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Symmetrical Movement Concept


Introduction: Balance
Weliveinaworldofimmensebeauty.Thereareamultitudeofformswithcountlessvariationsonsimple
themes.Iwanttospeakhereaboutbalanceandmakesomecommentsabouthowbalancecanbeachieved
musically.Therearecountlesswaysthatarchitecturalbalancecanbemusicallyachievedfromthemicroto
macrolevel.Sinceattentiontodetailhasalwaysbeenanimportantfactorforme,andthesethingsarenot
usuallydiscussed,Iwouldliketoinitiatesomedialogonthissubject.Themostobviouskindsofbalancethat
cometomindarethevariousformsofsymmetry(i.e.bilateral,etc.)thatcanbeappliedmusically,using
intuitiveandlogicalmethods.Symmetryisafactofnatureandoneoftheoldestfascinationsofhumanity.
Someofthemoreobviouswaysinwhichsymmetricalmusicalbalancecouldberealizedarethroughmelody,
rhythm,tonality,form,harmonyandinstrumentation.Aswellasthestructuralconsiderationsofsymmetrical
musicalformsIwillalsodiscussthesestructuresfromadynamicpointofview,i.e.astheyprogressthrough
time.

Melodic material generated by symmetrically derived laws of motion


Thistheorywasoriginallyamelodictheory.InameditSymmetrybecausethemotionofthemelodiesinvolves
anexpansionandcontractionoftonesaroundanaxistoneoraxistones(i.e.aroundacenterpoint).The
expansionandcontractioninvolvedisalmostalwaysequalonbothsidesoftheaxis,hencethetermSymmetry.
Thisisbasicallyamelodicsystemthatobeysitsownlawsofmotion.Itmovesaccordingtothegravityofthis
motionmorethananythingelsebutitcanalsobeadaptedtodealwiththegravityofothertypesoftonality
suchascellsorthetraditionaldominanttonicharmonicsystem.WhenIfirststarteddealingwithsymmetryI
onlydealtwiththelawsofmotionproducedbythesystemwithoutanyregardforothertypesoftonality.This
ishowIwouldsuggestotherstolearnthesystemtogetafeelforthinkingintheseterms.Alsoacomplete
knowledgeofintervalsandtheirrelationships(alwaysthinkingintermsofsemitones)wouldbeextremely
helpful.
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Ibeganbywritingsymmetricalexercisesformyself.ThenIpracticedtheseexercisestogetmyfingersand
earsusedtomovingandhearingtheseideas.ItwasonlyafterdoingthisthatIpracticedimprovisingwithin
thesestructuresplayingatfirstinanopenmanner(notbasedonanyoutsidestructuresuchasasong).LaterI
adaptedtheseimprovisationstostructuresandforms.Ididthisbyslowlyintegratingtheideaswiththemore
traditionalimprovisationalstyleIwasalreadyplaying.Mygoalwasnottoplayinatotallysymmetricalstyle(as
thiswouldbeasboringasplayingallmajorscales)buttointegratethestyleandgivemyselfmoreoptions
whenIimprovise.

ThebasicsysteminvolveswhatIcalltwospirals.Theyaretonesthatmoveoutequallyinhalfstepsfroman
axis(whichisalwaysatleasttwotones).

IftheaxisofthefirstspiralisthetwotoneCCunison(oneoctaveabovemiddleC,itcouldbeinanyoctave)
thenfromthatunisonC,youmoveout(spiralout)eachtoneinadifferentdirectioninhalfsteps,i.e.CC,then
BonthebottomandCsharponthetopBflatonbottomandDontopAonbottomandDsharpontopA
flatonbottomandEontopGonbottomandFontopGflatonbottomandFsharpontop(atthispointyou
areatthebeginningofthespiralagain,orthesymmetricalmirrorimageofthespiral)FonbottomandGon
topEonbottomandGsharpontopEflatonbottom,AontopDonbottomandAsharpontopDflaton
bottomandBontopConbottomandContop(thisisyourstartingpointoneoctaveaboveandoneoctave
belowyouroriginaltones).Yourethinkingtwotonesatatimeandtheyrespiralingouttogether.ThisIcall
spiralnumberone.

AsyouspiraloutfromCC(theaxis)andyouthinkoftheintervalbetweenthetonesthenCtoCisaunison.
ThenexttonesinthespiralareBandCsharp,theintervalbetweenBandCsharpisamajorsecond.Nextin
thespiralisBflatonbottomandDontop,thatsamajorthird.ThenAonbottomandDsharpontop,thats
anaugmentedfourthoratritone.Continuing,AflatonbottomandEontop,thatsanaugmentedfifth(could
alsobethoughtofasaminorsixth).ThenGonbottomandFontopisaminorseventh.ThenexttonesareG
flatonbottomandFsharpontop,thesetonesareanoctaveapartandarereallythesameasthebeginningof
thespiral.Allsymmetryhastwoaxisandinthissystemtheyarealwaysatritoneapartfromeachother,more
onthislater.AsyoukeepspiralingoutuntilyoureachthetwoCstwooctavesaparttheimportantthingabout
thespiralisnotthetonesthemselves,buttheintervalsbetweeneachofthetonesasyouspiralouteachhalf
step.Itistheseresultingintervalsthatareformedinspiralnumberone(Unison,Maj2nd,Maj3rd,Tritone,min
6thandmin7th)thatIcallSymmetricalIntervals(seeexample1).Thisisimportanttorememberasitforms
thefoundationforthelawsofmelodicmotion.NotethatbeginningwiththetonesGflatonbottomandFsharp
ontop,theintervalsofthespiralrepeatthemselvesifyouperformoctavereductionontheintervals.

