3S05 S76/



In fulfilment of the latter requisite footnotes have been appended referred to to the text. H. LONDON. and a list of standard works thus is added by way of appendix. to describe.PREFACE. W. the chief outlines of the subject treated . February. the second. to furnish references for more advanced study. . 1878. S. A PRIMER should have two little objects : the first. with as technical complication as pos- sible.


to the molecular disturbance of Heat . as convenient and tangible demonstrations of the great modern generalisation of VIBRATION. of soothing him under affliction. . as a rule. WAVE-MOTION LIMITS AND SOURCES OF SOUND defined as the aesthetic and emotional side ot at rousing the sensibility of the ear. and have been made to render good service to physical investigation. though A * See primer on " The Elements of the Beautiful in Music. I. though with a long interval. or WAVE-MOTION : which. aims not only mental effects produced. preceded and outstripped the scientific explanation of sensorial and Music may be It sound. and of rousing him to noble and generous actions. then. and. besides being looked at as pure or harsh. however." p. merging insensibly into the asthereal motion of Light. and reaches. Instruments of music. may therefore be also idealised as mathematical abstractions. a secondary development in the progress of civilisation. consonant or dissonant. a very late phenomenon in the history of nations. have in later times been found to embody important acoustical principles. commencing in the measured beat of the pendulum. cheering or melancholy.* It is therefore essentially somewhat of an acquirement. as illustrations of the law of number. an evidence of cultivation. passes on through the aerial oscillation of Sound. an organ specially set aside for its appreciation not only at thus establishing communion between individuals. intended originally to charm the ear. and a scale. Its artistic and traditional side has. 10 et seq. and at enabling them to express their several wants but. at warning them of danger.THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. can even be traced beyond the luminous spectrum in the phenomena of Actinism and Photography. going further and deeper into man's moral nature. note. in its fullest and grandest form. it proposes to itself the end and object of affording him pleasure. a chord. and. CHAPTER INTRODUCTORY I.

in proportion to the square of the distance travelled part of the rung in open air. a still further saving will be effected. of 3. Like the ray of light. and to fill in with somewhat greater detail departments necessarily incomplete in the excellent primer on the " Rudiments of Music. will in probability one embrace the marvellous manifestations of day with certainty Electricity. throws off spherical shells of alternate condensation and rarefaction." already published in this series. Much has been in former times instinctively discovered by the keen ear and delicate organisation of the former but. is direct but the wave itself is spherical. another part is converted into heat and thus they are gradually extinguished. A bell when : still water. Even a column of air travelling will be enormously increased. assume a form of less than three dimensions. liquid. the wave will cover its superficies with but little loss. expanding equally and simultaneously in all directions until they meet with an obstacle. and may be even compensated by an opposite phenomenon which will be noticed further on (see Thus. or replaced by a string or wire possessing mainly the one dimension. and now even the most gifted musical genius can hardly dispense with a general knowledge of theoretical . the observations of Science have followed close upon the creations of Art. from source to organ of sense. if a source of sound be applied to a plank. or deep in . just as the boy's bubble ends by bursting from attenuation of the viscid film which incloses its increasing dimensions. In any case the wave does not involve the transmission a material substance. 2. The WAVE OF SOUND emitted by a sonorous body is ill represented by the ordinary conception of a straight line. inclosed in a rigid tube may be made to serve the same purpose. If the conveying medium. From a pardonable exaggeration of this duplex nature has perhaps sprung an unconscious antagonism between artists and scientific men. their force rapidly diminishes. It is not like the flight of a cannon-ball . all doubtfully as yet. which par. It is only when these vibrations are confined to some body 01 limited dimensions that their free expansion is coerced and caused to follow the readiest path. its progress in homogeneous media. and its power of . When spreading uncoerced. If the plank be diminished to a rod.6 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. this extinction occurs far less rapidly. mechanical energy expended in exciting them is lost by friction. researches. which may be solid. 64). from the days of Pythagoras to the time of Helmholtz. length. again like the subtle waves of light. or gaseous. which it is the especial function of the present day to reconcile. has mainly length and breadth. as is daily seen in ordinary speaking-tubes. An attempt will be made in the following pages to sketch broadly the outline of the ground in which Music is conterminous with Physics.

or. The point of transition between the former and the latter is. for instance. M. or can be superinduced upon it. or less musical." which will be described in a later paragraph. deep. 5. if a regularly repeated succession of such jolts takes place." by the Rev. These alternations of density. which correspond to a wellknown musical note. indefinite. possess three properties they may vary in AMPLITUDE. and without definite rhythm. to vibrate. length depends solely upon the rapidity with which they follow one another. each * " Natural Philosophy Popularly Explained. than the jolt of the rim of a cab. musical sound that will well bear comparison with notes derived from more sentimental sources. to be thus successively In proportion to the conveyed to the most distant point. in CHARACTER. as it was formerly called. coalescence of noises into tones is illustrated by the toothed wheel of Savart. 4. and one that has been recognised in the : : silence of the night by many competent observers. the result is a soft. Dr. Haughton* has ingeniously illustrated " The this fact in the following way granite pavement of is four inches in width. of the sound. Haughton. The transmitting body does not move as a whole. and the "Siren. each particular molecule of which it is composed moving through an infinitely small distance. of which the sound-wave has been said to consist. if it consist of In the Crystal Palace. it is musical. especially many similar parts. elasticity and homogeneousness of the transmitter is the conservation of the impressed motion and the rapidity with which the impulse travels. . but it can be felt by the hand to thrill. Their amplitude may be defined as the length of the path which each vibrating particle traverses the amount to which it is shaken out of its position of Their rest. but giving up to neighbouring molecules its all but undiminished motion.R. and upon this depends the LOUDNESS of the sound. Yet nothing can be imagined more purely a noise. however. F.. If they be regular and periodic. that is. in LENGTH. and to this is due the QUALITY. since an element of regularity and periodicity is often blended with heterogeneous sound. 7 from point to point.S. The superinduction of musical echo can be heard in any closed building of regular form. which is now found to differ with alteration of its constituent waves. S. and cabs driving over this paveLondon ment at eight miles an hour cause a succession of noises at the rate of thirty-five in the second.INTRODUCTORY.D." The same . If the vibrations of which a sound consists follow one another irregularly. the result is what we term noise. the timbre. and this determines the PITCH of the sound. Their character is given by the shape of the wave.wheel against a projecting stone yet.

224. but for The LOWER LIMIT at which a periodic interdifferent reasons. 6. If. that the C open diapason pipe of thirty-two feet long in large organs gives 16 vibrations per second that modern pianofortes have strings in the same octave with about 27 vibrations that the sounding double-bass and the double-bassoon in the orchestra can be made to give C of 32 vibrations. with 4. and Gounod. A falling plank. for reasons The highest notes actually employed on chiefly physiological. girder of the roof is the counterpart of its neighbour. has D. with 3. or in the purposeless rattling of his hoopstick against area railings. and acquired with considerable difficulty. however. and stands equidistant from those around it. saw-sharpeners . or even loud clapping of the hands. the 1 6 vibrations can certainly be separated from their affiliated harmonics by the majority of practised ears. A ments by Beethoven. with 4. namely. are very far removed from those audible even to the majority of ears. The point in debate is rather the musical character of the sounds thus produced than Helmholtz limits this character to the fact of their production. that sounds with as many as 38.000 vibrations . 7. A . with about 40 or 41 vibrations. which. such as that of the organ in the Albert Hall. in the schoolboy's pencil jarring against his slate. since simple pendular vibrations of this speed are all but impossible to produce. of the extremes between which the Both the upper rapidity of the wave-motion must be contained. or in the orchestra. lawn-mowers. notes written for the respective instruthat C and the . or even C. The orchestral piccolo." In this statement he may perhaps be or " upper partials." right. and more recently of Galton. examples of this transition may be noted in the sound of chaffcutters. mittent vibration merges into musical tone has been very indeed.8 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. or octave flute. Thus much is certain. from the experiments of Despretz. Even more trivial gradually becomes periodic and musical. But there is good evidence. One more limitation is necessary for the full definition of musical sound that. and the lower limits seem to be variable and arbitrary. the note CCCC be taken on a good thirty-two feet metal open pipe. being intercepted and reflected back to the ear at similar intervals. . sends forth an irregular wave of noise. Pianos usually reach A.520 vibrations. the piano and organ. Onslow. the E of the German double-bass." simply and purely pendular. But he requires that the oscillations thus estimated should be " " overtones. two very differently stated by different observers different standards for the estimation of musical quality have been unconsciously adopted.752. however. . be noted that the estimation of very deep tones is a matter of special education. The UPPER LIMIT varies within a far larger range. and even the B flat intermediate between of 27. without harmonics. and certainly it is difficult to controvert. It should.

The latter may here be passed over with simple mention the former require more detailed description. which is accompanied by a feeble sound. has also been utilised in some forms of the telephone. To the latter class belong the shock of two bodies. and those that are not. The more strictly musical forms of exciting vibration are best . or their friction with one another explosion or sudden change of volume. 8. given in tabular shape. as follows : VIBRATIONS. . cover rather more than eleven octaves. and the disruptive discharge of electricity. I.SOURCES OF SOUND. those used in music from seven to eight. Of late the molecular change produced in iron by the passage of a strong galvanic current. g Sounds actually audible would thus per second can be heard. MODES OF PRODUCING SOUND maybe divided into those that are musical.

and is there again reflected and reversed. which date back to the time of Pythagoras and Euclid. and undergoes reversal as to side. 11. (3) Frequencies of vibration are inversely. which alone is utilised for musical purposes. as the square root of the mass or weight. The laws of transverse vibrations in strings are simple and It can be shown that the velocity with easily demonstrable. length and tension remaining the same. g. be excited by fixing a metallic wire of considerable length between heavy metal clamps. or by means of a pulley and a the box below the strings is prousually divided into millimetres. with a resined bow. is reflected from the support to which it is attached. The upper surface of vided with a graduated scale. directly. It runs back thus reversed to the other end. The duced in bowing the circumference of a stout torsional vibrations are occasionally prostring. have similar vibration periods. Each of these. are. the period rived (1) The frequency directly. The notes thus produced are considerably higher than those elicited by transverse vibration on the same sible to prevent its and torsional. the period (2) The frequency of vibration varies inversely. When it arrives at the origin of the disturbance it has travelled over twice the length of the string. as the length of the string. as the square root of the tension. both longitudinal longitudinal may. The disturbance of any point in a string causes two pulses to start from this point and run along it in opposite directions. being false and unpleasant. The most important form of these vibrations is the transverse. vibration is the refore that required for a wave to travel over twice its length. however. if stretched with forces proportional to their sectional areas. on arriving at the end. From : this formula the laws of string. such as that of a double-bass. and.10 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. 12. The length of string. For the experimental illustration of these laws an instrument is employed termed the SONOMETER. though it is impos- being blended with others. but of different thickness. 10. . It consists of a long either by resonant box. and rubbing it in the direction of its tension with a resined bow or leather. if the tension be unaltered. (4) Strings of similar length and density. which they travel along a flexible cord is equal to the square root of the tension applied to it divided by the mass of its unit length. periods directly.vibration are deof vibration varies inversely. By far the most ancient investigations in sound are those on STRINGS. or two strings can be stretched. the other pulse The period of a complete arriving there at the same instant. as well as the preceding. over which one means of wrest-pins weight. guarded against by players by giving a slight oblique motion to the bow.

If STRINGS be plucked. as the different colours of the rainbow exist in the white light proceeding from the sun or any other luminiferous Light is only a vibrational motion of a peculiar elastic body. . it gives the twelfth or the fifth above the octave. guitar. struck with a hammer. seen if the string be brilliantly lighted and strongly excited. or UPPER PARTIAL TONES are notes the vibration frequency of which is an exact multiple of In the latter case the the lowest tone producible on the string. as in the pianoforte. which varies according to the particular instrument. a richer and more satisfying character is given to the general compound. but can be easily made to demonstrate the laws of nodes and harmonics. This result can be brought about at pleasure by lightly touching the point which is to form a node. the simple pendular vibration excited is materially complicated with harmonics the string may be considered as being capable of assuming any given form. If it be touched at its middle. as in the harp. string vibrates in a single segment. and in the same sense. they are so connected. Speaking generally. the sound is only partially musical if. and zither. " every individual partial tone exists in the compound musical tone produced by a single musical instrument. just as truly. 15. separating into three loops. and bowing or plucking the string nearer to its extremity. interbected by points of rest. . OVERTONES. HARMONICS. The sonometer is not only useful for the above purposes. whereas in producing the harmonics it divides into several smaller segments. If touched at one-third of its length from either end. if touched at \ of its length from either end. It has been shown by Helmholtz that it is all but impossible to originate a simple sound unaccompanied by more If they be of a period not or less of these affiliated oscillations. or loops. connected by an easy ratio with the foundation or ground tone. or nodes. the string dividing These can often be itself into an equal number of segments. and sounds the octave of the original note. because any given form of wave can be compounded out of a number of simple waves. 13. Those on the nodes will rest unmoved.i SOURCES OF SOUND." says Helmholtz. however. and a movable bridge can be placed at any intermediate point. it separates into two loops. while those situated on the loops will be forcibly thrown off. as in the violin. H At each end is a bridge to limit the length of the sounding string. or can be made more visible at a distance by placing a number of small paper riders astride on it. 14. it yields a harmonic the vibration frequency of which is n times that of the fundamental tone. and which will be more fully discussed under the heading of Quality. The production of harmonics is not limited to the vibration of strings. with two intervening nodes. or rubbed with a resined bow. " Hence. .

and from the technical experience of two centuries. In a beam of white light there is a species of motion which may be represented as the sum of many oscillatory motions of various periodic times. The motions of bowed strings have been studied by the great observer above named by means of the vibration microIt may be sufficient here to note that during the greater scope. But of course each particle of ether at any given moment has only one determinate velocity. as in the harp or the soft felted hammer of the pianoforte. "is not due to theory. In plucked or struck strings it varies much.12 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. place struck or plucked also influences the tone by causing those upper partials to disappear which have a node at the point excited. as in the "jack" of the old harpsichord and the metal plectrum of the zither more soft and smooth if the elastic tip of the finger be used. The real motion is of course one and individual. as in the ^Eolian harp. produce higher The difference of their musical quality depends partial tones. those again being strongest which have a maximum displacement at that point. much lighter than metal strings. each of which corresponds to one particular colour of the solar spectrum. is in air. and only one determinate departure from its mean position." again remarks Helmholtz. and rebounds. being again seized by other points in the bow. partly on this circumstance. and the result is the weird mingling of high and low sounds which is the characteristic of that singular instrument. octaves. by a similar process. and is carried The tone it then it suddenly detaches itself. The makers of the latter instrument have been clearly led by practice to discover certain relations between the The elasticity of the hammer and the best tones of the string. and partly on the inferior elasticity which. In pianofortes the point struck is about one-seventh to one-ninth the length of the string from its extremity. just as sound is a vibrational motion of the air. of plucked catgut strings. as in the guitar and harp. been selected for the lower notes. is therefore much less tinkling than that of metal strings. ." a STRING be excited by impact of . 17. which damps the higher partials much more rapidly. just like each particle of air in a space traversed by many systems of resonant waves. "The selection. and again carried on by . lighter and harder for the upper The influence of rigidity is seen best in gut strings. It results from attempts to meet the requirements of artistically trained ears. being of the gut. and our theoretical treatment of it as com- medium. If a certain sense arbitrary." Soft and heavy hammers have. part of each vibration the string clings to the bow. forward. the luminiferous ether pound 16. . according to the nature of the blow. the combination varies from instant to instant. being full of high upper partials if the body striking be sharp and hard.

