows: C major and F minor; C major and C minor;

major an at mmor; minor an major;

minor and F major; G major and C minor; G major

nated merely to show the method that might be used

If we should combine major, minor, augmented, and

these as starting-points a large number of simple chords,


is to base on this extended system of tones not merel y

material that goes higher in the series of overtones,

ui t up. n or er to preserve t e istmction etween polyharmony and harmony, it is often advisable to

material by the same methods with equally legitimate

sentially a device of counterpoint. If we use the terms

" "." .

of treating a given harmonic unit, we can designate


units, a system of counterpoint of chords may be built u t -

point will be made if in one part a chord remains un-

o •

system of counterpoint of

(Single tonel on whicb Polycborda are baaed)






though they were an octave apart. The result of play-

. .

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• t e

units of such counterpoint may be either plain, em-

..,. ..... rooria t e

name for counterpoint of chords might be counter-


3. Tone-quality

Science has shown that the only possible difference

tone-quality between these instruments is so great that

more prominent, a thicker or "rich" tone is produced .


tively clear or "pure" tone; if the middle partials, such

s e 0

from the same overtones. In the period immediately

tng; sometimes to such an extent that a single tone


•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• t like a diss nance. The overtones

overtone is most plainly heard might be number two,

second overtones would be a bridge from number one

a "harmonic" quality, as it would be produced through

tone-qua ines were arrange in or er, an a notation found for them, it would be of assistance to com-



sic which becomes almost completely lost if the wrong

becomes one of the elements in the composition itself

able to write down the exact shades of tonal values they

or graduated tone-qualities in composition has been

justly felt that if music demanding new tonal values

4. Dissonant Counterpoint

sic has been considered exclusively from a single point


chords. As a matter of fact, however, this harmonic

binations became more complex, and the problems of

Turning now to the history of counterpoint as a dis-

, ,

harmonic conceptions in successive epochs. Thus the

" "

"strict" counterpoint, as strict counterpoint differs from

. . .

If we consider the actual practice of Bach in the mat-

temporaries was undoubtedly the large infusion of dis-

. .

harmonic combination formed by his counterpoint, in-

of consonant harmony. Study of Bach's principles, of


ject to certain conditions, and that these conditions by

basis of his counterpoint. The most significant of these


progress in


that Bach's practice was so poised between consonance


with the completion of Bach's own work. The rules that

markedly dissonant quality. That which can be an-

the rules formulated and practised by Bach.

examination in fact would reveal that all the rules of

result of substituting chaos, but with that of substitut-

seconds and ninths would be the foundation intervals;

sevenths might be used as alternatives; all thirds,

passing or auxiliary notes. Octaves would be so far


The statement about the reversing of rules might

seem to Imp y t at t e resu t IS a revo unon In contrapuntal practice; but it is perhaps more just to con-


puntal days-that of prohibiting the use of open fifths,

intervals had been overused.

reject fifths and fourths from their mUSIC; a fifth

way in issonant counterpoint a simp er consonan intervals would be permitted, if accompanied at the

sult from such a counterpoint, to indicate that they

lie any exposition of their counterpoint. Schonberg,

intervals to be used in counterpoint is a matter of

than of adding to the purely contrapuntal possibilities.

phonic materials, but takes from ancient counterpoint

a e to iscover every POSSI e vanation 0 t e t emes and is therefore able to select the form of development

....................... "'nAo n .... vun"' ....
of the orieinal note. there is a sense of tautoloev
~ ...,.
because the melody should have proceeded to a fresh
note instead of to a note alreadv in the consciousness
of the listener. Therefore Ruggles writes at least seven
or eight different notes in a melody before allowing
'":'u .1. . -
I. 0 . .1.
LV I~~L Lll~ I),Ul1~ llVL~, ~V~l1 III Lll~ u\"Lav~.
Whether any of these nrocesses will result in a svs-
. 11 .• ... .1
_j l _t1 1 _to _j
L~111 ~V~l1LUd.l1y d."''''~pL~U "'CUI lld.IUlY U~ pl~Ul"'L~U d.L Ul~
present time: nevertheless. it is interestinz to observe
.1. .1. .1. 0 • L 0 ..J , l,
UldL pV'lc pJ. VlSl ~I)I) II) -0 1 \..,,' , dLL\..J. 1 "'",,-
ing almost entirely since the time of Bach.