Example 1 [Spiral # 1]

Inspiralnumbertwo,youhavetwodifferenttonesastheaxisstartingpointinsteadofaunison.InsteadofCC
astheaxis,youhaveCandDflattogetherastheaxis(CisunderDflat).Andthenyouspiraloutthesameas
youdidinspiralnumberone.Sotobeginwith,youhavetheCandtheDflatrightabove,thenBonbottom
andDontopthenBflatonbottomandEflatontopAonbottomandEontopAflatonbottomandFon
topGonbottomandFsharpontopGflatonbottomandGontop(thebeginningofthespiral)Fonbottom
andAflatontop,EonbottomandAontopEflatonbottomandBflatontopDonbottomandBontopDb
onbottomandContopfinallyConbottomandDbontop.Soagainyourespiralingupinhalfstepsbut
youregettingcompletelydifferentintervalsbetweenthetonesinthespiral.Tostartoff,youhavetheminor
secondbetweentheCandtheDflat.WhenyouspiraloutwiththeBonthebottomandtheDontop,you
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havetheintervaloftheminorthirdwithanBflatonthebottomandEflatonthetoptheintervalisaperfect
fourth.WithanAonthebottomandanEontoptheintervalisaperfectfifth.AflatonthebottomandFon
thetopproducesamajorsixth.GonthebottomandFsharpontop,amajorsevenththentheaxisagain,etc.
andyoujustkeepspiralingout.Again,itsnotthetonesthatareimportantinspiralnumbertwobutthe
intervalsbetweenthetoneswhichareformedasyouspiralout.Theseintervalsformedinspiralnumbertwo
areadifferentsetfromtheintervalsformedinspiralnumberone,asamatteroffacttheyarealltheintervals
missingfromspiralnumberone.Icalltheintervalsinspiralnumbertwo(min2nd,min3rd,Perfect4th,Perfect
5th,Maj6thandMaj7th)NonSymmetricalIntervals(seeexample2).

Example 2 [Spiral # 2]

Thebasisofthelawsofmovementareasfollows.Thinkingmonophonicallyifyouhaveaninitialtonewhich
youmentallyconsidertobetheaxis,whenyoumoveinonedirectionfromthisaxisthengenerallyyoumust
movethesamedistanceintheoppositedirectionfromthatsameaxis.Forexample,youplayaC,thenthe
nexttoneyouplayisaDabovetheC,whichisamajorsecondawayfromC,thenthefollowingtoneyoumust
playisthetoneamajorsecondbelowC,whichwouldbeBflat.Inotherwords,forthesamedistancethatyou
movedaboveCyoumustplaythetonethatisthatsamedistancebelowC(seeexample3measure1beats
1and2,intheseexamplestheaxisarecircled).ActuallyitdoesntmatterwhethertheDisaboveorbelowthe
Caslongasyourememberwhichdirectionyoumovedtogettothefirsttone,sothatyoumoveinthe
oppositedirection(thesamedistance)toreachthesecondtone(seeexample3measure1beats3and4).
Obviously,youmustknowyourintervalsverywelltothinklikethisquicklyinanimprovisationalcontext.For
anotherexampleifyouplayedGandconsidertheGasanaxisandthenplayBflatasyournexttone,thenthe
followingtoneyouplaymustbeE.WithGbeingtheaxis,BflatisaminorthirdaboveGandEisaminorthird
belowG(seeexample3measure2beats1and2).NowyoudonothavetoplaytheEaminorthirdbelow
G,youcouldplaytheEortheBflatinanyoctave.ButyouneedtobethinkingintermsofGbeingtheaxisand
theothertonessurroundingtheaxis(seeexample3measure2beats3and4).

OneoftheexceptionstothisruleiswhentheintervalthatyouplayisoneoftheSymmetricalIntervalsinspiral
numberone,thoseintervalsbeingamajorsecond,majorthird,tritone,minorsixth,minorseventh,octaveetc.
Thenyoudonthavetomaketheequalmovementintheoppositedirection.Youcanchoseto,butyoudont
haveto.ForexampleifyouplaythetoneCastheaxis,andtheyouplaythetoneD,youdontnecessarilyhave
toplayBflatafterthat.Youcouldpickanytoneatthatpoint.ButifyouplayoneoftheNonSymmetrical
Intervalsinspiralnumbertwo,forexample,axisCtothetoneF(anintervalofaperfectfourth),thenyoumust
playaGafterthat,accordingtotheselawsofmovement(actuallyitwouldbemoreaccuratetosaythatafter
playingthetoneFyoumustthencompletethesymmetricalmotion,moreonthisbelow).Inthisexamplethe
toneGcanbeinanyoctave,butyouneedtoplayaGbecauseFisaperfectfourthaboveCandGisthe
perfectfourthbelowC(seeexample3measure3).

Example 3

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Therearemanyvariationstotheabovelawsofmovementthatarestillconsideredsymmetricalmovements
accordingtothistheory.Forexample,insteadofmovingawayfromanaxisyoucandothereverseandmove
towardsanaxis.YoucanplaythetoneF,thenthetoneG,andthenplaytheaxistoneC(seeexample3
measure4beats1and2).Oryoucouldthinkoftheaxisastwotonesfurtherapartthanaunisonoraminor
2nd(actually,tobetechnicallycorrect,evenwhenitseemslikethereisonlyaonetonecenterallaxisaretwo
tonesasintheinitialaxisofspiralsoneandtwo,andtheyarealleitheraunisonoraminorsecondasin
examples1and2).SoyoucouldinitiallyplayCandEflat.Now,logically,youmightthinkthatthenexttone
youhavetoplayisA,becauseifCistheaxisandiftheEflatisaminorthirdaboveCthenyouwouldthink
youhavetoplayanAbecauseAisaminorthirdbelowtheaxistoneC.ButyoucanplayCandEflatandthen
playBandEnatural!ThisisbecauseyoucanthinkoftheCandEflattogetherasanaxis.Thenyoucan
expandoutahalfsteponeithersideofthisaxisandplayBandEnatural(thetrueaxisinthissituationarethe
tonesDflat/DorG/Aflat).ThismovementwouldstillbewithintherulesbecausementallyyoureusingCand
Eflattogetherasanaxis(seeexample3measure4beats3and4).Sotherearemanyvariations
dependingonwhatyoumentallythinkofastheaxis.Somesamplesymmetricalmovementsarelistedin
example4,tryandfollowthelogicofthemovements.Example5isasymmetricalmelodywhichconnects
differentmovementlogicsinoneidea,demonstratinghowthemovementlawscanflowtogether.Thecircles
willgiveyousomehintsonwheretolookfortheaxis.Thisisamorecomplexexample,noticethenestedaxial
movements(nestedmeaningsometonesofoneaxisoverlapandsharetoneswithadjacentaxis).Itis
possibletogenerateshapesthatcontainanentirechainofnestedaxialmovements,howevertheresulting
melodieswouldbeextremelyjaggedandnotnecessarilysoundmusical,unlessofcoursethatisthedesired
effect.