19. The practical " The " nail fiddle to be seen applications of this form are few. advanced development of the the rods being arranged in a horizontal comb. RODS fixed at the centre furnish one of the most important acoustical. weighted with lead for the lower register and plucked by means of steel pins projecting from a barrel. PLATES. being only of limited application to music proper. from its greater rigidity. namely. If both ends of a strings. take place in opposite directions. If one end only be fixed. if not actually musical. and supported at this point by a The advantage of this arrangement projecting stem or handle. the tuning-fork. another set of conditions prevails. is that the vibrations of the two extremities. which is easily transferred to any resonant body on which the tuning-fork is From the same rested. causes it is possible to dispense with firm fixture of the fork. A rising and falling motion is moreover communicated to the handle. means NAIL FIDDLE. so arranged in a circle as to be increasing bowed on their outer aspect by musical snuff-box is a far more same principle. rotated by means of clockwork. rod be fixed it approximates to a stout string. The of a fiddle bow. of selected and size.SOURCES OF SOUND. and BELLS. . This may be looked on as an elastic rod bent on itself in the middle. and thus cancel or antagonise one another. the transverse being the most useful. which should be symmetrical about the handle. Chladni used rods of this character for the construction of a tonometer. being considerably modified. without thereby damping the vibration. elicited by hanging a cloak on a metallic nail The nails in the completed form are firmly fixed to the wall. implements we possess. the harmonics. at the South Kensington Museum is an instrument founded on an accidental sound. The vibrations of RODS. 13 18. may be briefly considered Those of rods possess the same three divisions as do together.

termed the Marimba.14 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. When struck transversely. opera Magico" Papageno is gifted. It may here be noted that from the bending of the rod.* Helmholtz shows that many proper tones of nearly the same pitch are produced by a plate of this kind. which are situated at a distance from the ends about onefourth of that between them. or even wood. been but little used in music of a classical character. Strehlke and Faraday afterwards added a light powder to the heavy sand. and latterly of the " II Flauto It is used in Mozart's which may be held loosely the tuning-fork is . 20. and reinforced in tone by ingenious resonators made of a gourd shell. It will be further adverted to in this respect in a later paragraph. were minutely investigated by Chladni. which follow the same laws as both the longitudinal and transverse vibrations of strings. but which can hardly be said to belong to music. 138 et teq. * For further details see Tyndall " On Sound." p. and supported on the two nodal points. "xylophone. and the firm attachment of the stem to the central segment. named after Young. brought from Africa. and the vibration period is that of a pulse travelling twice over the length of the rod the modulus of elasticity. . 30). The same contrivance has been used in hard stone. and the harmonics follow a series resembling that of the stopped organ-pipe. metal. and noting the lines of quiescence along which it heaped itself up. under the names of the rock-metal or glass harmonicon. rods give a tone relatively higher than when fixed at one end." to imitate the sistrum with which 21. however. 10). which are of the highest interest in a physical point of view. supported by twisted thongs. The vibrations of PLATES figures have been produced. glass. Rods with both ends free give longitudinal vibrations. from its purity of tone and its slight liability to variation with heat and atmospheric changes. the orifice of which is closed by a vibrating membrane. In the South Kensington Museum is shown a curious instrument of the kind. "A disc gives a whereas plates in general produce tolerably good musical tone sounds composed of many inharmonic proper tones of nearly the same pitch. In these ways graceful symmetrical in the fingers. being substituted for the stretching The nodes are also distributed exactly as force (see par. which cannot . in 1785. for which it is especially fitted. by the beautiful method of strewing sand on them. in which the vibrating bars are formed of the outer hard siliceous bark of the bamboo. The problem has been more recently followed up by Wheatstone. those of an open organ-pipe (see par. the position of the nodes is brought much closer together than in the simpler form. giving an empty tin-kettle quality. They have. There is a complete series of harmonics of the ground tone. The chief function of as a standard of pitch.

which are. In sounding their deepest note they divide into four segments. 15 be used in music." This description applies accurately to the cymbals. and. The bell. are of considerable MARIMBA. these angles being each bisected by nodal points of comparative quiescence. It applies partially to the gong. used in military bands to mark time and to reinforce the accent.SOURCES OF SOUND. and there are three similar points at right angles to one another in the circumference. 22. The point at which the hammer strikes is always a loop. thus approximating to that of a bell. separated by intermediate nodal lines. BELLS vibrate essentially in the same mode as do plates. which elicits a complex sound of more definite constitution. if free from cracks. would therefore assume . however. Both are made of highly hammered value metal. viewed from below.

and for the upper of radius 30." in the approximate proportions of six atoms of the former to one of the latter. The common shape of church bells is that of a truncated conoid or paraboloid. in consequence of which most of the older peals of bells are grossly out of tune. the long and short axes of which successively The vibration period varies directly as the replace each other. thickness and inversely as the square of the diameter. and The exact atomic ratio seems to produce too hard and brittle an tin 23-5. and the height as 12. The tone produced is therefore accompanied by inharmonic secondary tones. f like and. to which the suspending luggs are attached. A common mixture is 13 copper by weight to 4 tin. and direction. One octave of these deserve quotation. further apart from one another than those of flat plates. in the hope that they may some day be constructed. Assuming the diameter at the base as 15. a shape which is commonly employed in clock chimes and carillons. is J The common composition . Other irregularities occur from the impossibility of casting a bell perfectly homogeneous or symmetrical.* The necessary size and weight to elicit a given note are mainly matters of trial and experience. the higher will be its note. Russian bells. alloy. 150. A shallow bell appears to give a thin note . though Tyndall has found that in the Great Bell of Westminster an ivory ball was driven away five inches at a loop. of radius 8 for the lower half. A little tuning can be done. Haughton has given a table of weights and pitch. on the other hand. Dr." p. op cit. hence termed "bell-" or " gun-metal. and only two and three-quarters at an approximate node. The form of bells is various. against which the clapper strikes. by chipping away the thickened rim. although the traditionary stories as to the effect of the latter metal seem to a great extent imaginary. which defect can be reduced by slightly increasing the quantity of copper. f Dr. great that it is all but impossible to bring out a pure fundamental tone. This is equivalent to a percentage by weight of copper 76-5. of copper and tin. 195. The simplest is a segment of a sphere. with a curvature below. in section.* In consequence of this continued subdivision there are no points of absolute rest. also divide itself into any even number of segments. usually termed the sound-bow. and to a great degree empirical. or by an admixture of zinc. closed at the apical end by a dome-shaped roof. and possibly of silver. one too cylindrical in outline. is too hollow. most of the Chinese and less easily heard in a horizontal The more elastic the material of which a bell is composed. at the expense of quality. * Tyndall " On Sound. however.l6 elliptical THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. forms. p. The bell may. the notes of which follow the ratio of their succesIn thin bells this tendency to subdivision is so sive squares. Haughton.


m* 4 2 C 4 D 6 V G& C3 D 4 corresponding to its division into the following 10 8 12 &c. except C 3 They are.l8 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. but that there are one or two approximately harmonic relations. The vibrations of membranes have been of late studied theoretically by Lord Rayleigh." standing vertically. actually employed in music may be divided which are free. they are used as melodic instruments to give out a simple subject. 23. however. The wavy line is to show that the pitch of the upper note does not remain stationary. These are tuned by They altering the tension of the head or vibrating membrane. possess an assointo those The membranes ciated air cavity. 4 25 4 i 9 | x 16 36 9 &c. however. in his chromatic scale of twelve. though Berlioz. which ought to be the true note of the bell. but is combined with so many sounds that it is impossible to give a nearer analysis of the tone of the bell. on the other hand. " Theory of Sound. segments : 2m . 3. Kettledrums. evidently intended to reinforce certain notes in the harmonic series to the exclusion of others. In Big Ben the E is not a pure note. Two or (far better) three of different sizes are usually " Requiem. such that the four gravest modes with nodal diameters would give a consonant chord. the upper note is much louder than the flat. unaccountably neglected in orchestral music. and are not even approximately tuned. such as tambourines. Their principal function seems to the writer to be to strengthen one or two important notes of the sixteenfoot octave. These all appear to give a very indefinite note. such as the dominant and tonic. They serve to mark rhythm. in a circular membrane. p. if 2w be the number of a vibrating segments." .* He shows that." has scored for a employed. successively equal to 2. and may * then be of eight-foot tone. 250. Paul's. what are termed " gong drums. can be made to vary in pitch by this means through the interval of a fifth. and to excite the tympanic membrane of the ear to a more acute appreciation of other sounds. very variously audible in different bells. since n varies as by making m A w . In the large hour bell of St. and the modern sidedrum. Thus. None of these secondary notes are harmonics to C. It is found that the number of vibrations made in a given time is proportional to the square of the number of segments into which the bell divides itself. the tones corresponding to the various fundamental modes do not belong to a harmonic scale. we find. this register being Occasionally.

Copies of the pipes fitted in this manner were exhibited and played on by Mr. Two plans have been adopted for producing the necessary wind-pressure: first the use of ordinary compressing bellows. either by striking the reed on a table. in which cases it utters a feeble musical sound or by forcing air through the partially closed opening in a direction from the tongue towards the plate. which permits freer passage. or steel. 24. Mr. In the simple form implied by the name it has furnished some of the most ancient instruments with which we are acquainted. by a blow with a small felted " " hammer. The use of A longitudinal it as a producer of sound is comparatively modern.SOURCES OF SOUND. or loaded with weight for grave sounds. . and below the knot a lateral flap is cut from the side. South Kensington. * " History of Music. can be originated. its elastic rebound. A peculiar and unpleasant note is thus elicited such a reed be adapted to the end of one of the Egyptian pipes named above." vol. like a tuning-fork . 261. springing outwards by its natural elasticity. The at the other it is thinned away to or riveted firmly to the plate a feather-edge for high notes. p. At one end this is screwed bition at 25. thus all but cutting off the stream of wind the second. so oats or tall hollow grass. such as lancewood. In shape it is exactly the counterpart of the orifice. German silver. simplest form of REED is that termed FREE.* The form of these has probably been that still fabricated by children in the fields out of a joint of The tubular stem is cut at a knot. W. . The first step in the process is obviously the pressing of the tongue into the slot. which. as in the percussion harmonium. as will be shown further on. . acts as an intermittent obstacle to air blown through it from but if without. Chappell has shown that the pieces of straw found beside pipes in the Egyptian tombs have evidently been intended for the manufacture of reeds. IQ in The resonators employed by Helmholtz the analysis of musical sound were originally made with tense membranes. as to form a stopped tube. in which case it originates a powerful though somewhat harsh continuous note. a distinct scale. like those of an organ. Exactly similar contrivances already existed in the African marimba named above. The REED is a source of sound which has many varieties. in which case the reed is fixed downwards. usually tetrachordal. . The unjust so much smaller as to pass attached end is easily set in vibration. slot is formed in a flat metal plate from ten to twelve times On the upper surface of the greater in length than in width. but " " freely through it. plate lies a thin tongue of some elastic material. Chappell and the writer in the Loan Exhi. i. but he afterwards found that the natural tympanic membrane of the ear was competent to the function. brass.

This. and thus to leave a slight fissure between the two at the free end. the ability to alter the amplitude of vibrations. concertina. closed at the lower end and open along one side. is fixed firmly into the larger of two orifices in the block. From the upper surface of the block the hole containing the reed spreads out into a long conical or trumpet-shaped bell. to which the speaking apparatus is attached. by lessening the internal density. This latter is burnished so as to present a slightly convex figure to the tube. melodeum. seraphine. . A semi-cylindrical brass tube. which is termed respect . the vibrating plate being wedged against its open side. and harmonium the latter that of the so-called " American organ. and to damp is its aberrant oscillations. and is a far more ancient contrivance. orifice which conducts from the bellows in this case opens into a small wind-chamber separate for each pipe. and thus. from whatever cause arising secondly because the closed bag of the exhausting bellows in the American organ furnishes a partial but still appreciable substitute for the consonant bell of the organ On the other hand the harmonium retains the power of reed. . The elastic ORGAN REED. or towards the wind-chest. secondly the employment of a bellows specially fabricated to exhaust its own cavity. in which case the reed is fitted with its tongue outward." The weak point of both forms is the complete independence It has no consonant tube to reinforce its regular of the reed. which is all but lost in the American organ 26. and the consequent loudness." namely. the foot of the pipe. for purposes of tuning. is filled at its enlarged upper extremity by a wooden or metal block. The effect of compressed air passing into the foot is to flatten the curved vibrator against the flat orifice of the tube (here by a singular change of names termed the reed).20 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. the lower end of which presses against the foot of the vibrator. The smaller hole in the block contains a bent wire. so as to meet the inrush of air into the The former plan is that of the partial vacuum thus produced. The beating organ reed is of more complex structure than The that just given. The harmonium : in this first because the worse than the American organ outward stream of wind carries directly to the ear all harshness. tending to draw in air at the atmospheric pressure. "expression. This is not dissimilar from the oaten straw reed named above.