DI. ,1.
w~~** •• *** having physical existence. A sound is always necessary

t .


R t

others, with the length of tones.

In this cha ter rh thm will be used as a eneral

divisions of rh thm will be considered to be time, or


with the accenting of tones; and tempo, which has to

instance it will be seen that rhythm is the moving im-

. .


••••••••••• * •••••••••••••••••• ****

s al t

ments of rhythm are in some degree present in its per-

relationship is unrhythmical; if a group of nine notes

few of which have been clearly formulated. Here, how-

that of the relationship of rhythm to sound-vibration,

overtone ratios, the building of ordered systems of har-

5 Third E
4 Fourt C
3 Fifth G
2 cave =32
1 Fundamental 1-16 tial Intervals

Tones Relative Period 0 Vihration Time


number 16, those of the octave 32, those of the fifth 48,

fundamental tone gives sixteen vibrations, the second

three times sixteen, etc. If we now eliminate the two

• ••• *** •• ***** ••••••• * •••••• ****.* v

the vibrations coincide; and in tones forming a musical

be passed over before that coincidence is re-established,


graphically the result of playing simultaneously three

. .

three, four, and five parts respectively, we should have

larger unit is the measure, the equivalent -of one whole


Relative Period of Beats.


6 DoteS:



4 Dotes:

3 DoteS:



in order three elements that go to make up musical m-time metre and tern .

The accepted fundamental unit with which to meas-

In practice, of course, variety is introduced, and this by

of the time-unit by subdividing it into half, quarter,

bine these longer and shorter units into so-called "fig-


quarters, a quarter into two eighth-notes, and so on.

ceptable so long as their sum is the equivalent of the

. .

of doing so except by the clumsy expedient of writing


measure. In other words the notes as written down

time are very often used, should not an independent

That question may stand for a moment, however,

another angle. Assume that we have two melodies mov-


musical tones by virtue of the common mathematical

times, in this view, might be said to be "in harmony," sibl .

themselves, which is regulated by the rapidity of the

There is, of course, nothing radical in what is thus


but when we extend this principle more widely we

interva 0 a represents a vi ration ratio 0 2: 3. Translating this into time, we might have a measure of

tree equa notes set over anot er In two. s Ig t complication is now added. Corresponding to the tone

mterva 0 a major t tr wou e a time-ratio 0 ve against four notes; the minor third would be repre-

If we were to combine melodies in two (or four) beats,



N.r. .... _U'"& ........ A"''"'"'UA ... .., ..
1 .. \ I. A 1 I .t 1
1'\ '-I I -
~ f-n' !i)
~ ~-~:(!i
, I
, .5 f I '6 I
Jg\' ~ I'
- I - '9-
I . 3 I I 3 I
. ..,
. rtll

.. ~ I I
~ :H: } Vibration 'ratio
(See Example 5.) The conductor of such a trio, by
giving one beat to a measure, could lead all the voices
together; for the measure, no matter what time di-
v1~inn~ ;t inrlnrlprl urnnlrl hpcyin 'lnrl pnrl 'lt thp ~'l1'YlP
·7 , ·0'
T nto the fundamental varierv of such ;t svstern inci-
~ ,
dental variety could be introduced in two ways. First,
" <- r I
... -.... 4 .J ___
I I :?<
' II S'
... • • ~ -
, r
I .-"'\ .. .1 - • .! ,
52 rnic harmony in which the units of the time-scheme

6.) Or, as would usually be the case, if greater variety

. .




ent a note occupying one-fourth the time of a whole

calling a note occupying a third the time of a whole

note? Hereafter in this work a note will be designated

smg e measure. e in 0 notes use to express such a ratio would be the equivalent of two eleventh-


the eleventh-note, and two counts each to the two-

rained for the measure as a whole.

a three-elevenths note is obtained; by doubling it, a

tinctions open up a new field for investigation. Not

such shades of rhythm, but also our own virtuosi, who,


notes as

played were quite irregular; for example, the first of

the second, while the quarter-note following was not




three or five equal parts.

of the notation system based upon familiar musical

the same; their time-value, whether whole notes, half-

or notes 0 a 1 erent time-va ue-tnangu ar, iamond-shaped, etc. The use of open and solid notes,

esignating rests wou rna e t e system comp ete.