Example 4

Example 5

Alloftheexamplesabovearewritteninatonalspace.Theanalysisoftheaxialprogressioncanbethoughtof
inanynumberofdifferentways.Inotherwordsitispossibletoanalyzethesesamepassagesdifferentlyand
stillbewellwithinthegivenlaws.Noticethattheaboveexamplesrequirethinkinginsmallcellsofideas,at
leastinitially.Howeverthereisalineargravityinvolvedinthethinkingwhichrequiresthattheimproviser
becomefluentinthinkingintwodirectionssimultaneously.ItshouldbeclearfromExample5thatithelpstobe
abletothinkatleasttwoorthreetonesbackwardandforwardintime.Thisisadifferentskillthanthenormal
wayofthinkingasretentionofindividualtones,aswellasphrases,needstobepracticed.Forinstance,in
Example5attheendofmeasure2,thetonesFandEaretheaxis,notonlyofthetonesimmediatelyfollowing
(AandC)butalsooftheprecedingtones(DbandAb)!Overallthisproducesasortofaccordioneffectintime.
Notthatthiswillbeheardbytheaverageperson,especiallygiventhespeedofexecution,butitwillbefeltand
itdoeshaveaneffect.
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Afterthiswhathastobeobtainedisfluencyinprogressingfromoneideatothenextinseamlessmotion,
buildinguptohigherlevelsofcomplexityinthecommunicationofideas.Thisissimilartotheprogressionfrom
words,tosentences,togrammar,andfinallytocommunicationofconceptualideasinlinguisticexpressions.
Also,withsomeimagination,thesameideascouldbemergedwithanyotherlogic.Itisnotmygoalhereto
writedownideasforothers.Isimplywanttodemonstratethattherearemanypossibilitiestobeexplored,
definitelymorethanhavealreadybeenexplored.Ihavebeenworkingwiththeideasaboveforatleast22
yearsnowandIstillhavenotfoundanyendinsight!

Harmonic material generated in symmetrical space


OvertheyearsIhavebeenexploringseveralideaswhichcouldbeexpansionsofthesymmetricallawsof
motionmentionedabove.Mostoftheseideasarebasedonthevariousconceptsofgravityandwhatcanbe
generallycalledbindingandunbinding(i.e.differenttypesoflawsofattraction).Themelodicconcept
discussedaboveandotherrelatedharmonicconceptsalldealwithtonalcentersintermsofspatialgeometry,
asopposedtothestandardtonalitywhichdealsintonalkeycentersintermsoftonics.Thesedifferent
approachescanbelookedatasdifferenttypesofgravity.Herewecouldborrowtwotermscoinedbymusic
theoristErnstLevy,callingtheconceptofgravitythatresultsinthetraditionaltonicbasedtonalityTelluric
GravityorTelluricAdaptationandtheconceptofgravitythatisatthebasisofcentersofgeometricspace
AbsoluteConception.InTelluricAdaptationoutperceptionofgravityisbasedonlawsofattractionthatare
influencedbyoursenseofupanddown.Thuswetendtolookattheharmonicseriesonlyfromthebottom
upperspective,withthefundamentalonthebottom.Thisisaterrestrialmodeofthinkinginfluencedbythe
factthatweliveonEarthandtendtolocalizeourconceptofspaceaccordingtooureverydaysituation.In
AbsoluteConceptionwhatisimportantisthepositionofthetonesinspaceandtheirdistance.Herethe
harmonicseriesisseenasspiralingoutfromagenerator(asopposedtoatonicorfundamental)soasto
producedbothanOvertoneandUndertoneseries(seeexample6a)!AbsoluteConceptionisbasedona
universalmodeofthinkingthatresultswhenyoulookattheEarth,otherplanets,satellitesandstarsfromthe
pointofviewofhowtheyrelatetoeachotherinspace.Sothedifferenceisthewaythegravityoperatesfrom
aterrestrialortelluricperspective(onEarthwetendtothinkofthegravitationpullinonedirection,down)
andhowgravityoperatesfromauniversalorabsoluteperspective(inspacewetendtothinkofobjects
orbitingaroundagravitysourceorbeingpulledtowardsthesourcefromamultidirectionalperspective).Inthe
absoluteconceptionpartialsarethoughtofasorbitingaroundageneratortoneproducingbothovertoneand
undertoneenergy.Thesetwodifferentconceptsofgravity,telluricandabsolute,willbeexploredinmoredetail
below.

Example 6-a
AbsoluteconceptionoftheHarmonicSeriesbasedonthegeneratortoneC

Overtone Series

Undertone Series

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Ijustwanttosayafewthingsabouttheinformationseriesabove.Thetonesshownaretheclosestequal
temperamentequivalentstotheactualtonesthatareintheseries.Insomebooksthe11thpartialislistedasF
naturalinsteadofFsharp.HoweverIbelievethatthisistechnicallywrongastheratio11:8isclosertoF#bya
verysmallamount(ifCisgenerator).Thereare100centstoanequaltemperamenthalfstep(forexample
betweenFandF#thereare100cents).Theratio11:8(whichis11:1soundedinthesameoctaveasthe
generator)is551centsabovethegenerator.Anequaltemperamentperfect4this500centsabovethe
generatorandanequaltemperamentaugmented4this600centsabovethegenerator.Since550centswould
beanexactquartertonebetweenaperfect4thandanaugmented4ththen11:8isclosertoF#asthe
distancebetween11:8andFnaturalis51centsandthedistancebetween11:8andF#isonly49cents.The
toneisactuallyclosertoF#andbooksthatlistFnaturalasbeingthe11thpartialinaharmonicserieswithC
asgeneratorarenotcorrect.Ofcoursethismeansthatthecorrespondingtone,the11thpartialinthe
undertone,seriesisGb.Howeversincemostbooksdonotdealwiththeundertoneserieswedonthaveto
worryaboutthat.