VIBRATIONS OF FLAMES have long been known as a physical 28." whence the name given 27. The human lips. belong to the class of free reeds. 21 resilience of the metal then comes into play. but. it is flat. namely such as beat . and a vibrating column of air is sent into the bell. caused the flame In some cases. In the oboe and bassoon two vibrators. : MEMBRANOUS REEDS (i) and.SOURCES OF SOUND. Among classes are divided by Helmholtz into two those in which the aperture is closed by the air (einschlagend). In 1777 Dr." p. and (2) those which are opened (aufschlagend). * Tyndall " On Sound. or to its higher octave. to this form is clearly derived. and of sufficient strength. . and by this means also the single reed is enabled to vary its length sufficiently to produce a compass of over three octaves. although even now hardly incorporated into music. The beating reeds. and the human larynx in The mode of action singing. It is obvious that if the ampli- tude of the vibrations becomes excessive. or free reeds. that which most resembles the organ reed is the mouthpiece of the clarinet. The tuning-wire is replaced by the graduated pressure of the lower lip. and they were investigated about twenty years later by Chladni. opposed laterally to one another." If the flame be of the proper height in the tube. instruments with cupped mouthpieces. a phenomenon first accidentally noticed by Professor Leconte in the United States. in playing the free reeds a higher tone. and many new facts added to their observation by Schaffgotsch and Tyndall. Even naked flames can be made sensitive to musical sounds. even from a considerable distance. pitched to the note of the tube. however. the flame could even be extinguished by the voice. instead of being curved. whereas the necessary curvature is formed in the wood of the instrument itself. and will be considered in a subsequent chapter. 29. instruments blown by the breath. in both cases is somewhat complicated. The action depends on their being near the fact. are employed. cannot be entirely passed over. in this and the other cases. whence they are termed double reeds. flame can thus be made to communicate its note to another. been explained. to quiver. Higgins heard them with burning hydrogen. of the open tube surrounding the flame. The vibrator here is single. give a lower tone than if vibrating freely. who showed that the tones were those Their rationale has. instead of going out it begins to sing its proper note directly this One singing is sounded. 224 et seq. when the note of the tube was high.* The former observer noticed "that when an ordinary gas-flame was surmounted by a short tube a strong falsetto voice. the point of the brass or steel vibrator maj actually " beat" or whip against the " reed.

rimentally as well as mathematically investigated by Daniel The column of air is inclosed in a pipe. par. and the distinction between the two varieties. be held in one hand. can in a similar way be rendered sensitive. point of flaring. If the hand be left against the end the note remains unaltered until extinction but if it be rapidly lifted off the sound immediately jumps up an octave. that (i) the note of an open pipe is an octave higher than that of a stopped pipe of the same length. Professor Wheatstone constructed an apparatus of this nature. were therein lifted by means of a small keyboard to the proper height in the tube. but the pitch uncertain. They afford an extremely delicate test of vibration. and the palm of the other brought against its smooth extremity with some force. and is still played by the fellahs on . and set in Bernouilli. as the name implies. The different characters of the various vowels referred to in Even fine jets chapter iii. 71 can thus be discriminated. or Egyptian flute. the jingle of silver coin. iii. Kastner endeavoured to bring the action under He employs two flames in each control in a different manner. . left 30. of smoke. The PYROPHONE. such as the tinkling of small bells. VIBRATION IN COLUMNS OF AIR has been purposely It was expeto the last on account of its special importance. without encumbering mechanism. but jump upwards and alter entirely in form. usually at one-third from the lower opening.* an instrument which has been found in the tombs. Several attempts have been made to utilise this property 01 flames in the construction of purely musical instruments. especially of its more rapid and high-pitched varieties. was not actually employed. p. tone is said to be good. " The Organ." fig.g. or the rattling of a bunch of keys. An almost equally simple illustration of the vibrations in open pipes occurs in the Nay. glass tube. A simple experiment may be made to show the method of If a excitement. a wave of compression is sent through it which causes a distinct though only temporary note. which can be united or separated by finger keys. They do not in this case utter an individual note. The first law of Bernouilli is thus shown. The tube. Monsieur F. and can be heard distinct from that first elicited. The chief distinction is between open and stopped pipes. as it was termed. . * See Novello's Music Primer.22 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. although promised at the Paris Opera. of an inch or more in diameter and about eighteen inches long. owing to varying pressure of gas. or of water issuing from small orifices. motion by various contrivances. which The jets is now preserved in the Museum of King's College. are open at the end most remote from the embouchure or lip the latter have that extremity closed. The former.

so as to present a sharp circular obstacle to the impinging stream of air. was brought . and the ordinary EGYPTIAN FLUTE.SOURCES OF SOUND. One of these. F. the second law of Bernoulli! can be demonstrated. until its more modern kinsman made its appearance. acting on the elastic contents of the tube itself. founded on a tetrachord. is to be seen in the British Museum another. 4 . from Egypt by Mr. of the Charterhouse. which is a stopped tube excited in the same way." "lips. originates sufficient vibration to produce a loud. i C 3 E 5 8 G 6 s &c. the upper edge of the tube itself is thinned down. which adds specific mechanism of It is "foot. If a mouthpiece be added so as to produce a continuous tone. only differing from its predecessor in possessing a scale of seven notes. the vibrations being in the proportion of the natural numbers as follows : C. namely that. Instead of the lateral orifice peculiar to the modern flute. The mode of playing will be seen from the accompanying woodcut. It may be looked on as intermediate between the pandean-pipe. and has been kindly lent to the writer. (2) if the pipe be open at the opposite end. by increasing gradually the force of the air current we can make it yield successively the primary note and its harmonics. diapason pipe of the organ. 23 the banks of the Nile. though rather loose and windy note. The exhaustive action thus originated." and "languid" to insure the same result. somewhat remarkable that the specimen in the British Museum was suspected of being a forgery owing to the absence of the lateral embouchure. Girdlestone.

30 is the same in principle for " The all flue-pipes (see Novello's Music Primer. the note produced is an octave below the cylindrical closed pipe so that from the same tube it is possible to produce two octaves. with a node in the middle. but as the apex of the cone is approached the nodal line moves further upwards towards it. by Professor W.S. 1874. that the action is in reality more compli.R. A linear slit projects compressed air against the sharpened lower The breaking of the stream of air edge of the tube itself. moreover. would seem.* 32. F. Adams. against the sharp lip has been accepted by Helmholtz and It other physicists as sufficient explanation of what occurs. whereas at the node it is alternately more and less dense than this. the air remaining there always at the density of the atmosphere. its own length. the difference between the diameters of the two ends of conical tubes." Proceedings of the Musical Association. . until actual coincidence is established. F. 1876." Appendix XIX. 31. quoted in Ellis's translation of Helm" Sensations of holtz's Tone. The mouthpiece named in par. The open extremity of a pipe always corresponds to a loop.S. the closed pipe to four times. cated. Poggendorfs Annalen." par. as follows (X denoting a sound not in the natural scale) piece.. the greater the difference between the notes produced the note of the highest pitch will be produced when the open end is the larger of the two. the organ-pipe be closed at the end opposite to the mouthit yields notes whose vibrations are proportional to the series of natural odd numbers.R. f M. by a similar process. : G! 1 G 2 E s X 7 D< 9 3 5 The reason for these facts is that air vibrating in an open pipe divides itself into two halves. Schneebelif drove air rendered opaque by smoke through * " On the Musical Inventions of the late Sir Charles Wheatstone.24 (3) If THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. G. so that the entire tube must consist of a whole number of nodal intervals and a half interval in excess. as will be more fully detailed in speaking of wave-lengths. and the open end to a loop. . If the open end is four times the diameter of the smaller. somewhat similar to that in a string speaking its first harmonic. The greater. which excludes harmonic notes corresponding to even numbers. The open pipe gives a note corresponding to a wave double. In a closed tube the closed end must correspond to a node. The above laws are correct for cylindrical or prismoidal Conical pipes were shown by Sir Charles Wheatstone to pipes. 32). Organ. however. possess the same succession of harmonics as the former. though the motion in the tube is horizontal and that in a string mainly vertical.

the common spray-producing apparatus. and sometimes capable of coercing it. and without a reed would be entirely unable to produce them. or aerial lamina. but on blowing into the upper end sound was produced." considers its effect to be condensatory Hermann Smith. but appeared when the issuing sheet was gently blown on at right angles. and similar to . a movable 25 slit. If the sheet of air passed into the pipe entirely there was also no sound. When it passed entirely outside the pipe no sound was produced. holds it to be exhaustive. whereas the tube itself is hardly two feet long. He concludes that the Luft-Lamelle.SOURCES OF SOUND. Little or no smoke penetrated into the pipe. Hermann Smith has come by independent observations to a similar conclusion. continuing when once started until a counter-current was produced by blowing down the upper orifice of the pipe. with far greater probability. . " Schneebeli terming the sheet of air an aeroplastic reed. for the lower notes of such an instrument as the clarinet reach low into the four-foot octave. There can be no doubt that this condition of things exists in the case of the reed fitted with a consonant pipe. acts a part analogous to that of the reed in reed-pipes. The tones of the air reed and pipe he believes to be distinct. that of the former being far more acute than the latter.

34. the same pressure.130 feet at the ordinary temperature and pressure. INTERFERENCE 33. . 2. The height of the hypothetical homogeneous atmosphere is 28. IN speaking of wave-motion (par. the velocities will be inversely as the square roots of their absolute densities. although the question had been previously mooted by Newton. or everywhere of the same density. Laplace was the first who suggested that this discrepancy between calculation and observation was due to change of temperature accompanying condensation and rarefaction.000 feet. the question of VELOCITY was intentionally postponed. 3.000 feet. The In gases generally.CHAPTER VELOCITY II. which in the case of air would be half the height of the atmosphere if homogeneous. The results agreed closely in giving 332 metres. somewhat increases this velocity. whether gaseous. The temperature increase is proportional to the square root of the absolute temperature. and the interval between the flash and the report was noted. Cannon were fired alternately at two stations several miles apart. or about a foot per second for each degree Fahrenheit. or 1. by mathematics that the velocity of such a movement is always equal to that which a falling body would acquire in falling through half the height of the modulus of elasticity. 35. 4). and 1. and in being lighter than air. and a body in falling through half this height would acquire a velocity of 946 feet per second. It was shown that when any disturbance is produced in an elastic body. or solid. REFLECTION REFRACTION TONOMETRY. This velocity can be shown to be the same as that of a long superficial wave. at height of the barometer does not affect it. The actual velocity has usually been determined by com- paring the inappreciable interval required for the propagation of Determinations were light with that of a coincident sound. it extends in spherical waves. made by the French Academy in 1738. It has been proved liquid. Holland in the same year. by Arago in 1822. whereas the actual velocity of sound is 1.090 feet per second at freezing point.090 feet. From these causes the effective elasticity of the air corresponds to a height of homogeneous atmosphere equal to 40. Aqueous vapour.

and in pine or firwood it increases to over seventeen times that velocity. the wave-length X 38. Neither of these physical facts has much bearing on the musical aspect of the subject.435 metres per second. and the consequent transmission of fog-signals at sea. In water.REFLECTION AND REFRACTION. which will be independently treated in the following is Sound REFLECTED and REFRACTED according same laws paragraph. and an absolute measure of pitch. filled with a heavy gas. the hammer of apart. that of the metal was 0-3. 4). . The time of air-transmission being 2-8 seconds. The velocity was 1. having from fourteen to more than fifteen times the speed in air. the former preceding the latter by 2-5 seconds. by listening through which the conveyed vibration could be compared with the visual appreciation of the flash. which was moved by a lever which ignited gunpowder at the moment of striking the bell. The blow of a hammer could be heard at the distant end both through the metal and through the contained air. Two A = V x T V T Thus or the wave-length X equals the velocity into the period for bass C of 32 vibrations. = A 1. acts as a condensing lens. The length of the sound-waves thus propagated has been shown to depend on the rapidity with which the vibrations follow each other (par. offer good illustrations of both processes. the velocity in 27 at was measured by Colladon Geneva boats were moored in the lake at 13. or 47 Fahrenheit. In a given medium the wave-length is thus also a measure of pitch. the wave-length of any note can easily be determined. at a temperature of 8'i centigrade. though Tyndall's curious experiments as to the acoustical opacity of the air. To reflection are due the manifold phenomena of echos. 37. or about nine times as fast. the reciprocal of frequency. provided the temperature be constant. and their frequency is the number in a second. Echos require a certain distance to separate the returning impression from the original source of sound. In the other boat was an immersed ear-trumpet covered with membrane. In steel it is still more rapid. For in all vibratory movements 1826. From these data. spherical balloon of thin membrane.500 metres one carrying a bell below the surface. and has a definite focus. The INTERFERENCE of sonorous undulations furnishes the important department of beats and dissonances. In solids the velocity has been measured both directly and by indirect methods. Biot examined it in iron water-pipes 951 metres long. such as carbonic anhydride.130 x 7V = 35*3 1 feet - to the as light. and the observed rapidity of transmission. 36. PERIOD is the increase of which determines elevation of pitch.

39. it one of two tuning-forks vibrate 256 times in a second. of this essential fact is given by the tuning-fork. notwithstanding this. however. will remain at rest. the longer wave will have a tendency to gain steadily on the shorter. Thus. although the beat really consists of the pair of phenomena together. one be half a wave-length before the other. four positions will be found in which its note is clearly heard. or silence. If. and the other 257. The rising and falling inflections thus It will easily be seen that a beat. and are so utilised in the process of tuning. If a tuning-fork be struck and rotated on its axis near the ear. evidenced by a lessening of the loudness. causing an increased amplitude of the oscillation. there will be a The same would occur if the second single beat in each second. the result is their sum if opposite. must occur at each Each beat is in consequence difference of a whole undulation. the sound returns. The influence of beats in determining the nature . These reinforcements are intersected by points at which they interfere with each other. If they be equal and opposite the result is zero. and periods will occur at which the two mutually reinforce one another. It is usual to count the points of maximum intensity. and cause diminution in the amplitude. fork had 255 vibrations. If. doubly acted . and four. a tube be slipped over one prong without touching it. rather than the intervals of silence. two sound-waves slightly differing in length be propagated through the same medium simultaneously. The number of beats in a given time is equal to the difference in the numbers of vibrations executed by the two tones in the same time.a8 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. are transmitted through the same matter. four others are almost at an angle of 45 to these. between these. Here the lines of motion are exactly opposite and of equal strength. Beats therefore do not at once show which is the sharper and which the flatter of the two sonorous bodies. that is a moment of comparative silence. and hence these are commonly designated by the name. originated are termed BEATS. For instance. the prongs of which move in opposite directions. however. amounting even to extinction. if of two equal sound-waves. and in the same direction. and consequent increase in the loudness of the sound. in which The four first occur when either of the prongs it is inaudible. from the withdrawal of the influence of the antagonising prong. The simplest experimental illustration on. they furnish the most accurate and satisfactory mode of determining small differences of pitch. their respective motions will neutralise one another. INTERFERENCE of sound-waves occurs when two systems If they be similar. The or either of the flat sides of the fork are towards the ear. exactly coincident with the difference of one vibration between the sounding bodies. and the individual particles. But. their difference. In the case of a tuning-fork the silence caused by interference is permanent.