The shapes of the new notes are necessarily arbi-


a stroke drawn diagonally downwards from left to

cates that the number ten has been added to its orig-

ries a stroke will be drawn through a note of the third-

series now in use, that of whole notes, the divisions to

be by two; and since the bases of these new series are


same as a


values In the same system, such as between a third-

is seen at once by the similarity of note-heads. Another

WlIoIe Note Serie ••

a-Ir. DOtt: 4' Irel GOt.:

Fiftb Note Seri ...

8quar. Dot.. lI. II

'-IUw Dote: 0 I-Ith,note: d Ith DOt.: J 10th DOte, j') lOth Dot.: Jl 'Oth Dott: .Ii

Senath Note Serin.

I DiamoDcI- ,hap" Dot.. lI. II

'-7t1t. Dot.: 0 1-7~"'aot.: (j 7tb DOt.: J 14t1t Dote: j, 28th aot.: t/ll8tla Dote: .....

Nlatb Note Seri ••.

Obloar aot.. lI. iii

a-atb, Dote:a '.tthanote:d .'tbaDote:.J 'th Dote: .hIBth note: .P leth Dote:...H


values, such as % metre, etc., become possible to no-

triplet notes or their equivalent must always be used

. .

notes of triplet or other time-values by placing between


Thus far it has been assumed that time-changes oc-

actually necessary, a certain inflexibility would result,

irmrs 0 a woe note; a t at IS necessary IS to see that the fractional divisions of each time-scheme fill

half. In the first half, two quarter-notes might be set


1'I.r.w _"' ... ,,"'&. ... .110 .. ""' ... ,,.110 ..
half. the measure would be accuratelv com .... 1 ...... ,1 1See_
. A
Example II.) The fraction chosen need not be so
"\ I 2 I I 4 I
t: I
I ! I I 5 I
v •

obvious as in this example. Any element in any ratio
l - 1 'I 'T"1 ,1
carr uc V i:lllU usr Y ~ApH:;~~~U. ~ rrus, rue I i:lllV ~. j, r c-
duced to I: 1%, could as well be expressed by one
1 .1£ . .1' .J .1. • ..t.
llell1.-UVl.\.., eI~cllll;)l. Vll~ Ulll U-llVl.~ P"U;) Vll\.. -llVL\..,
and the ratio of 5 ~ 4, reduced to 2%: 2, by two fifth-
.1 .1L •
.l1Vl.L.;) P"U;) V.l.l~ l.\...l.ll.ll-.l1Vl.'IY, "'!$eI ..n' l. W V 'j Uclll.~l -UVl.~;) •
Naturally, much more flexibility would result from this
.1 t: ., . .1 . .
1'1 Ulelll 1.1 Vlll ll~ \..eI\"11 rrc W l clUV \..VIl ____
throughout a measure. (See Example 12.)
r-;---'I nl
~ , ~ I ,! "'11 _I_
I\~ I Ii I I 2 I
t.I •

A further variety IS also possible. That IS, one nme-
•• ' __ ~~I... .. l.. ..... "' ..... : ..... _.,.1 :ft ", ........ ", .. r" ""hilp ~ rh:lnae
.Len,,,,, ~ .... '" ... " .. ' 6AA ~AA_ r-A • ---- -

" .... & ...... n
;c; instituted in a orresoondinc nart. When this is done
" ....,,,
in tones, the result is one of the figures in strict coun-
rernoint=-namelv. the second snecies In the field of
.. , ..
rhythm the example given is a simple figure of rhyth-
mic counterooint· and it mav be seen that bv further
.1' ~c. ,t ' .11 :t .d .l ,
i:1l'PU"'dllVll VI. UU., "y"l~lJ.l dll un; ~ll~"'l" VI. \..UUlllCl PUlill
are caoable of beinz exoressed in rhvthm. (See Exam-
.1 - \
}'l'" I.~'I
Another matter remains to be touched upon: the use
.t: .1. , .. I, C. c. :1' , T,
VI. ,uy .... 5 ...... "''', "v cu ..... 4"'L" Y '" .l.l" .I., ", .... ."..... ~ ..
A--:±8 II
t. - ..... 4-t.C_ 4;9-
I 7 I I 8
t. , ... ...
~ ..._ -:t:. ~-
I-i" 6 y 1 6 I

'1 L ~ ., I 10 ~
t. - ....... -
~ • L.. . ,~
I 4 41 I

61 in ordinary rhythms. Thus, a rhythmic figure based n a uarter-note results whenever a combination of

smaller notes is made, by the use of eighth-notes, dotted ei hths and sixteenths etc. the sum of which e uals a


etc. In either case the accent would come on the first

fundamental time-ratio would not be broken, but in-

ample 14.)