Alsothe13thpartialislistedasbeingAnaturalinsteadofAflat.Againthisistechnicallywrongastheratio
13:8isdefinitelyclosertoAb(againifCisgenerator).Theratio13:8is841centsabovethegenerator(13:8is
13:1octavereduced).Anequaltemperamentminor6this800centsabovethegeneratorandanequal
temperamentmajor6this900centsabovethegenerator.Sotheratio13:8isclosertobeingAbbecausethe
distancebetween13:8andAbis41centsandthedistancebetween13:8andAnaturalis59cents.Thetoneis
closertoAbandbooksthatlistAnaturalasbeingthe13thpartialinaharmonicserieswithCasgeneratorare
notcorrect.Thisalsomeansthatthecorrespondingtone,the13thpartial,intheundertoneseriesisEnatural.

Intermsofthenomenclaturethatcanbeusedtoexpresstheactualtoneswhichactasaxis(melodic)or
generators(harmonic)intheAbsoluteConceptionIproposeusingSumNotationasthemainterminology.So
whenIspeakofimprovisingwithregardtoasum11tonalcenterIamspeakingofanAbsolutetonalitythat
hasanaxis(orspatialcenter)ofsum11.Sum11meansthatthetonesBC(alsoFGflat)arethespatialtonal
centersofthissectionofthecomposition.Fortheimproviserthismeansimprovisingwiththisspatialtonalityin
mind.

Onenecessaryskillrequiredforthismodeofthinkingwouldbetolearnhowtohearspatiallywiththemindas
wellaswiththeears(actuallyitisallinthemind).Inotherwordslearningtoconstructmentalimagesofthe
geometricspaceandtobeabletohearinsideofthatspace.

Thereasonforusingthetermsumcomesfromtheconceptofaddingnotenumbers.IftonesCthroughB
chromaticallyarerepresentedbythenumbers0through11respectively,thenitispossibletoaddtones
togethertoarriveattheirsums.Thesumsrepresenttheaxis(orcenterpoint)betweenthetwotonesbeing
addedtogether.Forasum8axis,anytwotonesthatadduptothenumber8wouldbeconsideredasum8
interval.ForexampleDsharpandF(3+5)wouldaddupto8.Thecenter(oraxis)ofDsharpandFisEandE
(whichisalsosum8or4+4,anaxisalwaysimpliesatleastfourtones,inthiscasetheEEunisonrepresents
twotonesbutifthoughtoffromanotherperspectiveBflatandBflatisalsotheaxis,i.e.10+10=20minus12
=8).ThesamegoesforCsharpandG(alsosum8).Sotheaxisofasum11intervalwouldbeBandC(i.e.
11+0=11.Sincewearedealingwith12tonestheentiretonalsystemthen,forthepurposedofoctave
reduction,youcancontinuallysubtractthenumber12fromanysumthatis12orgreateruntilthesumis

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below12).Noticethatalloftheevensumsaretheresultofanyintervalinspiralnumber1aboveandallofthe
oddsumsaretheresultofintervalsfromspiralnumbertwo.Example6bisatablethatisasummaryofthe
relationshipsbetweenspirals,axisandsums:

Example 6-b
Spirals number one & two

AXISTONES SUM# AXISTONES SUM#

CC SUM0 CDb SUM1

C#C# SUM2 C#D SUM3

DD SUM4 DEb SUM5

EbEb SUM6 EbE SUM7

EE SUM8 EF SUM9

FF SUM10 FF# SUM11

F#F# SUM0 F#G SUM1

GG SUM2 GAb SUM3

AbAb SUM4 AbA SUM5

AA SUM6 ABb SUM7

BbBb SUM8 BbB SUM9

BB SUM10 BC SUM11

Thismayinitiallybealittleconfusingbutmanythingsthatareunfamiliarareconfusingatfirst.Withalittle
workitcanbeasnaturalasanyotherinternalizedsystem.

A theory of harmony
ThebookATheoryofHarmonybyErnstLevydealswithadifferentapproachtoharmonyandvoiceleading
comingfromastandpointofusingperfect5ths,major3rdsandtheirreciprocals(perfectfourthsandminor
6ths)orPolarityTheory.Thebooktalksalotaboutupwardsperfect5thsanddownwardperfect5ths(oran
upwardperfect5th)ordominants.Itthenusesthesameapproachwithmajorthirds(whichLevycalls
determinants),usingupwardmajorthirds( )anddownwardmajorthirds( ).Levythenderivesallofhis
harmonicandvoiceleadingtheoryfromthesetwoconcepts,theonlyexceptionbeinghisinclusionofthe
importanceofthenatural7thoftheratio7:4.InLevysviewthenatural7thisimportantforseveralreasons,
Theseventhpartialappearsinthesameoctavewithinwhichthetriadiscompletedbytheintroductionofthe
determinant.ItisLevysviewthatthenatural7threvealsthelatentdynamismofthetriad.

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Levyspeaksofasenarius,i.e.thefirstsixratios,asformingtwomutuallyexclusivetriads,onemajorandthe
otherminor.IfunityisC(Levypreferstousethetermgeneratorwhichhasabroadermeaningthatunity,I
agreewithhim)thentheupwardtriadisCEG(Crepresentingthenumbers1and2,Grepresentingthe
number3andErepresentingthenumber5).ThedownwardtriadwouldbeCAbF,(againCrepresentingthe
numbers1and2,Frepresentingthenumber3andAbrepresentingthenumber5).Thesenericintervalsare
theoctave,perfectfifthandmajorthird,correspondingtothenumbers2,3and5.Inotherwordstheoctaveis
associatedwiththeprime2sinceitisadoubling,theperfect5thwiththeprime3andthemajorthirdwiththe
prime5.AlsonotethatthisisthefirstnumbersoftheFibonaccisequence.WhenLevyincludesthenatural7th
thenthissenariusisextendedtoanoctariumorcomprisingthefirsteightratios.