A cornputative process was suggested by Scheibler in 1834. 50."* In a solid 42. Duhamel's vibroscope. discordant. 3. which have been partially explained : . 5) how intermittent noise in regular period gradually merges into musical tone. but also between the harmonics or upper partial tones which almost invariably accompany them intervals in which they are few or weak being termed concordant those in which they are many and strong. . Computative methods . 4. Upon this principle These were followed by optical the first researches were made. 41. Helmholtz's vibration microscope. KfefjSS&iffi!!^ i. showed an experiment of making musical and other sounds by the help of teeth of brass wheels. 40. Appunn's tonometer with free reeds. The first vague attempt at tonometry originated with Galileo. frame. f Meyer's electrical tonometer. Savart first reduced the system to accuracy. as. whereas the antinodes exhibit the least change of density and the greatest of place. Cagniard de la Tour's siren. The nodes.5. Lissajous' method. between a direct and a reflected system. Koenig's manometric flames. 4. may be given. Mechanical methods - 3. for instance.TONOMETRY. 2.-.." p. Leon Scott's phonautograph. : 'i. . I. It has been shown above (par. 1. who has shown that they may occur not only between fundamental tones. McLeod and Clarke's cycloscope. III. TW IV. quoted in Sound. which were made of equal bigness for musical sounds but of unequal for vocal sounds." published in 1757 . Interferences may also occur between waves moving in opposite directions.. a wheel. | 2 Scheibler's Tonmesser with tuning-forks. are points of the greatest change of density and the change of place. Hence arise what are termed NODES and ANTINODES. 2g of concord and discord has been materially extended by the researches of Helmholtz. Lord Rayleigh's pendulum experiment. Savart's toothed wheel. I. . as follows least . II. Hooke a knife over the serrated edge of a piastre. methods of observation the latter again by electrical. in tabular form. The various methods of TONOMETRY. Electrical methods Jj. Perronet Thompson's weighted monochord. * Tyndall Birch's " History of " On the Royal Society. previously. Optical methods 2. with a given number of teeth in its circumference. METHODS OF COUNTING vibrations are clearly essential to the accurate determination and measurement of sound. as this branch of acoustics has been termed. who noticed that a musical sound could be produced by passing In 1681 " Mr.

gradually became continuous to the ear. in the form of a wavy line. difficulty of insuring perfect equality of rotation precluded anything like accurate determinations. which scratches off the black incrustation. superposed rings of holes alternately open and close a passage for the wind. in spite of the quaint inaccuracy of its name. 45. like that of a drum-head. The blows. which of course received in a second as many blows as the product of the teeth into the rotations. four feet in length. 44. however. He employed a monochord. issuing in a steady stream through the lower fixed The isolated " puffs " soon unite into a continuous note plate. but causes a constant and ill-controlled acceleration. which can be thrown in and out of gear at will. (5) The best of the early attempts at tonometry was undoubtedly that of Perronet Thompson by means of which his enharmonic organ was tuned. (3. replaces the tuning-fork. though the meter. The plan supplies indeed a motive force. (2) The SIREN. to rotate rapidly. A piece of card. with increased rapidity of rotation. with the view of recording the rotations in a given time. each wave corresponding to a double oscillation. The teeth of the latter are here replaced by coincident openings in two similar circular plates. the steel string of which. and the rotations in a given time are noted by a chronometer. far too inaccurate for the minute determinations . upon an axis. and a low musical note was produced. was stretched by a * It is said to have derived its name from a gift with which Homer 1 s "ZtipijvtQ its power of singing under water. was applied to the passing teeth. The pitch could at any time be compared with a standard. 4) The VIBROSCOPE and PHONAUTOGRAPH both aim at a graphical representation of vibration on smoked paper. or a metallic plate. which rose in pitch with increased rapidity of rotation. a counting apparatus being attached. and the revolutions counted by means of a chronoA rough estimate could thus be obtained. 43. like to have done good service in his hands. one prong of which is furnished with a light style. was made now required. . connected with a collecting cavity. Savart's wheel. the one fixed. It was an apparent afterthought to place the rings of holes diagonally in opposite directions to one another. from being successive. with but In the act of rotation similar slight friction. and seems It is. The Double Siren used by Helmholtz is driven by a small electro-motor. as before. In the phonautograph a membrane.30 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. were not endowed. the other rotating above it. At the rising. It has been materially modified and improved by that physicist. This is carried round in a spiral direction in front of a tuning-fork.* was a considerable advance upon Savart's wheel. upper end of the axis is placed a counting apparatus.


An induction coil. but gradually decreases in size by the lessening of vibration amplitude but with the slightest aberration from accuracy. due to differences of pitch far too minute to be perceived by the ear. by the composition of the two harmonic motions very beautiful and symmetrical figures are produced. and the ray. By far the best form of the optical apparatus is (4) that proposed by Messrs.S. McLeod and Clarke under the name of the It is impossible within the limits of the present cycloscope. as in Lissajous' experiments or in those (3) of Koenig with manometric flames. It was more intended for obtaining the natural division of the scale than for determinations of absolute pitch. If the forks be in unison. producing a vertical line of If a light. 47. originally intended to determine the speed of machinery. obtained by 49. * The same remark applies For the original description see Proceedings of the Royal Society. of Stevens's Institute of Technology at Hoboken. The number of sinuosities between two such sparks gives the vibration number with considerable accuracy. placed horizontally. and is made to give a real image of a bright point or scratch upon the other the two forks are placed with their planes of vibration at right angles to one another. By a modification of this method. owing to the persistence of impressions on the eye. it will be adverted to presently. very heavy weight. in New Jersey. to the electrical tonometer of Professor Alfred Meyer. He attached a mirror to the vibrating end of a vertical tuning-fork. U. III. makes regular perforations in a sheet of smoked paper rotating on a metal cylinder. II.* but the results . 46. after double reflection. or bear some simple ratio of vibration to one another. 48. amounting to 240 or 250 pounds for tenor C. with attached mirror. such as almost always occurs in practice. be projected on a screen. But as the frequency of vibration varies as the square root of the stretching weight (par. primer to give details of this beautiful instrument. small errors in the latter produced a much diminished inaccuracy in the former. 12). connected with a seconds pendulum. When the fork vibrates the image moves rapidly up and down. second fork. and threw a ray of light reflected from it on to a screen in a darkened room. April 1877. detects progressive changes in the figure. (2) The object glass of the microscope is affixed to the prong of one fork. OPTICAL METHODS of tonometry appear to be due to Monsieur Lissajous. u. very similar to the vibration microscope of Helmholtz. be made to receive the image from the first. . tuning-forks or other vibrating bodies can be compared with the greatest precision. the curve first formed remains unchanged in shape. the eye . against which a light style attached to a vibrating tuning-fork is tracing sinuous curves.32 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS CF MUSIC. and excited by a resined bow.

of Arts. " that when reed 63 sounds the pitch of reed appear. the oldest and best is that of Scheibler. Another. IV. November i.TONOMETRY. Alexander Ellis's laborious researcher."* 52. which can never be as much as four vibrations away from one of the forks without coming into unison with another. In the first place it affords an easy and accurate means of ascertaining the pitch of any given note within this octave. The various copies of the French normal pitch are * -)- Lord Rayleigh in Nature. gives and is permanent in its oscillation instead of rapidly fading away. 1877. McLeod and Clarke. a statement which Settlement of Musical Pitch " He A has been warmly controverted by M. a determination " which does not require precision of tuning. 1877. Journal of the Society of Arts. all that is necessary being to count with sufficient accuracy the number of beats per second between each pair of consecutive forks. by Lord Rayleigh. and probably even more accurate. In the second place it can be applied to determine absolute pitch. followed by those of Lord Rayleigh. This series has two functions." 64 is raised. Unfortunately it is open to errors from which the fork seems free. " On the Measurement and is far superior to a fork. 33 50." It is much to be regretted that this instrumental error should vitiate the results of Mr. method of obtaining absolute pitch has recently been communicated to Nature (November i. . Each intermediate fork beats with its neighbours four times in a second. Rudolph Koenig. May 25. an account of which is given in a work published at Essen in 1834. and which. There can be no doubt that for musical purposes a reed it and rising It has a much stronger tone. The sum of all these numbers gives the difference of frequency between the first fork and its octave. he says. These have been admirably demon" It would strated by Lord Rayleigh in the paper just quoted. beginning at 256 vibrations to 512. Of ABSOLUTE COMPUTATIVE TONOMETERS. far louder beats. In the form usually made consists of sixty-five tuning-forks. appears to be entirely erroneous.f recently brought before the Society stated therein that the French normal diapason gave 439 instead of 435 vibrations per second. 1877). an electrical interruptor. 51. the amount of the disturbance being much in excess of what would be expected from the performance of the instrument when tested in other ways. who employs a seconds pendulum. and a tuning-fork of 128 complete vibrations in a second. which is thus of course the same as the frequency of the first fork itself. (2) A more recent instrument of the same kind has been introduced by Appunn of Hanau. preserving the same number of intervals but substituting harmonium reeds for Scheibler's tuningforks. from the careful observations of Messrs.

expands with heat.* 55. These discrepancies are doubtless due to All other producers ot sound vary different qualities of steel. Even tuning-forks vary appreciably variations of temperature. from this cause. Strings are eminently affected by temperature when made of metal. becomes rarefied by increase of temperature.34 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. at variance with their inscribed vibration number. being the human breath. . because in them there is a compensatory action going on. with the exception of the harmonium reed. as in the above case. Ellis. who introduced a temperature regulator into his enharmonic organ. though its actual variation with temperature is greater than that of the tuning-fork. because the . and thus becomes flatter. STANDARDS OF PITCH will thus be seen to be far more difficult to set up than might have been supposed. if at all. Professor Meyer found that a fork of 512 vibrations lost 0-7 of a vibration in rising from 60 to 90 Fahrenheit. being played with wind at ordinary temperatures but in our climate the difference often ranges from below 32 to above 80 Fahrenheit the variation is therefore very considerable. In colder regions the air passing through them. infinitely more. which. to agree very well with one another. Reeds follow a somewhat different course." Proceedings of the Musical Association. 57. In wind instruments the problem is much more complicated. Perronet Thompson showed that a fork. and may be therefore accepted as hardly. 54. and when made of catgut by moisture also. flattened by a third of a comma when dipped in boiling water. of * which the dominance is great. even by Mr. and the latter action predominates over the corresponding enlargement of the metal. The material of the instrument. 53. Organ-pipes do not indeed vary so much as orchestral in- struments. expands in one direc- Vide paper " On Standards of Musical Pitch. 56. The smaller pipes are most affected. and become sharper than those below them. which acted on the principle of shading the mouths of the speaking pipes more or less. When. vibrator. This occurs when instruments tuned to correct pitch are taken out to hot climates. especially if it be made of metal. . allowed. has the compensatory advantages named above. giving middle or treble C at freezing point. 1875-76. it The first error arises from is still more difficult to keep it. A steel wire through which a heating current of electricity passes can be made to sink an octave or more in pitch. Professor McLeod made the loss nearly double this amount. as was shown by the writer before the Musical Association. This was noticed by Perronet Thompson. such a one has been authentically obtained.

steel. vary according to the material brass.TONOMETRY. while the expansion of the air acts in the opposite sense. is singularly Free reeds. less than any other sound-producers they are therefore the. or German silver of which they are made. or watery vapour. but. most practical standards of pitch for general musical. with the exception of tuning-forks. . causing sharpening. Much of the blame thrown on the reeds in an organ is due to the alteration of the flue-pipes. like those of the harmonium. tion. as distinguished . purposes. 35 causing flattening. But the influence of moisture. large on reed pipes. from scientific.

CHAPTER MUSICAL TONE III. 3m. OF MUSICAL TONE. and one X an octave above the former. long known indeed to individual musicians and physicists. which only influences pitch. and indeed followed of necessity from the fact that QUALITY or timbre could not depend on frequency of vibration." The discovery thus made. tne vioration numbers of the whole series will be in the order m. and a note marked X If the octave above C be sounded with lying between A 3 and B 8 it. one E. two G's. Ratio 2m number C. there are sounded on a musical instrument. This fundamental principle of music may be accurately stated as follows When any note to the : THE COMPOUND NATURE is primary tone. ym. nor on amplitude. 5m. Ratio m Note Vibration Q number . HARMONICS CONSONANCE QUALITY. which only affects loudness. or at least brought into due prominence. in the first three We octaves. the character or quality of sound. each note of the series being of less intensity than the preceding. 2m. 6m. if the primary note be C. was the law of HARMONIC UPPER PARTIAL TONES. Thus. If m denote the number of vibrations of the primary tone in a given time. the whole series will be. had long been known. in addition produced a number of other tones in a progressive series. : . one E. 4m. we meet with a strange and unexpected phenomenon. If then the two notes C x and C 8 be sounded together. the first three octave harmonics of Cj will be compounded with the first two octaves of C a as follows . its generality and great significance for all matters relating to musical tones not having been recognised. It was first " on clearly shown by Helmholtz that exactly and carefully examining the effects produced on the ear by different forms of vibration. as influencing 58. the harmonic series produced by C a will be. 128 qm C8 256 6m 8m Ct lorn I2tn iqm Note Vibration G 3 E 4 G 4 X a 896 640 768 384 512 again giving three C's. &c. two G's. for the first three octaves. 2w Ca 128 $m qm Cs G a $m E3 6m jm G 3 X 192 64 256 384 448 320 have here three C's. but commonly regarded as a mere curiosity.