(s) I (3)

> >.


An interesting series of time-values is to be found

followed by an eighth-note, occupying the time of a

• 6

time occupied being that of a longer note in the usual

, ,

four equal notes in a metre of %, to fill a measure;

figure four over them, but it is more exact to notate

of dotted whole, half-, quarter-, eighth-, and sixteenth-

Whole not. leriea. Dotted note aeriea.
Whole Dote: D Dotted whole Dote: D.
Half Dote: Dotted half Dote: .J.
Eighth note: f Dotted eighth Dote: I. 3

in an independent series.

become the same as sixth-notes, and therefore fall into

the fifth-note system.

versified rhythms might be their difficulty of perform-

It is highly probable that an instrument could be de-


could not be played by any living performer; but these

o 0



tained if desired. It is heartily proposed that such an 1

a rhythm of ten. By playing the keys with the fingers,

hmical units canonicall. See Ex-

2. Metre

The next element of musical rhythm that calls for


lar accent. Musical time, as we have seen, assumes a

of partials to musical metre, as it has already been ap-

... .

rical combinations have a mathematical correspond-


unit of time will be taken on which all the metres here

universal metrical use and the fact that it is a close ap-

be a quarter-note.


number of vibrations in a given unit of time. Corre-

metrical correspondence to the series of partial tones

(Read up.)

6 G



Minor third





to raise or lower a given tone to a different octave in

for it may be substituted ~, %, etc. In the same way


lar, whether we express it as %, o/s, %, etc. This table,

as is often done in the work of Stravinsky, in all the


ple melody in tone. To some persons, even so slight a


may be due to a lack of consideration of how extremely

lack of metrical interest when he introduced the fa-

mark of his style. Jazz music represents another un-

some of his followers that they did away with metre

that there was no metre in their music, in which the

tated as changing metres. Such a notation would make


to do away with so powerful a musical element, nor to

them by accents; because accents within the measure

are interesting in music, but it does not seem amiss to

rna y sometimes find abstruse and monotonous metres

which are better understood by them. Ability to per-

a similar ability in tone. Composers who innovate new


sider metres as units of ratio. They are not haphazard,

succession of these metres the general principles relat-

tween parts, it is well for the accents of both parts to

where the relationship is clearly heard as a canon, in

> >

> >


the use of musical metre. If we wish to strike what we

our metres with reference to the given base, and then

ferent parts. Let us assume a simple interval of two

48 = 96 vibrations

+ 3 x 16

e Ices, e same pnncip es are app ie , 1

considerable addition to the complexity of the result.

a great In a ter twice teen, or t irty, notes were completed. Within this great link the smaller link X·Y

times, the Y·Z twice. (See Example 18.) To construct


.' c ..... '" ".,,"' ......... "'''''' ......... '''
For rezularitv such as this there is, of course. no
need; as in tonal harmony, there are different ways of
brinzinz variety into the use of musical metre. One
way IS to change the metrical chord when the large
link has been completed-to build the composition. as
. .............. : ...... ""(. ,1:a .......................... ,· ...... 1 ...... "" .. ,1" A
,n, YY '-A '-, VAA A""''' .. "'.. VA. ......... "' .. "'...... .. .... "' .... "''''AA "' .... V.. ...... .& A&.II-
- - -- - - - -- - - ------------
- -
t. I
-- - - - - . - - - - - . - - - - ~ . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I n I
It. I .. .. ~
..... .......
".. ~- ".. . n--
- 71 I
____ ~ ______ J .. ___ • ., _ • __ ,. ______ • ___ ..... _
,...--------------- ------- - - -
o, ...--..
I~ I
-.---- - - . ----------- -------- -------,-
1\ - -
t. .. .. ,,"," I I , I
.. ... -.J. ,,-+ ....;. tr.-
r- . -
- -
- - .. .. - .. - .. - ..
... A~_r&.o ... ... u
74 i

... ~&&n._ .....