Levyalsospeaksalotinpsychologicalandsometimesalmostmysticaltermsaboutmusicandmusictheory.In
thiswayyoucanseetheinfluenceonErnestMcClainwhoisIbelieveoneofLevysstudentsandalsohis
colleague.ItisacombinationofLevysHarmonicPolarityTheoryandhisphilosophicalandpsychologicalpoint
ofviewthatIfinduseful.Hisbookofcoursehasnomentionofrhythmwheretheconceptsofbalanceand
formareevenmoreimportant.
WhatIfindusefulistheextremesymmetrythatLevyisdealingwithwhichremindsmeofsomeofthework
IvedoneaswellaselementsofBartokswork,HenryThreadgillswork,W.A.Mathieu,HowardBoatwright,
SchwallerdeLubiczandancientEgypt,Pythagoras,PlatoandtheworkoftheancientGreeks,Babylonianideas
ofreciprocityandtheworkofUmayalpuramSivaramanandotherrelatedVedicsymmetricalideas.Iam
especiallyattractedtotheideathatLevyhasintroducedoftheupwardanddownwarddeterminantbeingof
equalimportanceastheupwardanddownwarddominant.Hethenlinkstheseconceptsdynamicallyandshow
howtheyworkinprogressionsoftriads,afterwhichLevyintroduceshisconceptofconsonanceand
dissonance,temperament,tonalfunctionofintervals,triads,nontriadicandcompoundchords.Levy
summarizesthediscussioninhisbookasfollows:

1.Tonehasastructure.Itsvaliditycanbetestedonthephysicalacousticalleveldivisionofthestringaswell
asonthemusicalestheticlevel(fertilityandmusicaladequacyofapplication).
2.Majorandminoraremanifestationsofthegeneralprincipleofpolarity.
3.Thetriadbeingthenormofourtonalsystem,thethirdhasadirectfunctionwithinthetonality,equalin
dignitytothefifth.Paralleltothetermdominantsfortheupperandlowerfifths,thetermdeterminants
willserveforthefunctionsofthethird.
4.Amajortriadtendstofunctionasdominant,aminortriadassubdominant.
5.Achordisaconglomerateorganizedbyoneorseveralgenerators.
6.Todistinguishnaturalfrompsychologicalconsonanceanddissonance,theconceptpairofwordsontic
gigneticwilldesignatethelatter.
<bythetermonticLevymeansthestateofbeingorwhatIcallstationaryandbythetermgignetiche
meansthestateofbecoming.BypsychologicalconsonanceanddissonanceLevyisreferringtoouractive
mentalparticipationintheconceptsofconsonanceanddissonance,whichisalittledifferentforeach
person,asopposedtowhathereferstothenaturalconceptofconsonanceanddissonancewhichis
inherentinthephenomenon.Hesumstheseideasupasfollows:>Thetriadisconsonant.
Allotherchordsaredissonant.
Thetriadmaybeusedasadissonance.
Otherchordsmaybeallofthemmaybeusedasconsonances.<Thefirsttwostatementsoftheabove
summationreflectthenaturalconceptofconsonanceanddissonance.Thelasttwostatementsofthe
summationsreflecttheconceptofconsonanceanddissonancefromapsychologicalpointofview.Forthe
psychologicalconceptionofconsonanceanddissonanceLevycallsthisonticandgignetic,inorderto
differentiatefromthetermsconsonanceanddissonance(whichreferonlytothenaturalconception).Levy
notesthatifaconsonantcharactercouldbedescribedasanimpressionofrestfulnessandinmusical
terms,wecansaythataconsonantchordisapttobeusedasaclosingchord,thetriadrepresentsthat.
However,sometimeswecanobservethatchordswhicharenotperfecttriadsandthereforedonotposses
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thatnaturallyconsonantcharacterareyetbeingusedasclosingchordsanddogiveusanimpressionof
restfulness.Ontheotherhand,triadsmaybeusedinawayastoproduceanimpressionoftension
henceofimperfection,asinahalfcadence.ElsewhereLevystatesthattheprogressingpsychologization
ofmusichadreachedaculminationpointintheperiodafterthefirstworldwar,whentheexistenceof
consonanceanddissonancewaslargelydisregardedorevendenied,andwhensolelytheonticgignetic
conceptpairwasrelieduponforproducingthedesiredeffectsofbindingandunbinding.Thatleadstothe
summationaboveaboutconsonanceanddissonance.Iintuitivelyamattractedtothiswayoflookingat
thingsasitmakesroomforboththeideathatthereareuniversalqualitiesthatareinherentina
phenomenonandthatthesequalitiescanchangeaccordingtotheperspectiveoftheobserverandthe
observersactivementalparticipation.AlsoIthinkthattheintroductionofaconceptofbindingand
unbindingthatisnotnecessarilyconnectedtotraditionalconceptsofconsonanceanddissonanceis
veryimportantasthismakesroomforradicalextensionsofpreviousideas>
7.Theseventhinthedominantseventhchordisthenaturalseventh(i.e.the7thpartial).
8.Inanalogytocallingthefourththecomplementofthefifthintheoctave,theminorthirdisrecognizedas
thecomplementofthedeterminantinthefifth.
9.Temperamentarisesfromthenecessitytorepresenttheinfinitewithinthedefinite.
10.Traditionalandnewlyintroducednomenclatureisindicatedbyshorthandsymbols.<inmyopinionsomeof
theseshorthandsymbolsgotoofar>

Levyalsotalksabouttwotypesofgravity,telluricgravityortelluricadaptationmeaningthenormalbottomto
topgravitythatweallknow(thetermtelluricmeansterrestrialorearthly,whichItaketomeanfromthe
ground)andabsolutegravityorabsoluteconceptionwhichlooksatthingssymmetricallybeinggeneratedfrom
acenter.GenerallywhenErnstLevydiscussestraditionalconceptsandnamessuchasmajorandminortriads,
etc.thenheisspeakingintelluricterms.Otherwisethisentireconceptionisbasicallyanabsoluteconception
dealingwithgeneratorsandpolarity.Forupwardthinking(majortonality)thereisnodifferencebetween
telluricadaptationandabsoluteconception.Therefore,forallintentsandpurposes,whenwearereferringto
absoluteconceptionwearetalkingaboutdownwardsymmetricalthinkingandthiswillbedesignatedbythe
symbolo(thereisnoneedtodesignatetelluricsymbolsbutinhisbookLevysometimesusesthe=symbolfor
telluricadaptation.