HARMONICS. or Harmonics. in which. 5th intensity. actually sounded whenever C. and the note E (the third) with its octaves. illustrate the same principle. third. The Organ. and with this a " high pressure of wind (see Novello's Music Primer. 37 Ca G + C2 ist and 2nd intensity. of harmonics in stringed instruments has (i) The production been already noticed. and bringing out more clearly the reNow this group of notes which are lationship of C. and G. X! yth intensity. and fifth of the natural scale their vibration numbers being in the ." as follows: ^ * For further details see Haughton's where this subject is treated with great -e?&F G X C " Natural Philosophy. besides C's. but which now may receive its full elucidation. GB 3rd and 6th intensity. B G + E s 59. since the two sounds so accord or tune together that they seem to be almost like one sound. (2) In organ-pipes the use of harmonic stops. 6. division of the sounding string. in accordance with nature. E. the consonant tubes of which are made twice their proper length. either alone or with any of its octaves is played forms the MAJOR TRIAD." It may be remarked that the effect of the combination of notes differing by an octave is to throw the notes X further back. Upper Partial Tones. (2) By increasing alteration of the embouchure in brass instruments." which states that " any sound and its octave bear the same name. . making them less audible. The harmonic series has another most important bearing on music. t lucidity. 2 C 8 2nd and 3rd intensity." par. 4th intensity. simple ratio of the natural numbers 4. 60. 21). perforated with a small hole in the middle. " The Rudiments of Music. (3) In the French horn and similar instruments nearly the whole harmonic series is utilised in the scale of what are termed "open notes.* Herein lies the physical explanation of par. (1) In the regular the blast of wind in an organ-pipe. 170 et seq. It is therefore evident that when two notes Ci and C a are sounded together. 5. the note G (the fifth) with its octaves. Ci ist intensity." p. 64 in Novello's Music Primer. which has already been adverted to by anticipation (par. 13). the first. they produce Overtones. are more nearly related to C than any other notes are. (3) Or by the same order and sequence of sounds is obtained successively as has been here shown to co-exist simultaneously.

By * Vide Ellis's translation. . 62. A and C 2 as third and fifth to F. If the harmonic series be extended to the full range of over five octaves. In similar fashion it is possible. fortieth. and may thence be called simple pendular vibration. thirtieth. forming the foundation of musical theory. s standing as third and fifth to G. where the twenty. . 35.j8 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC.. can be tested experimentally. thirty-second. This has been well demonstrated by Mr. It is a well-known fact that any oscillatory or undulatory motion can be reinforced by a number of small consecutive impulses which coincide in time with the The simplest instance is that of the child's original undulation. without using other notes than these and their octaves or natural representatives. and forty-eighth harmonics produce a correct enharmonic scale of eight consecutive notes. twenty-seventh. . For if G or F were sounded alone. Euing Lecturer on Music at the Andersonian University. as shown on the page opposite. introduces E and G.. to establish two other major triads. single pitch. Dominant triad. no it is its made out of various partials having each the pitch of a compound tone we mean the pitch of its lowest or prime tone. they would respectively introduce B D a and A C a 63. . "A " compound. but can easily be obtained by affixing to the tube some other source of sound. thirty-sixth. in this manner. It has been shown that C. The harmonics which do not belong to the scale are marked with a cross on the approximate line of the staff to which they belong.. Subdominant triad. There is only one form of vibration which gives rise to no harmonic upper partial tones. The real foundation note is of course an octave lower than it is all but impossible to the lowest here given produce with the usual mouthpiece. 61. the seven sounds of the musical scale can be developed out of it in regular succession from the gradual approximation of the constituent ratios.. properly speaking. C : G B and F:A:C D : E B : : G D a : : : : 1:4:5 :6 4 4 : : 5 5 : : 6 6 .fourth. p. or with octaves. has. This is peculiar . Tonic triad. Colin Brown. Glasgow. Every musical tone in which harmonic upper partial tones can be distinguished may be considered in itself as a chord or combination of various simple tones." says Helmholtz. and on the simplicity of the succession of impulses produced on the ear by both primary and secondary tones. such as a clarinet reed... The sensation of pleasure felt on sounding certain notes together depends therefore on the agreement of the harmonic sounds necessarily accompanying them. SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE affords the method by which the laws just named. as own pitch. whenever sounded. to pendulums and tuning-forks. on the note F. forty-fifth."* 64.

39 swing. where the swinger voluntarily employs muscular force to counteract the effect of friction and to prevent the diminution v m 1 .CONSONANCE.

69. and so are columns of air contained within partially closed cavities. The tympanic membrane. * by Helmholtz He employed Helmholtz. . Of this character in were the RESONATORS first afterwards found that greater sensitiveness was secured by omitting the membrane and employing only a globular or cylindrical receiver with a larger opening communicating with the external air. op. which have resulted in the great advance " of knowledge which has been detailed above. cit. alone being audible. What is true of slow mechanical vibrations holds periodicity. pace. itself served If such a resonator." says his experiments. but with a slowness Membranes are especially sensitive proportional to their mass. the prime tone of the membrane. or drum of the ear. transmitted to the bells. latter case it is obviously the multiplication of small efforts derived from the ringers.40 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. Any other instrument besides the voice can be used as a means of exciting the sympathetic vibrations. tuned to instead of an artificial membrane. p. from out of a great number of others. a particular note. and from them to the masonry itself. it unless the individual soldiers composing be allowed to fall out. If the two be combined. a very delicate test is obtained." 66. to which. 65. The simplest mode of demonstrating this fact is to lift off the dampers of a pianoforte by means of the pedal. and to which alone. Any elastic perfectly for the more rapid oscillations of sound. massive tower in which bells are hung may be made sensibly to In the oscillate by the periodic action of a well-ordered peal. With a properly tuned series of such resonators extensive observations were made. even if * comparatively faint. Hence. even if he has no ear for music. so as to be inserted into the ear passage. be held to the ear. Thus every sonorous body is also able to produce CONSONANCE. and other vibrators may thus be excited. Large church bells may be set in motion by periodical application of a force Even the hardly competent to move them when singly applied. body which is so fixed as to be able to continue in vibration for a definite time when once started can also be made to vibrate sympathetically by agitations of small amount having a periodic to at his and walk each own independent time corresponding to its own. or is quite unpractised in detecting musical sounds. which produces such large results from The essential magnifying power is forces originally small. and a smaller. and to sing some note into its cavity. The latter possess proper notes of their own. they consonate. is put in a condition to pick the required simple tone. " any one. to this method of excitement. as by stretching an elastic membrane over the larger orifice of a receiver. drawn out to a conical point. slightly altered by that of the sympathetically vibrating mass of air in the receiver. The note will be heard to echo back from the instrument.

and second octave in succession. when in the musical tone of a single note we distinguish many partial tones as I have found musicians inclined to think. variety. He showed that. Success rather on a . in the observation of upper partial tones depends power of mental abstraction than on musical training. He not only proved this by an analytical process. should have also to look upon the colours of the spectrum. and to build up a characteristic He used for compound tone from its individual components. just before producing the musical tone you wish to analyse. v v . partial tones of . are easier to hear than the even. or mere imagination. thus increasing or diminishing the force He showed that the oboe and of any particular component. the same as those of open tubes of the same length. the twelfth above the prime being the easiest. the octave. fifth. . separated Hence * namely by bodies which vibrate sympathetically with it. twelfth." The real outward existence of partial tones in nature can be established at any moment by a membrane which throws up sand by sympathetic vibration. we quite distinctly with their own ears.QUALITY. whereas a few sources of sound discovery. bassoon have proper tones. and intensity of their upper partials. may be considered simple such. and the ordinary flute others differ greatly in the number. and sevenths. such as fifths. has proper tones corresponding to the third. . this 41 " each single simple tone can be distinguished observer. We . the orifice of which could be opened or closed at will. It is advisable to sound the note you wish to distinguish gently. 67. 68. every individual partial tone exists in the compound musical tone produced by a single instrument just as truly and in the same sense as the different colours of the rainbow exist in the white light proceeding from the sun or any other luminiferous body. an easy explanation of the different QUALITY possessed by various instruments is open This is the chief assthetical result of Helmholtz's great to us. from the composite mass of tones by mechanical means. a large stopped diapason pipe blown very gently. The uneven partial tones. which are separated from white light. for instance. thirds. and corresponding to open organ-pipes. They give. with the assistance of but he was able to proceed to resonators. Each fork was furnished with a resonance tube. must not therefore hold it to be an illusion of the ear. 69. as above described the converse demonstration. seventh. with a cylindrical tube. as a tuning-fork attached to a resonance box. The clarinet. 'by an increase in the force of the wind. &c. this purpose a complicated instrument formed of many tuningforks kept in vibration by means of electricity. even when they have heard those partial tones . If we admitted this. It being thus demonstrated that the character of musical tones is due to their composite nature. as a mere illusion of the eye.

can be made to coincide with any fork. for instance. . By far the most important result. some partials should be reinforced. to give an indication of the place of birth. even in ordinary conversation. " The appears six or eight partial tones are clearly perceptible. but for the resonance of the cavity of the mouth. and a powerful bass voice. To this cause is due the harsh and unmusical character of free reed instruments. and children. which it is impossible to distinguish from their and then . they can be recognised up to the sixteenth. The cavity. which were followed out by Wheatstone. and thus to discover what shape it must assume for a determinate The result was found to be that " the pitch of strongest pitch. women. to discriminate different nationalities. From observations with resonators such to be the fact. such. This is found to consist of a very long series of partials belonging to a compound musical tone. it resembles a closed organ-pipe. lying so close to one another. 70. By forcing the wind rises to the twelfth at once."* 72. however. If. however. 71." p. and alters considerably for even slight alterations in the vowel quality. sometimes screaming loudly into the ear. With resonators. The chief and essential of these are the various vowel sounds. 156. the proper tones of the cavity of the mouth are nearly independent of age and sex. it was examined by means of tuning-forks of different pitches held before it.42 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. In the free reed of the harmonium there can be heard. a long series of strong partial tones up to the sixteenth or twentieth and even above these there are many higher. even with unassisted ears. this cavity be altered by the lips and tongue. In this respect it the fundamental note. resonance of the oral cavity depends solely on the vowel for producing which the mouth has been arranged. It may be easily shown that the foundation tone is given by the larynx. being under the influence of the will. On the other hand. The importance of investigating the resonance of the mouth being thus established. The want of space in * Ellis's translation of Helmholtz's " Sensations of Tone. but with very different degrees of force according to the different forms of first the cavity of the mouth. Upon number Willis most them made valuable observations. It is well known that on the same musical note a number of characteristic modifications can be superinduced which. Each partial would probably decrease in force with rise in pitch. at others scarcely audible. are competent to distinguish individuals from one another. and generally to alter the same fundamental tone into an infinite SOUNDS of easily perceived varieties. and others damped. as occur in different dialects of the same language. the resonance being generally the same in men. to the major third above the next octave. of Professor Helmholtz's researches in this direction was the theory of VOWEL in the human voice.

" 73. o. A OO 6. the tube for which exceeded a quarter of a wave in length. and Koenig all agree as regards the note of the vowel o. which have each a higher and a lower resonance tone.QUALITY. Speaking generally. 858. Helmholtz. 1870. but a general expression for the German vowel sounds in musical notation is given in that work as follows : U O E I u According to the experiments of Willis. must be referred to. which will make the resonance as deep as in the larger oral cavities of men. A. the deepest pitch is that belonging to the vowel sound expressed in English by oo as in moon. and I. 43 the oral cavity of women and children can be easily replaced by a greater closure of its opening. the deeper proper tones sinking and the higher ones rising as we pass from the first to the last of these. as pronounced in North Germany. e. They are also agreed as to the note of a as in father. which is an octave higher. highest to ee as in screech. . and second comprises A. correto the French u as in the word pu. E. According to Koenig* the notes of strongest resonance for the vowels u. beginning with that which corresponds to the space above the top line of the bass clef Willis. The third series from A. are the five successive octaves of B flat. E. quoted in Deschanel's " Natural Philosophy. of the mouth to different pitches for the was first discovered by Bonders. running on into O in more. and incomFor fuller details Helmholtz's work observers. or the EU sponding nearly The tuning different vowels pletely by older of the French language." p. passes on to U. which is very nearly that of a common A tuning-fork. i. up to U. very short cylindrical tubes attached to reeds gave I then. The vowels were divided by Du Bois Reymond into three classes the first of which is represented by the broad as in as in poor. through the modified German . increasing the length of the tubes. a. * Comptes Rendus. The father. and the . and O were successively produced.

= 1:3. fifths. after which the harshness diminishes by their merging It is not." par. referring to Diagram III. are considered discordant.CHAPTER CONCORD AND DISCORD IV.. namely i 2. so the production of beats is at the root of dissonance. where the fifth is graphically represented. the major sixth. modified from those constructed by Dr. the fifth. are the major third. All other intervals. when produced together. however. 74. by the observation of which accurate tuning can alone be accomplished. For instance. They also increase in rapidity with augmented error in the It is obvious that they must be due to some harmonic interval. 76. Somewhat below with the exception of the harmonic seventh. They have therefore been termed CONCORDS. The diagrams on the opposite page. the ratio between the two vibrations being the simplest possible after that of identity. as has been already shown . The chief cause of pleasure in consonant intervals depends doubtless on the coincidence of harmonics. " Rudiments of like one sound" ( Music. and the minor sixth. besides this primary relation. = 3:5. there are several others. these in smoothness of effect. IT has been already shown that the reproduction of a given sound in the octave above or below amounts to a more or less complete repetition of the same compound series of tones as is The two are " almost elicited when similar notes are struck. impossible for notes into a continuous note. fifth. pany octaves. but the important element of simplicity in succession of impulses produced on the ear is not to be neglected. = 4:5. = 5:8. well illustrate the fact. the minor third. But. 75. These. the fourth. which is not used in music. As on the one hand coincidence of impulse produces consonance. and hence the combination is closely allied to unison. These are the combined octave and : or twelfth. = 5:6. which. Haughton. leave a pleasing and satisfied impression upon the cultivated ear. but still pleasant. RESULTANT TONES. and other intervals when slightly false. increase in unpleasant effect up to about 33 in a second. 64). Such phenomena accomat a distance apart to produce beats. the third impulse of the note C should correspond with . = 3:4. = 2:3. or upper partial common to the two beating notes.

if it be not. whether of fundamentals or of upper If a fifth be falsified so as to give the ratio 200 : 301 partials. 45 the fourth of G if the interval be accurate but. Beats therefore are always due to imperfect unison. 00 8 C^*s . such a beat would necessarily be the result. .CONCORD AND DISCORD.

as tones were discovered by Helmholtz. the E interval being a will major 12 third. having for its vibration number the difference of the vibration It will . . = 4:5. of the frequencies of their components. the latter one which is the sum. and are therefore considered as imperfect concords. as the name implies. termed respectively by Helmholtz Difference Tones and Summation Tones. be only partially divested of the results of interference. 24 28 the first harmonics of 4 be 4 8 ij5 20 32 36 those of 5 51015202530354045 be easily seen that a difference of unity will exist between several. 320 = 64 x 5. They are of two kinds. and 35 and 36. 862. a vibration frequency which is the difference.* 77. The summation Tartini. and the result to a limited extent discordant. The following are those which accompany the ordinary concordant intervals : When Major Octave Fifth Minor third Major Minor sixth sixth Fourth third m ^ * Deschanel's " Natural Philosophy. numbers of the generators. the generators are less than an octave apart. If C of 256 and of 320 vibrations be sounded together. a third tone is produced. The law that oscillatory motions of elastic bodies are the exact sum of the individual motions produced by eacn separate source only holds good where the vibrations are infinitely small if. two simple tones sound loud enough to make the excursions of the particles of air bear a sensible ratio to the wave-length. because it is deeper than either generator. Resultant tones may arise from primary or upper partial tones alike. the 78. Omitting the two primes. these occur between As 256 is = 64 x 4 and 15 and 16. the number of beats per second will be 64. 24 and 25. COMBINATIONAL or RESULTANT TONES occur when two notes are sounded together under certain circumstances. The first are known under the name of the Italian violinist " Terzi suoni " or as Tartini's tones. difference tone is heard with the greatest ease. The former has." p. however. sixth can. however.4O THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC.