~ .


, rrr
, rt:
I ~.
- - - -- .. .

, ..... --_.-_ .... -------. --- .. ------


......... _fI' fI'



. ,

• "------------------------------------------------------------- J

, , I

- ! - - - - - ~ - - ~ - - - ~- - '


other way is to interrupt a given chord before the com-

. - ". , .. ,. .

pienon or me great merncai nnx ana ro oegm a new metrical chord at once. The principle is that when a

,.,. . ... . ,..',. .

sumcienr number or me smaller unxs nave passea to

establish the identity of the metrical chord, a new

I. • I '.1 ..

l.UUl U can oe srrucx wunour causing a sense or con-

fusion to the listener's ear. By this method it is possible


" .. ... ~ ... "'., ... " ... .,v"''''''~~
•••••••••••••••••••••••••• * •••••••
CbaDge of Cbord ......
'\ ...-
t I a in hall)
I' +t}Jf_Yv. +t' . ~ ,q .... Ir'
(I in hall )
• -
... ~ . ... ~ ""

It. -
1& I-- • ~ .. '-

UtI' f!&.. ff"
1'\ -
It. ',-
n •
It. V. ~ ~~+ [1
.. .. - ~- -.. :2: ~ ::±
v~ -6J-
76 succession that if it were necessary to carry each great

composition that a given grouping of tones made be


zontally, as a combination of simultaneous melodies;

, ,

counterpoint may be simple, consisting, say, of two

" .,. ...... U ... "B ...... .,. .. VU ...... .Ilo ..
~~.~ .. ~.~.~~~ .....................
1'1'" • • t9- ~. ~ ...
. . .
It. -."
1\» ::> ·c ::>
::> ::>
. .
::> ::> -:-
~ "l
::! :; ..
"'P =i

1\.11 •
. . . .
I •. r::u
-4 I ~ ..:;
rio'" ::> ::> ::> I ::>-4 ::> ::>
t ~ -6J- :i: __ ~ :;sf: ~ -...
::> - ::> ::> ::>
:;;;f- ::.~ B:i ::!~ (
.. ::
r\,u 41- .. •• ~
. ·
. ·
t ~ I ~ W' "II Ii ~ ijI ~
r'I~ ::> ::> ::> ::.-
.Li. •
~ -d.
::> ;;- :>
:;; ... :::j :j. ~
• "7.: ~.

... n • • n. .lVl
.... 'ltnrp. h::a~pcJ on the conception of metres as units of ra-
.. A
tio, is another possibility. Thus, we might have four
n'lrt4i: ..- - --11nO' sirnultaneouslv, each with its inde-
r c
pendent metre, yet harmonically related. The result,
'l~ h::a~ heen shown: is metrical harmony. But if now we
• 1 'I . , .1. .1. :1 .1. .l .1.
snUUIU • UI; L YY v V4 LI.n_ t":U L., "' &&u\. yy \. '0 LU\.

1'\ • "'f'"- ~ ~ '.
.: 7-
PI' poco (J poco erue. ........
1'\ .....
t.. -.-
'P'D poco (J poeo creat. I. .-
• ~ ~ .,... •

1'\ , .. ..
[t... I I I I I " ~

-II. [0
It. w-' ... ~ -r
lJ. - ~ Iol. 11 L.
. iI
~ n, -
~ ~~ ..

n D '" .... & ... ~& ... n .. ft~ilUUft"''''iI
1'\ ... ..... L
I_:L I
-, 7
I" .. ~ I ~

J'h_ .... f+- ... .. •
'51"" tf
" r-- ~ ~ ~ • •
" ~ + ~ '11 ~
'\ ,,_
I" ~~ - + ....... ~+ ..
"" , .. ~,
--, ,
lit. •
.,. ".. "

r\_ 4f. • ~ tJA. .... +t. ~
to • #i ~ ::;s
-.... II Q lempo ~m,e~
t. - • -t ..
1'1' .-
JJ (I '~111JX1 (lJ1II, II rH.
. ". ~
I • ... :! -
- ~

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