Thetablebelow(Example7)isinshorthandsymbolismandshowstheprogressionsoftriadsandthechange
offunctionofthecommontones.AccordingtoLevy:
Thegeneraltendencyofbothtriadinversionsisthatofthesixthtobecomeafifthaspartofanewtriadin
fundamentalposition.Thetransformationhingesononeortwotonesofthechord.Therearesixpossible
solutionsforeachinversion.Acertainorderofprecedenceexists,basedinthefirstplaceonthegreater
magnetizingpoweroftheexteriortones,inthesecondplaceonthenormalhierarchyofthefunctionstonic,
dominant,anddeterminant.
Inthesixthchord,CoutranksE.Hencetheprimarytendency:Ctendstobecomegenerator,t+to.

Inthefoursixchord,GoutranksE.Hencetheprimarytendency:Gtendstobecomegenerator,dt.
ForclarificationIwouldaddthefollowing.Eventhoughtherearesixpossiblesolutionsforeachofthetwo
inversions(sixthchordandfoursixthchordwitheachsolutionyieldingtwovariations),thisonlyresultsin20
differentprogressions(insteadof24)becausefouroftheprogressionsareidenticaltoothers(seebelow).
FollowingwhathasbeenquotedbyLevyabovetheorderreflectsthefollowinghierarchy(thedirectionofthe
tonesareshownbytheorsymbols):

Sinceinthesixthchordintelluricadaptation(majortriad),ofthetwoexteriortonesCoutranksE(Cbeingthe
tonicandEbeingthedeterminant),thentheprogressionwithCbecomingtheabsoluteconceptiontonicis
first.Thisineffectdeterminesthetriadstobe:

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()E:G:C()C:Ab:F

Theotherexteriortone(i.e.E)becomingatonicfunctionisthenlistednext:
()E:G:C()E:G#:B

Nextwouldbethesesameexteriortonesbecomingadominantfunction,beginningwithC:
()E:G:C()F:A:C

ThenE:
()E:G:C()B:G:E

Finallythemiddletoneofthistriad(i.e.G,beingthedominant)wouldbecomeadeterminant,firstbecoming
thetelluricadaptationdeterminant(i.e.upwardmajorthird):
()E:G:C()Eb:G:Bb

Thenbecomingtheabsoluteconceptiondeterminant(i.e.downwardmajorthird):
()E:G:C()B:G:E
(notethatthisprogressionisarepeatofoneoftheothersabove)

Alsointhesixthchordinabsoluteconception(minortriad),ofthetwoexteriortonesCoutranksAb(Cbeing
theabsoluteconceptiontonicandAbbeingtheabsoluteconceptiondeterminant),thentheprogressionwithC
becomingthetelluricadaptationtonic(theoppositeoftheabovecase)isfirst.Thisineffectdeterminesthe
triadstobe:

()Ab:F:C()C:E:G

Theotherexteriortone(i.e.Ab)becomingatonicfunctionisthenlistednext:
()Ab:F:C()Ab:Fb:Db

Nextwouldbethesesameexteriortonesbecomingadominantfunction,beginningwithC:
()Ab:F:C()G:Eb:C

ThenAb:
()Ab:F:C()Db:F:Ab

Finallythemiddletoneofthistriad(i.e.F,beingtheabsoluteconceptiondominant)wouldbecomea
determinant,firstbecomingtheabsoluteconceptiondeterminant(i.e.downwardmajorthird):
()Ab:F:C()A:F:D

Thenbecomingthetelluricadaptationdeterminant(i.e.upwardmajorthird):
()Ab:F:C()Db:F:Ab
(notethatthisprogressionisarepeatofoneoftheothersabove)

Sinceinthefoursixchordintelluricadaptation(majortriad),ofthetwoexteriortonesGoutranksE(Gbeing
thedominantandEbeingthedeterminant),thentheprogressionwithGbecomingthetelluricadaptationtonic
isfirst.Thisineffectdeterminesthetriadstobe:

()G:C:E()G:B:D

Theotherexteriortone(i.e.E)becomingatonicfunctionisthenlistednext:
()G:C:E()E:C:A

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Nextwouldbethesesameexteriortonesbecomingadominantfunction,beginningwithG:
()G:C:E()D:Bb:G

ThenE:
()G:C:E()A:C#:E

Finallythemiddletoneofthistriad(i.e.C,beingthetonic)wouldbecomeadeterminant,firstbecomingthe
telluricadaptationdeterminant(i.e.upwardmajorthird):
()G:C:E()Ab:C:Eb

Thenbecomingtheabsoluteconceptiondeterminant(i.e.downwardmajorthird):
()G:C:E()E:C:A
(notethatthisprogressionisarepeatofoneoftheothersabove)

Alsointhefoursixchordinabsoluteconception(minortriad),ofthetwoexteriortonesFoutranksAb(Fbeing
theabsoluteconceptiondominantandAbbeingtheabsoluteconceptiondeterminant),thentheprogression
withFbecomingtheabsoluteconceptiontonic(theoppositeoftheabovecase)isfirst.Thisineffect
determinesthetriadstobe:

()F:C:Ab()F:Db:Bb

Theotherexteriortone(i.e.Ab)becomingatonicfunctionisthenlistednext:
()F:C:Ab()Ab:C:Eb