. The following is the series for the simple interval : Major Octave Fifth Fourth sixth Major third Minor third Minor sixth -F^- I . however. their generators. 80. moreover. and.SUMMATIONAL TONES. Difference tones and produced in the ear itself. This explanation. and were supposed to result from the coalescence of beats. and only dis- Many of were formerly thought to be subjective. the objective existence of such sounds may be proved by consonant membranes or resonators. does not account for summation tones. tinct on the siren. In the last two cases the summation note is intermediate between those given. DIFFERENTIALS AND UPPER PARTIALS OF INTERVALS. In some cases beats and difference tones can both be heard simultaneously. Beats may occur between resultant tones. The summational tones are weaker.* Octave Fifth Fourth 2:1 /I Major 5 : third 4:3 1* 4 ^> . 47 79. and by their nature always higher than their generators. them are very inharmonic to Fortunately they are very weak.



81. It is by beats and differentials that some consonant intervals are rendered far more precise and definite than others, and are therefore far more valuable for tuning purposes. Even in simple qualities of tone the octave will be seen by the figure to be defended by a differential which beats with the lower element.




only guarded by




the fourth by the same. But when partials as well as differentials come into play the definiteness becomes much more marked.* The octave, besides the differential just named, is The fifth has a second and third guarded by a second partial.


partial in unison, and three, though

two secondary differentials to protect it. quite competent to produce sensible

roughness, even with slight flattening, are far less powerful than the defences of the octave. On the other hand the fifth has a partial dissonance of a third against a fourth partial, though they are at a remote distance, and contain a considerable interval The fourth has a dissonance exactly where the between them.
is strong in its partials. It is essential to the interval that the second and third partials should beat. The only defence which the fourth has is in one of its secondary differentials. The








and major



the fourth, are

only defended by a secondary differential. They all have partial dissonances, but only the sixths have beating partials of equal loudness with those of the fourth. The major third and its inversion have a closer and stronger dissonance than the minor third.


fuller details

Stat'cs," by

and some excellent diagrams see " John Curwen.


Tract on Musical



82. IT has been shown that if any note which may be represented by C be played on a musical instrument it introduces, by the harmonic law, two other allied notes, E and G, the vibrations of which stand to those of the first in the simple ratio of 4 5 6, and form the harmonic triad. Similarly, if G, thus found, be taken as the basis of a triad, it will be followed by B, D 2 bearing should then have the following scale : the same relation. D E B C G C,



3 Iff j 2 Fifth Seventh Eighth First Second Third Intervals V f t the fractions representing the ratios of the vibrations of each note to that next below it. and G, as well as But it is obvious that the spaces between




and B, require filling up. has been sugthe space between gested as the basis of a new triad, but this note gives very complex results. If, however, C 2 be taken as the upper element of a third triad, the two lower members of which would be F and A, we get an A % and an F f with which we can complete the scale of eight notes with the following intervals and vibration numbers, representing that of the foundation note








** ) 83. Here we have three unequal intervals only employed, which are termed respectively, ... ... ... ... f Major tone J Minor tone ... ... ... ... ... ... ... -ff Major semitone ... This forms a sufficient and satisfactory scale for a single But as it is possible to take any other note besides C as the key. foundation of a scale, terming it the key-note, it becomes necessary to interpolate intermediate sounds between those thus found, so as to preserve the same rotation of intervals. These are five in number, situated between the larger intervals, or whole tones. They are not given new names, but termed the FLATS or SHARPS of the sounds between which they lie. It may here be noticed that the difference between the major and minor tones is not without importance. This difference may be obtained by inverting one fraction and multiplying it into
















the other


f X





as this computational interval is termed (see par. 86). Another fractional difference may also be adverted to in this place. The major third from C to E is given above as f and the fifth as f. If these be divided into one another the difference f which is termed a minor third. Now f exceeds f by f^, as above.









thus obtain two semitones of different size, correspond84. ing to the two tones just named. The interpolated flats and sharps may be conveniently tuned to this second interval by


have altering the vibration number in the given proportion. thus the usual twelve notes of the scale termed chromatic, constructed on the simple plan that a note is sharpened by increasing its vibrations in the proportion 25 24, or flattened by diminishing them in the ratio 24 : 25. If all the notes of the simple scale be thus treated we obtain twenty-one to the octave which are of sufficient importance to deserve tabulation.



It will


be observed that E sharp is higher than F flat, and sharp than C flat, but the notes are all really distinguishable. Taking in succession all the other naturals as key-notes, we could construct on each a similar scale of twenty-one, or 141 in all, of which many indeed would be identical, but of which about 100 would remain distinct. This number would therefore be needed if every possible key were to be exact. The various methods of surmounting, or rather compromising, this difficulty are termed TEMPERAMENTS, and will be considered


presently (par. 86).

83 that the harmonic be broken up into two which are intervals, denoted respectively by the fractions f and termed major and minor thirds. These unequally divide the containing fifth, the ratio of which is the product of these fractions, In the major scale given above the major third precedes, or and is followed by the minor. But if they be transposed, and the minor third taken first, we entirely alter the musical character of the scale, and produce an essentially different sensorial or emotional effect whereas the major scale has a cheerful and exciting tendency, the minor, to most if not to all hearers, is melancholy and pathetic. The altered position of the component notes, moreover, still further complicates the constituent ratios, and renders the question of temperament even more arduous. The scale thus formed has the ratios as follows


was shown

in par.

triad, consisting of the ratio

4:5:6, may













in which the alteration of the three notes E, A, and B has been denoted by affixing to them the sign of flattening. Or, without altering the pitch of individual notes, a key-note may be assumed a minor third below that of the corresponding major scale A, for " Rudiments of instance, instead of C, and so on (see Music,"

It will already have become apparent to the reader that there is an obvious lack of arithmetical agreement between the various intervals as represented fractionally. The cause of this lies deep in the nature of numbers, and is well ex-

par. 170-74). 86. TEMPERAMENT.

" It is pressed by Mr. Ellis. impossible," he says, in an appendix to his translation of Helmholtz's work, " to form Octaves by just Fifths or just Thirds, or both combined, or to form just Thirds by

because it is impossible by multiplying any one of the numbers or or 2, each by itself, or one by the other, any number of times, to produce the same result as by multiplying an) other one of these numbers by itself any number of times." The physical fact may be otherwise stated by saying that the octave
iust Fifths,

which enters into full details. The third of the Greek scale was made by four fifths taken upwards. and the other intervals. and of the divisions of the scale. circumference of the simplest way of representing this incommensurability is If the octave be divided into twelve equal semito take a case. is matter of doubt but. The difference or departure is the above figure multiplied by 12. . and . could be divided thus. This old discovery is generally attributed to Pythagoras. it would be a great boon. Equal Temperament aims at dividing the octave into twelve If it so happened that the octave equal parts or semitones. not inherent in any particular system or method.52 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. seven. They do not return to the corresponding octave of the starting note. the Greeks knew of the monochord. that recognised in the ordinary piano and harmonium will be new to many readers for the usual form of keyed instrument is so engraven on our minds that most persons are unaware that any other arrangement exists. one that. Consequently. The . It should be distinctly noted that this discrepancy is a law of nature. and the figure 0-23460 is termed the "Comma" of Pythagoras. entirely beyond man's control. They have chiefly been applied to keyed instruments such as the organ. The attempts to remedy this inherent incommensurability of the musical scale have been numerous and varied. Unfortunately nature has not so ordained it. Temperament may be defined as the division of the octave into a number of intervals such that the notes which separate them may be suitable in number and arrangement for the purposes of The possibility of any other division than practical harmony. fifth and the are incommensurable just as are the diameter and circle. piano. they give rather more than seven octaves. of the ratios to be derived from it. Euclid wrote a work called the " Sectio Canonis. In the same way six major tones exceed an octave by the Pythagorean comma. tones. is certainly the of temperament. at any rate. taking twelve of these fifths. course equal. and is still called a Pythagorean third. some dating back to ancient times. though not the simplest. such as the fifth and third. retained in tune." or the Division of the String. Their varieties may be given best in a tabular form. and which is usually termed 88. or 0-23460 of a semitone. the fifth ought to be seven of these but it was founa out very early in the history of music that a fifth is a little more than It is about 7*01955. 87. or whether he imported it from Egypt. The common instrument has of . its own system oldest. Whether Pythagoras deserves the credit of the discovery. others of very modern construction. 89. and harmonium. where their necessity is most felt.

53 Systems retaining the ordinary keyboard. and should never modulate into forbidden keys. and about 1700 was in universal use. and kept its ground in this country until within the last few years. George's Chapel. It perament had many merits. 90. The b c ordinary keyboard with additional keys. 3.THE SCALE AND TEMPERAMENT. The change from this to the equal temperament is generally supposed to be due to the influence of Bach. The differences of the old and equal systems. Entirely new arrangement of keyboard. the resulting third is depressed a whole comma. This is the rule of the mean-tone system. Additional keyboards.* equitonic system. the most faulty being termed " wolves. a Poole's system. It is so called because its tone is the arithmetic mean between the major and minor tones of the diatonic scale. and some. . Many organs were till lately tuned on this plan. Helmholtz's harmonium with Gueroult's modifications Additional keys and keyboard. take four exact fifths upwards they lead to a third a comma sharper than the perfect third. it to the If we Its principle is as follows. It can be traced back to two Italian authors of the sixteenth century. Zarlino and Salinas. digitals of the concertina. 6. a Unequal or mean-tone temperament. such as that in St. 4. leaving those less needed out of account. c Colin Brown's voice harmonium. adduces some strong evidence to the contrary. Windsor. 2. and coincides with the perfect third." There was a consequent condition in dealing with this tuning that the player should limit himself to a prescribed The temcircle. from which time it spread slowly. b Equal temperament. still remain. 1. H. Alexander Ellis's harmonium. though Mr. Bosanquet. Bosanquet. The ordinary keyboard with combination stops. The The Temple organ. Perronet Thompson's enharmonic organ. Mr. may be seen in a compact form from an abbreviation of Ellis's table as follows : * " An Elementary M." by R. and their respective departures from just intonation. (i. in the work above quoted. b Bosanquet's generalised keyboard. Treatise on Musical Intervals and Temperament. old a Handel's Foundling organ. If then we make each of the four fifths one-fourth of a comma flat. and some organists even now prefer was employed by Handel and his contemporaries. a) The old unequal or MEAN-TONE SYSTEM was an attempt to get the more common scales fairly accurate. 5.


shape.THE SCALE AND TEMPERAMENT. (4) The device of additional keys was. however. which were further distributed on three different keyboards. By this means. Besides the ordinary digitals there were others termed Flutals. carried to its fullest development by Colonel Perronet Thompson in his enharmonic organ. appearance. He used the large number of seventv-two PERRONET THOMPSON'S KEYBOARD. which may still be seen at the South Kensington Museum. though still retaining the ordinary arrangement of the . to the octave. and in name. 55 Ally extended. but which also differed among themselves in colour. Quarrills. and Buttons.

The perfect E. F#. are taken on the front keyboard. A. keyboard. G. A. G. of which he uses about forty. Gp. The chords D. G#. and each possessing five octaves. A. which is on the normal diapason. E. B. but not in the same series. On the lower manual were the scales from CP major to G. Bp. This has always seemed to the writer a practical and simple system. The keyboards are in this case increased to two. Dp of which the fifths C. E. A. on the upper D$ or EP minor. F. D. F. the black keys of the second keyboard represent sharps of a third board which would be tuned a comma lower than the second. D. The same idea has been carried out with slight variation in an instrument shown at South Kensington. C. G#. as in the organ. C#. EP. Considered as flats. D. an error is committed equal to the interval f%f . F. E . On the front keyboard. ES? represents the Dtf of the back. Ftf. but the back keyboard is throughout a comma flatter than the front. G. G. namely Gueroult's modification of Helmholtz's harmonium. They are ot half the usual depth. Bp. for instance. D. A. By thus fusing the flat of one series with the sharp of the other. F. placed one above the other. Cj. EP. F. and on the upper those from Ep major to B major. A. starting from A. The instrument made for Helmholtz was so tuned that all the major chords from F[7 to Fff could be played on it. * In Helmholtz. C. C. E. To modulate beyond B major on one side and Cp major on the other it was necessary to make the enharmonic change between these two notes. the full cycle being discontinued at a certain point. Dp. each divided into twelve semitones. E. Bp. E. The black keys on each keyboard therefore do duty for a flat and a sharp. the following notes are tuned to true fifths. On the back keyboard B. They are both tuned to true fifths. so as to give no beat whatever A. G. B. The minor modes on the lower manual were B or CP minor. A!?. are formed : . chords D. E are also made. C. and Gj are the thirds which give no beat in the perfect chords. so as to obtain twenty-four instead of twelve notes to the octave. E. . (3) The difficulty of adding new sounds without undue mechanical complication has been attacked in a different way by Helmholtz. E. E. F. On the front keyboard. Bp. Bp.56 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. theFjJ. D. B are those previously determined. he was enabled to produce accurately twenty-one scales with a minor to each of them. &c. Cfl. Bp are in succession fixed by taking these notes as true thirds in the perfect chords G. A. He employs the cycle of fifty-three sounds. f^. This instrument has a front and back keyboard. G F. A. A. The fifths D.* which is at the extreme limit of audible differences. which perceptibly alters the pitch by the interval of a comma. of which the following is the maker's own description. B. like that of a piano.

57 sounds on the back keyboard. G. Bb. C. (6) The last class of contrivance for producing true intonation does away with the ordinary form of keyboard altogether. This method. which practically introduce a new principle into musical execution. Saunders. In the six major scales of C. and Bb the third and sixth alone are on the front keyboard. sixth. It is impossible here to give full details of these instruments. D. of G. somewhat simpler method of working Helmholtz's system (5) has been suggested by Mr. A. and seventh The keys are on the back keyboard. The G# or Ab fifth same board. which in transitory modulations is occasionally laborious. Bosanquet's. the third. 93. using for the fifths D. according to the keys employed.THE SCALE AND TEMPERAMENT. Poole's. only B. the vibrators of its name in the sharps. and tuning the thirds without beats. front series of the instrument are damped. of can be played entirely on the back has none. so given key relation is . The C of the back board is determined by so taking it that the resultant tones of the two thirds about it should be free from beats. or in the following series : Back row Front row E # Gb Bb cb G I * A* When no stops are drawn out. the white notes being naturals and the black On pulling out a stop. until the notes speaking are those of the old-fashioned manual. and Colin Brown's forms may be taken as typical representatives of many less perfect devices. F. and carried out by B board. D#. being exactly equal to the tempered fifth. and the corresponding vibrators of the back series come into action. Bb. are played with the sharpened notes on the front board. but communicates with two rows of vibrators tuned according to the method given above. The key-notes of all minor scales are on the back board. Db the fingering is the same. with the Eb of the is not quite true. In all. The key of has thus only B and E on the back board. FJ. F. has the disadvantage of requiring a constant alteration of stops. E. all the others on the front. Between these extremes any required combination of notes can be produced. the two first notes being taken on the back and the third on the front of the front board gives. For the minor scales of A. The D# or Eb of the back keyboard is got by taking it as the true third of the perfect chord B. already found. a which A G A D A A Mr. which entirely removes the difficulties of complex fingering. and board also. the series of tones are arranged diagonally one beyond " that the form of a chord of another. The keyboard is single. Alexander Ellis. The B of the back keyboard forms a true fifth with the F# or Gb of the front. Ab. D. the arrangement is that of the front series. from seven flats to seven sharps.

and is drawn downwards the succeeding series is marked \\. Proceedings of the Musical Association. Bosanquet's notation here used. . p. South Kensington. and the same chord may be struck in different forms according to the view which is taken of its key relationship. was a keyboard which can be employed with reducible to . Where. In the enharmonic harmonium exhibited at the Loan Collection of Scientific Instruments. the fifths of which system differ * f- Bosanquet. which is called a mark of elevation. in the direction of writing and so on. The places of harmonic sevenths are marked by . according to a relation which has been Thus C \E means a perfect called Helmholtz's Theorem. The series below the unmarked series is affected with the mark \. According to Mr. 1876. . cit. The instrument does not appear to have been constructed."* They therefore possess the great advantage of similarity of manipulation. Each note of the next series of twelve fifths up is affected with the mark /. and also the natural or harmonic sevenths. It would appear. Massachusetts. that the new systems are far from difficult to learn by any person who has obtained some experience on the older form of instrument. This series is unmarked. Bosanquet's work (see p. however. but it is described in Silliman's Journal for July 1867. 45. p.f (b) BOSANQUET'S GENERALISED KEYBOARD. 14. op. facing). W. (a) The first attempt in this direction was made by H. The next series has the mark //. as in Poole's keyboard. same in every key. circles ( O ). and so on. The arrangement of keys is best given by a diagram extracted from Mr. 1874-75. there all systems of tuning successions of uniform fifths from this property it has been called the generalised keyboard. 59. But the notes are not all symmetrical. and the scale to consist of just fifths and thirds in the major chords. U. which is called a mark of depression. These are actually applied in the instrument in question to the division of the octave into fifty-three equal intervals. third \E \GJ is also a perfect third (chord of dominant of \A minor). although this is quite different from that ordinarily taught. they are here represented by the note eight fifths distant in the series this is a close approximation to the perfect third.S. It contains the standard C. of South Danvers. It will be convenient to consider it first with reference to perfect fifths. perfect thirds are tuned independently of the fifths. Poole.58 the THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. and is drawn upwards in the direction of writing. contains twelve fifths from F up to B. notes Each series are arranged in series in order of successive fifths. . His organ was intended to contain 100 pipes to the octave.

positions .THE SCALE AND TEMPERAMENT. from perfect fifths by less than the thousandth part of an equal is temperament semitone. The letters E. LLl LU LU Q O O = O O the twelfth part of an octave. T. are used as an abbreviation for the words " equal temperament. It will be remembered that the equal temperament semitone O CO CD ^00 O O =* O U. u. u." The arrangement of the keyboard is based upon E. T.

The deviations from the same level follow the series of fifths in their steps of increase. till we come to /C. than the C from which . The mean-tone system is the old unequal temperament. T. facing." (London Macmillan. notes lower down lower in pitch. H. the third determined by two notes eight steps apart in the series of fifths (C \E) is an approximately perfect third. or what the names of the notes are. and deviations or departures from those Thus the notes nearly on any positions taken up and down. (See diagram. and with the same colours. T. John's College. Oxford. also of an Enharmonic Organ exhibited to the Musical Association of London. this note is placed three inches further back. In these the third. as particular cases. than C twice as much. and the backs left. a simplification which gives the beginner one thing to learn. Consequently a chord of given arrangement has always the same form under the finger and. taken from left to right. May 1875. whereas there are twelve . The unmarked naturals in the diagram present the scale of C when the mean-tone system is placed on the keys. with an account of an Enharmonic Harmonium exhibited in the Loan Collection of Scientific Instruments. level are near in pitch to the notes of an E. by R. With the system on the ordinary keyboard. With the same system. scale passages as well as chords have the same form to the hand in whatever key they are played. 1876. The principal practical simplification which exists in this keyboard arises from its arrangement being strictly according to intervals. M Bosanquet. From this it follows that the position relation of any two notes forming a given interval is always exactly the same it does not matter what the key relationship is. fingering is remarkably easy.) The keyboard has been explained above with reference to the system of perfect fifths and allied systems but there is another class of systems to which it has special applicability. Thus is placed one-fourth of an inch further back. we started. divisions.) * "An : .6O THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. series notes higher up are higher in pitch . the note to which we return after twelve fifths up . The octave is divided from left to right into the twelve E. South Kensington. and so on. and one-twelfth of an inch higher. G . With the system of fifty-three the state of things is very nearly the same as with the system of perfect fifths.* For further details on this important subject readers are referred to Elementary Treatise on Musical Intervals and Temperament. 1876. Fellow of St. by tuning four fifths up. in the same way. made the mean-tone and its kindred systems. as if the broad fronts of the keys of an ordinary keyboard were removed. three times. and the . D A of perfect fifths the interval C /C is a Pythagorean comma. is perfect or approximately perfect. and one inch higher. . The defects of that arrangement are got rid of by the new keyboard.

b ' e\> b M _\c v r i p2-. I le ' ^ ^ ia 1C 1C \e \d \c \C OSANQUET'S GENERALISED KEYBOARD. .ELEVATION. PLAN. n '& ' ' en ^ ' ' 1C a b /.

From white to coloured. The round digital is related to the coloured which succeeds it as 15 16. and seventh by the coloured. and supplies the sharpened sixth in the relative minor of C . is related to that in the key of C as 8 : 9. sixth. 4. The from left being the central key. the diatonic semitone. of which those belonging to four related keys. being the imperfect chromatic semitone. two scale are played by the round digitals. are white those belonging to three related keys. : From white coloured to white. or coloured to coloured.62 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. so in all keys similarly related. The scale to be played is always found in direct line horizontally between the key-notes marked on the fingerboard. from \Ct? in the front to /CJ at the back. and fifth tones of the scale are played by the white digitals. say from the first to second and fourth to fifth of the scale. i. and from coloured to coloured. and consequently the progression of fingering the scale is identical in every key. are coloured or the major seventh of the minor scale. From white to coloured is always the minor tone. but the digitals may be touched at any point.) COLIN BROWN'S NATURAL FINGERBOARD WITH PERFECT INTONATION. 8 9. all keys. and from the fifth to the sixth of the scale. 6. 9 10. and representing 7. 15 16. C keys. Looking across the fingerboard at the digitals endwise. From coloured to white. from the end of each white digital to the end of each coloured im: From : : : : . 15 16. Playing the scale in each key the following relations appear (see diagram opposite) : digital to white. being from the second to the third. second. the small round digitals represent 7 minor. The sharpened sixth and seventh of the modern minor The round digital. The digitals consist of three separate sets. is always the major tone. being from the third to the fourth. . From white to white. the third. (. and from the seventh to the eighth of the scale. The keys are at right angles to the scales. 9 10. 5. removes to the left as in the key of B flat. This fingerboard can be made to consist of any number of scales run in the usual order in direct line horizontally to right along the fingerboard. These are the same in . and to the white which precedes it as 25 : 24. or from the sixth to the seventh of the scale. The order of succession is always the same. fourth. 3. and run vertically across the keyboard. The first. representing the notes 2. the relation is always 8 : 9.

as Cfr> c > C> c $> Of So with every other line.It will be observed that each line of digitals across the fingerboard bears one generic name. .

Though these are not essential. in the key of C and so in relation to every other chromatic sharp tone. higher levels at each end. This causes separate levels on the fingerboard at each change of colour. . such as the black digitals on the ordinary keyboard. perfectly and conveniently supplied without encumbering the fingerboard with any extra digitals. \C. different keys. would supply the scale in every form the most exacting musician could desire. of key. and serve readily to distinguish the digitals rise to The chroma and comma. Between to G : enharmonic changes. 8 9. the white. the difference being 37. . These simple intervals and differences. 80 all : 81.805. or the flat flat tone seventh in the key of C so in relation to every other chromatic In this way all chromatic sharp and flat tones are flat tone. 9 : 10 and 15 : 16. or F sharp. . The tuning is remarkably easy. The larger 24 25. is found between every enharmonic change of key. in direct line. The " comma of Pythagoras. differing by or comma and chroma. A. 128 135. as from *Cb to / B. according to its range. comprise all the mathematical and musical relations of the scale.64 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. the . and 32. G#. FJ. simple as it is perfect. E. or twelve removes composed of so many of 8 : 9. and a comma higher. and as in perfect intonation. thus the seventh in the key of G is the sharpened fourth. These secondary keys are more than appear at the first inspecA series of round digitals placed upon tion of the fingerboard.768 32. 15 : 16. \F. 9 : 10. and DJf. |\Bt?. they will be found very useful in manipulation. or the chromatic semitone and from the end of each coloured digital to the white immediately above it. C#. additional to those placed upon the coloured digitals. and the borrowed. can all be played both as major and as perfect tonic minors. digital always represents the seventh in its own key. \D. While all the major keys upon the fingerboard. the following. : mediately above it. the interval of the schisma always occurs. 32. the relation is always 128 135. in direct line. in every other.805. \G. B. have relative minors. : : : intervals of the scale are added together. The two long digitals in each key are touched with great The lower end of each coloured convenience by the thumb.768 : : 32. such as between A flat 404^ sharp 405. or chromatic sharp tone. The white digital is to every coloured digital as its chromatic thus the fourth in the key of F is B flat. but it is a question if such extreme extensions are either necessary or in true key relation. the scale in each key borrowing from those related to it every possible chromatic tone in its own place. alternately. comma is found. 80 81." being a comma and schisma added together.

however. and ii. in which the superiority 94. which already exist on all of them. the alto being almost always disfigured replaced by a second tenor. Those actually in use can therefore be tuned accurately. Unfortunately To this is exactly where it has been most thoroughly neglected. London.THE SCALE AND TEMPERAMENT. The writer has himself directed the construction of a clarinet and bassoon which. at most. the result particular chord or modulation. three forms of which are commonly used in the orchestra. without any appreciable increase of mechanism. 8. There is no insuperable obstacle in the way of their all being so manufactured and tuned as to give at least the principal enharmonic differences. and bassoons. a certain degree it is instinctively and unconsciously produced the stringed instruments having the power of modifying their notes accurately by ear according to the requirements of a Even here. even to themselves. clarinets. It is much to be regretted that the natural and perfect quartett formed by the slide bass trombones should be so much trumpet. and.* ADAPTATION OF TRUE INTONATION TO THE ORCHESTRA. and in which it could be most easily attained. Flutes. There can be no doubt that the place of true over tempered intonation is most felt. and a duplicate note provided in case of sudden and temporary modulations. Glasgow. Warwick Lane. the wind-instrument department this power is limited to the slide trombones. and Bridewell Place. published by Messrs. the bass often omitted or transferred to the euphonium. William Collins. and Co. tenor. are rarely in tune at all. . is the orchestra. seems to have been made towards true intonation. from the fact that it is rarely if ever required to play in high flat or sharp keys. and the inimitable trumpet spoiled by the But beyond these two types no endeavour whatever cornet. a number more than sufficient to provide for all the commatic differences involved." parts 5. But in is marred by the erroneous practice of many violinists. oboes. 65 is not more to be ship. lends itself particularly well to such an arrangement. The clarinet. and the Tonic Solfa Agency. present a feeble approach to equal temperament. and without the slightest alteration of the system of fingering usually adopted. and whether simplicity in the fingerboard desired than any multiplication of keys which involve complexity and confusion. as made and supplied to their respective players. G full description of the voice harmonium may be found in the speciThe principles upon which it is constructed and tuned will fication for patent. be found fully stated in " Music in Things. Sons.. can be made to give nineteen notes to the octave. E. by utilising duplicate fingerings for the same note. alto. E .G. and the corresponding trumpet. and at the present day.. " A Common New Bridge Street.