Nextwouldbethesesameexteriortonesbecomingadominantfunction,beginningwithF:
()F:C:Ab()Bb:D:F

ThenAb:
()F:C:Ab()Eb:Cb:Ab

Finallythemiddletoneofthistriad(i.e.C,beingtheabsoluteconceptiontonic)wouldbecomeadeterminant,
firstbecomingtheabsoluteconceptiondeterminant(i.e.downwardmajorthird):
()F:C:Ab()E:C:A

Thenbecomingthetelluricadaptationdeterminant(i.e.upwardmajorthird):
()F:C:Ab()Ab:C:Eb
(notethatthisprogressionisarepeatofoneoftheothersabove)

Keepinmindthatwhatisnormallycalledaminortriadistreated,inLevystheory,asamajortriadgenerated
fromthetopdown.Inotherwordsthereareonlyunisons,perfectfifthsandmajorthirdsinthistheory.What
wouldnormallybecalledanFminortriadisatriadinabsolutemode(designatedbythesymbolo)generated
byC.ThiswouldbespelledCAbF(thinkingdownwardfromthegeneratorC)andhasthesameinterval
structureasaCtriadintelluricadaptation(i.e.CEGthinkingupfromC),sosymmetricalreasoningis
necessaryforthinkinginabsoluteconception.SoinabsoluteconceptionCAbF(thinkingdownward)isatriad
inabsoluteconceptiongeneratedbyCbutthinkingintelluricadaptationthissameharmoniccellisaminor
triadwithFasthetonic.AsImentionedbeforeallmajortelluricadaptationcellsproducethesameresultas
upwardabsoluteconceptionsothegeneratorCwouldbeidenticalwiththetonicCinthiscase(i.e.CEG
thinkingupward).

Inallofthesymbolsetsbelowthetoplineofeachsetofsymbolsshowsthefunctionofthecommontone
withineachharmoniccell.Thesetriadicharmoniccellsarereferencedfromagenerator(notatonic).Ifthere
aremorethantwolinesofsymbols,meaningtherearetwocommontones,thenthetoptwolinesofsymbols
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showthecommontonefunctionsandthetopsymbollinewouldbewhatisreferencedintheheadingsabove
thetablerow(i.e.Exteriortonestotonic,ExteriortonestodominantandMiddletonestodeterminant).Inall
thesymbolsetsthefirstsymbolofthebottomlineshowsifthefirsttriadiccellisintelluricadaptation(major)
orabsoluteconception(minor,orupsidedownmajor),andthesecondsymbolofthebottomlineshowsthe
relationshipofthegeneratorofthesecondtriadiccelltothefirsttriadiccell.Inotherwordsthesecondsymbol
ofthebottomlineshowswhichpartofthefirsttriadiccell(tonic,dominant,determinantorsomeotherrelation
tothesethreefunctions)thesecondtriadiccellisgeneratedfrom(i.e.whichpartofthefirsttriadiccellisthe
sametoneasthegeneratorofthesecondtriadiccell).

SimilartotheconceptioninMathieusbookHarmonicExperiencetheonlyintervalsthatareusedinthis
thinkingarepowersof2(unisonandoctavesherecalledtonicsorgenerators),powersof3(perfect5ths,here
calleddominants),powersof5(majorthirds,herecalleddeterminants),andlaterpowersof7(dominant7ths,
herecallednatural7ths).Allothertonesarederivedfromsomecombinationofthesefourfunctions.

Usingthesecondsymbolgroupinthefirstlinegroupbelowasanexample(FourSixtriadsExterior
tonestotonicMinorsidesecondgroup)thetranslationwouldbeasfollows:

[Keepinmindthatallofthesymbolsinthefirstthreelinegroupshaveafoursixtriad,eitherinabsolute
conceptionortelluricadaptation,astheirfirstcell.Thismeansthat,inthekeyofC,thetelluricadaptationfor
thiscellwouldbeidenticalwithastandardtriadinfoursixinversionspelledGCE(upwardthinking).Againin
thekeyofC,theabsoluteconceptionofthefoursixinversionisFCAb(thinkingdownwardfromF).Notethat
thisisthestructuredescribedbythefirstsymbolinthelastlineofthesecondgroup(inthefirstlinegroup
below),howeverthegeneratorofthiscellisthetoneC!Theabsoluteconceptionmaybeslightlyconfusingat
first.IntermsofthefoursixintervalstructurethecellularstructureisdesignedthinkingdownwardfromF(i.e.
FCAb),howevertherootpositiontriadisCAbF(againthinkingdownward).Notethatifyouthinkofthis
sametriad(i.e.AbCF)intelluricadaptationyouwillfindthatitisasixthchord(thinkingupwardfromAb),i.e.
anFminortriadinsecondposition.Sothiscellisaminortriadintelluricadaptationandthatiswhythis
symbolgroupfallsontheMinorside]

Inthefirstlineot describesacommontonethatchangesinfunction.Themeaningisthatthesametone
thatistheabsolutetonicofthefirsttriad(i.e.thegeneratorofadownwardtriad)becomestheupward
determinant(majorthird)inthesecondtriad.

nthesecondline tdescribesasecondcommontonethatchangesinfunction.Themeaninghereisthat
thesametonethatistheabsolutedownwarddeterminantinthefirsttriad(i.e.amajorthirddownfromthe
generator)becomesthetonic(i.e.thegenerator)ofthesecondtelluricadaptationtriad(whichisanupward
constructedtriad).

Thefirstsymbolofthethirdline(i.e.oT)describesthefirsttriad,inthiscaseitisatriadinabsolute
conception.Thesecondsymbol tellsusthatthesecondtriadsgeneratoristhesametoneastheabsolute
downwarddeterminantofthefirsttriad,howeversincethereisnoabsoluteconceptionsymbolpresenthere
thisalertsusthatthesecondtriadisbuiltupward(i.e.intelluricadaptation).Thisdescribesthefollowing
progression(thedirectionofthetonesareshownbytheorsymbols):

()F:C:Ab()Ab:C:Eb

Usingthefourthsymbolgroupinthefirstlinegroupbelowasanexample(FourSixtriadsExterior
tonestotonicMajorsidesecondgroup)thetranslationwouldbeasfollows:

Inthefirstline otdescribesacommontonethatchangesinfunction,thetonethatistheupward
determinantofthefirsttriad(i.e.theupwardmajorthird)becomestheabsolutetonic(i.e.thegenerator)of

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thesecondabsoluteconceptiontriad(i.e.thegeneratorofatriadconstructeddownward).