with a perfection of intonation limited * Proceedings of the Musical Association. . the"altera" comma valve tion theoretically required in the third or being so small as to be inappreciable. or any equally good notation. major or minor. H. which he terms the " teleophonic instrument. such as that of Mr. and the modified notes marked into the band parts according to Mr. the instrument being held By the use. third valve raises the pitch of any note produced on the first valve by the interval of a comma."* He first constructed a valve trumpet in which these faults of In it the first and second valves intonation should be avoided. with a mark of fully elevation or depression. or. and distinctive quality of tone of the different crooks. the slide. This valve is worked by the forefinger of the left hand. The unfortunate practice of transposing parts written in widely different keys. and subdominant keys.C. in what he terms the COMMA and TELEOPHONIC trumpets. in other words. show. a largely increased volume of tone in proportion to the instrumental resources employed. 140. " In his second. remain as usual that is to say they lower the pitch by the interThe vals of a major tone and a diatonic semitone respectively. greatly increases these errors. difficult. Colin Brown. An excellent adaptation of the enharmonic principle to brass valved instruments has been devised by Mr. however. 1876-77. thus keeping the power of adjusting each note to accurate intonation but he adds a single valve tuned in unison with the open D.66 It is. according to their specific key relationship. . Bassett. This system ot valves." says Mr. the first and third valves together lower the pitch a minor tone. dominant. essential that the present music should be caregone over in score by a competent harmonist. or harmonic ninth in other words. it is possible to produce a complete scale. p. so as to use only one or two crooks.of this single valve and exactly in the usual manner. . Bosanquet's. separately or together. In all instruments furnished with the ordinary valves there are great " It is not " to faults in intonation. by calculation from the varying lengths of tube brought into action by the valves. with the advantage of having only two valve slides to tune when changing the crook. he retains the original slide. F.S. besides sacrificing the benefit of the natural intervals.. THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. that many of the intervals resulting from their combination are not in accordance with the just or tempered scales. enables the player to produce a practically perfect diatonic scale in the tonic. lowering the pitch a minor tone. Bassett. namely. which is also applicable to the French horn. An orchestra in which perfect intonation were thus secured would instantly obtain what is very obvious in listening to keyboard instruments of correct scale.

although his careful solicitude has been occasionally misrepresented and received with resentment. no standard of pitch is referred to. little 95. there being a standard tuning-fork beside the conductor's desk. and practical. including the low A flat and E flat on the higher crooks. in our country at least. on arriving. playing should have hitherto attracted comparatively that the first bars of the performance disclose the incompleteness of the adjustment. it is highly important that errors due to variation of pitch from temperature should be more minutely studied in actual performThe views of the writer ance than has been hitherto done. In a physiological point of view it is important to notice that there is considerable difference in even cultivated ears as to the some being much more appreciation of minute shades of pitch sensitive than others many" possessing a personal peculiarity " similar to what is termed in astronomical personal error . the various instruments have not had time to attain the temperature of the room. when many players arrive at the same time. and it deserves consideration under a threefold aspect physiological. One of Dr. The chief boast of the Conservatoire band in Paris is the premier coup d'archet. but it greatly facilitates transposition and rapid passages. takes it for granted that the band is in tune. this important preparative is usually left to the last moment. to which each player is expected to accommodate himself. von Billow's many merits is attention to this detail. 67 only by the skill of the player. instinctive act of every player on entering the concert-room is to try the pitch of his instrument by touching a few notes at random with this. and the noise itself tends to force them for the moment into an apparent agreement. ON TUNING tral AN ORCHESTRA. each of whom performs some familiar flourish fortis- simo. . . The delicacy of the ear is overwhelmed with discordant notes. and simultaneously with his neighbours.THE SCALE AND TEMPERAMENT. and it is often only after a considerable interval that the united forces shake down into complete accuracy and its consequent sonorousness. It is singular that this essential preliminary to correct orches- No doubt the first and almost notice. he too often rests satisfied. and the result is . The valve not only supplies those notes which are false or entirely wanting on the ordinary slide trumpet. however. The matter is not quite so simple as it at first sight appears. mechanical. In addition to devices for increasing the accuracy of the scale. which The ceases directly they play independently of one another. conductor. Moreover. Abroad a better custom prevails. cannot be stated more explicitly than by the reproduction of an article originally contributed to the Concordia journal. . 96.

If two notes be struck at nearly the same time. by virtue of which they adopt slightly different estimates of concord or even of unison. there exists a similar phenomenon in the ear as in the eye. might with advantage be imitated. according to the state It is not therefore uncommon to find a of the lip-muscles. He informs me that if two pianos of different quality be accurately tuned in unison by means of beats and placed side by side in a room. its pitch is susceptible of great variation. will declare the softer-toned instrument to be the flatter of the two. except pianoforte or organ tuners. I was myself surprised at the amount of tolerance in making some observations. a player is almost No doubt this is one certain to tune to the sharper of the two. namely by the beats or interferences but what musicians. being the best for the purpose. have indeed a means of correcting it in the former case which we have not in the latter. and has necessitated the enforced adoption of a lower diapason. which was marked when both were compared with a tuning-fork held to the ear. Sharp notes. even the most practised musician. and are often difficult to distinguish except by exaggeration. from extended experiments. observation. of placing a listener in a remote part of the building to guide the tuner. right handed down from ancient times of tuning the band. ever employ these ? Corresponding shades of sharpness and flatness elude even this test.* Slight dissonances are more audible at a distance than in their immediate neighbourhood. The oboe has the prescriptive This. player give at the outset a tuning note much sharper than that he We . did not strike it painfully when unassisted by the unvarying standard. This tolerance of discord increases enormously when instruments of very different timbre or quality are compared. depends on the fact that in Handel's days it was almost But it is far from the only wind instrument extensively used.68 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC. that colleagues. In a mechanical light there is some difficulty in establishing an invariable standard of pitch. Like all double-reed instruments. for houses instance. moreover. * A . which I communicated to a musical periodical last year. respecting the so-called French pitch at the two operathe difference between the oboe and clarinet. Hipkins. 97. no doubt. and indicates that he will note the transit of a star over the wires of the telescope. by an appreciable interval before or after another of his I have little doubt. : nished remarkable confirmation e converse of the statement here made is furme by Mr. In great observatories a figure is set against the name of each observer which is tolerably constant. on trying them consecutively. or even the beat of a clock. great cause of the constant tendency to sharpen which is the plague of our modern orchestras. In this respect the plan adopted by organ-builders. have a predominant power over the ear.

Players often show great unwillingness to tune down their clariapparently not knowing that warmth mainly affects the upper parts of the bore. Consequently. and that a slight lengthening of a warm instrument improves its accuracy. . and particularly of the clarinets. is most noticeable principally on account of the rise of the wind. cold weather I have found the difference in the flat clarinet to amount to a whole semitone. . rise in pitch and would cypher much less than damp . 1874). which communicate almost directly with the outer air. 69 afterwards plays to. It is in pianoforte concertos that this defect of the wood-wind. at the beginning of a performance. and thus makes it disagree with itself. which is the only method of tuning open to it. or.the passage of an electric current. The organ is not devoid of the same source of error. and unwieldy organ at Exeter Hall. and may continue to sharpen for a whole evenIf the pitch is to be taken from any orchestral instrument. I have commented elsewhere (Transactions of the Physical Society. on the ground of its inability to alter but it should be well warmed first and closely watched afterwards to counteract the tendency to sharpen. The clarinet is infinitely less easy to tune to various pitches on account of its single reed. the ceiling by means of a large air trunk or wind sail. is fed by wind from the cold stone corridors and staircases below it. Few organ-builders.THE SCALE AND TEMPERAMENT. for instance. tells more upon " the " throat notes than on other parts of its scale. The large. On this fall in pitch of stretched metal strings under heat. I think the one chosen ought to be the clarinet. Besides this. whose undulations are calculably different from those in the rarefied medium attention to this fact. but also a little from the sinking of the metal strings of the piano by dilatation with heat. . ing. when the air of the room itself is well heated and dried by the abundant gas in the roof. contra-fagotti. A 98. Willis and Mr. the very defective ventilation of the room would be improved. ciate the extent of this rise. the organ is very flat. with the notable exceptions of Mr. flat. it the organ would in now does weather. pay sufficient nets. and the bellows made to draw their wind from the hot dry air near in which the and expiring. Lewis. clarinets. and from the fact that a slight pulling in and out of the mouthpiece socket. even to the extent of a quarter tone. The brass instruments and metal flutes rapidly cool again and sink to their but the solid wood of the clarinet and wooden original pitch flute retains heat. much of the tendency to sharpen orchestral pitch is due. no doubt. and others are breathing If all external apertures at the back were shut. On the other hand it rises with In very the warmth of the breath more than any instrument. as it is drawing a denser supply from below and outside. Players seem hardly to appre- B To this fact also. diapason pipe fed with cold and hot air varies very considerably.

standard of pitch should possess not only the A. were pitch obliged to meet the difficulty by having as many as four successive In less than a month I found slices hacked off their new outfit. in part. this being fixed. If the perfect fifth of D. such as the contrafoolishly sharp pitch to is the latter . the pitch as high as it had formerly been. the middle string of the double-basses. This. which is well known from electrical experito alter its molecular condition very slightly for a given increment of heat. to the fact that long and special training of the ear is required to enable it to realise small differences in very grave notes. though producing a poor musical note. whether strings or wind and the like German ments . especially if made of a metal my silver. instead of putting on a full set of stouter strings in proportion to the diminished rate of vibration. The thinness of the tone and the facility " with which " beats are produced. usually employed. as a rule. very unpleasant to practised players. attacked as being flat. are in the case before us converted into advantages. This latter I consider on the whole a better note to tune to than A. The most for their pitch . I have never yet known a case where the double-basses were called to account and yet. All instruments should tune to open notes. The basses simply slackened their ordinary thin strings. In all orchestral tuning the double-basses require an attention which they have not yet received. but the more serious cause of discord. and in a few minutes they were up to their discarded the treble instruments. ludicrous case of this kind occurred in the late futile attempt to I am not aware that any introduce French pitch at the operas. is in opinion a free reed. bass trombone and the drums the former is namely the usually in the hands of a military player. is very little affected by changes of temperature. Two other instruments are commonly responsible for sharpness of the bass. brilliant string. though aesthetical defects. The D is. as used in our English orchestras and. A be sounded together. they tune sharp. but several others notably the D in the bass. 99. They appear to have an immunity from rule or censure. however. . accustomed to the . although an expensive and very bad set of wind instruments was procured from abroad. a fourth on either side is more easily found than if two such intervals are built up from the lowest and least . certainly it is so for the bass instruments. G . This is due. even the fiddles will hardly be able to tune sharp. The best standard of pitch. moreover. in most of which fourstring double-basses and other instruments. owing to the marked dissonance which accompanies any augmentation of that interval. change was made in the double-basses. Of course the bow transmitted an instinctive sense of lessened tension. which our Guards band have risen. According to the arrangement of modern English orchestras.70 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF MUSIC.

during per. like inaccurate tuning of the double-basses. by means of a clumsy mechanism of key and screws. the kettledrummer should always be provided with a third. but by bringing the sharper instruments slightly down to a medium pitch . and sometimes even with a An octave of sixteen-foot reeds. that the note they give is very complex. for comparison. 100. and. it is A free reed would greatly under the influence of temperature. The process. simple harmonium. should not be carried on by compelling all to tune up to the sharpest. the kettledrum stands alone in possessing two. in the form of a fourth. which is ruining our voices. notes of this octave. it requires great tact and experience to keep them even moderately near the proper note. is very difficult to localise by the unassisted ear. this would obviate the constant need for cutting instruments to pieces which is now felt. The strings have. and they are still more commonly overlooked at the outset. . When these are correct the effect is very fine but many of our English copper-made drums are so deep in the kettle. lastly. except as regards open notes. or at most three. and prevent the . and so proceed upwards. moreover. of course. to sharps. of sixteen-foot tone. The note of even the best tuning-fork is so feeble and evanescent that it is not fitted for the noise and bustle of the concert-room. placed within his reach. . drum. but which. Jl fagotto. The comparison of pitch should not be limited to a few treble instruments. at which time the wind instruments should as a rule flatten somewhat in the opposite change from sharps to flats the natural tendency to rise is sufficient.THE SCALE AND TEMPERAMENT. The tendency to tune a shade sharp is more marked with drums than even with double-basses. and rendering much classical music impossible to all but singers of rare and exceptional organisation. a tuning-fork. that on the occurrence of sudden enharmonic changes from flat to sharp keys the necessary difference of pitch is often only gradually and imper- It principally occurs in the change from flats fectly arrived at. One other point requires notice. A great deal might be accomplished by very simple means if conductors would consider it their duty to run through the principal instruments one by one against a trustworthy standard. Where great changes of key occur. steady tendency to sharpen. formance. would often prevent a mysterious but very painful wolfing. the matter in their own power. if possible. and so large in the head. be far better. are ignored. more resembling a gong or a bell than an orchestral instrument and as the drummer has to change their pitch frequently. but should begin with drums and double-basses. which we have all at times noticed. but that not.

DONKIN. " Sensations of Tone (Ellis's " translation). ELLIS'S papers in the Athenceum and Journal of the Society of Arts." " Manuel du Physicien Preparateur. GANOT. Elementary Treatise on Musical Intervals and Temperament. " " Natural Philosophy" (Everitt's translation). On Sound. " Historical Notes on. "A Tract on Musical Statics. 1874-77." " HELMHOLTZ." LORD RAYLEIGH. " On Sound and Music." NOVELLO'S Music Primers. TYNDALL." " An BOSANQUET.APPENDIX." STAINER and BARRETT'S " Dictionary of Musical Terms." HAUGHTON. " Natural Philosophy Popularly Explained. . " Theory of Sound. Proceedings of the Royal Society. SEDLEY TAYLOR. Nature." " Acoustics. DESCHANEL. " IN THIS PRIMER." PICKERING'S " Physical Manipulation. Physics. On Sound and Atmospheric " History of Music.the Great Bell and other Bells in Erfurt Cathedral." PERRONET THOMPSON. WORKS CITED OR REFERRED TO AIRY. " On Just Intonation. 1874." GLEITZ. November i. 1877." CHAPPELL." Vibrations. April 1877. Proceedings of the Musical Association." COLIN BROWN. " Music in Common Things." Transactions of the Physical Society." JOHN CURWEN." GUILLEMIN'S " Forces of Nature.



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