Inthesecondlinet describesasecondcommontonethatchangesinfunction.Thesametonethatis
thetonic(i.e.thegenerator)inthefirsttriadbecomestheabsolutedownwarddeterminant(i.e.amajorthird
downfromthegenerator)inthesecondtriad,whichisantriadinabsoluteconception(i.e.constructed
downward).

Thefirstsymbolofthethirdline(i.e.T)describesthefirsttriad,inthiscaseitisatriadintelluricadaptation
(i.e.anormalupwardtriad).Thesecondsymbolo tellsusthatthesecondtriadsgeneratoristhesame
toneastheupwarddeterminantofthefirsttriad.Howeversincethereisanabsoluteconceptionsymbol,in
frontoftheupwarddeterminantsymbol,thisalertsusthatthesecondtriadisconstructedinabsolute
conception(i.e.constructeddownward).Thisdescribesthefollowingprogression(thedirectionofthetonesare
shownbytheorsymbols):

()G:C:E()E:C:A

Usingthefirstsymbolgroupinthesixthlinegroupbelowasanexample(SixthtriadsMiddletonesto
determinantMinorsidefirstgroup)thetranslationwouldbeasfollows:

Inthefirstlineod describesacommontonethatchangesinfunction,thetonethatistheabsolute
downwarddominantofthefirsttriad(i.e.thesubdominant)becomestheabsolutedownwarddeterminant(i.e.
downwardmajorthird)ofthesecondtriad.

Thefirstsymbolofthesecondline(i.e.oT)describesthefirsttriad,inthiscaseitisatriadinabsolute
conception.Thesecondsymbolo stellsusthatthesecondtriadsgeneratoristhesametoneasthe
upwarddeterminantofthesubdominantofthefirsttriad(i.e.theabsolutedownwarddominant).Sothe
secondtriadsgeneratorisminorthirdbelowthefirsttriadsgenerator.Sincethereisanabsoluteconception
symbolinfrontoftheupwarddeterminantsymbol,thisalertsusthatthesecondtriadisconstructedin
absoluteconception.Thisdescribesthefollowingprogression(thedirectionofthetonesareshownbytheor
symbols):

()Ab:F:C()A:F:D

InExample7thetableisdividedintotwoprogressionseachbeginningwithaminortriad(absoluteconception)
ontheleftsideandtwoprogressionseachbeginningwithamajortriad(telluricadaptation)ontherightside.

Example 7

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ThestandardnotationforthesymbolicexpressionsaboveareasshowninExample8belowinthesame
format,i.e.thefirstchord(foursixorsixth)ofthefirstandsecondmeasuresareinabsoluteconception
(minor)andthefirstchord(foursixorsixth)ofthethirdandfourthmeasuresareintelluricadaptation
(major):

EXAMPLE 8
StandardmusicalnotationforHarmonicVoiceLeadingProgressionsusingtelluricadaptationandabsolute
conception.

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On The Natural Seventh

Onpage45ofATheoryofHarmonyLevystatesfornearlythreehundredyearstheintervaloftheminor
seventhhasbeenrecognizedasadissonancedifferentfromallotherdissonances.Whereasdissonancesin
generalareproducedbyatoneortonesdisturbingachord,andmaythereforeberesolvedwithinthatchord,
theseventhisanintegralpartofachordtoberesolvedasawholeintoanotherchord.Adissonanttoneis
understoodasafunctionofachordadissonantchord,asafunctionofanotherchord.Theseventhconfersa
definitefunctiontothechordofwhichitisapart.

HereLevymakestwostatementsthatsetuptherestofhisdiscussiononnaturalsevenths:

a)theminorseventhaddedtoamajortriadcharacterizesitasadominant
b)theminorseventhaddedtoaminortriadinabsoluteconceptioncharacterizesitas
asubdominant:

AsanexampleIusedsaxophonistCharlieParkerasmymodelwhenfirstlearninghowtoimprovise.Being
basicallyselftaughtIremembertheinitialstepsthatItookinlearninghowtodistinguishtonalfunctions.I
generallyrecognizedchordsashavingoneoftwofunctions,stationaryandchangeable(orfixedandmutable).
ChordsthathadadominantfunctionIconsideredchangeable,theysoundedliketheyweregoingsomewhere.
ForexampleIlookedatthefourthmeasureofabluesasgoingtoIV(theIVreferringtothedominant
seventhchordbasedonthefourthdegreeofthekeyoftheblues).Thentherewerecertainmelodicsounds
thatIwouldhearCharlieParkerplaythatIassociatedwithgoingtoIV.IalsorememberothersoundsthatI
calledminorivtoI,minorvitoIandsoon.Thesesoundswerebasedon,respectively,aminorseventh
chordbuiltonthesubdominantdegreeofthedestinationtonalityandaminorseventhchordbuiltonthe
flattedsixthdegreeofthedestinationtonality.

Iinstinctivelyknewthatallofthesesoundscouldbeplayedinplaceofanormaldominanttotonicchord
progression.IalsoknewthattherewassomethingdifferentinthefeelofminorivtoIandminorvitoI.
EventhoughIcouldseethatitwasasubstituteforadominantfunctionIalsoknewthatthenormaldominant
soundwasbrightandtheminorivtoIandminorvitoIsoundsweredarkerfunctions.Notbecausethere
wasminortonalityinvolved,theprogressionitselfwasdarkinrelationtothetonictonality.Irealizenowthat
whatIwashearingwasthedifference(impliedbytheequaltemperamenttuningsystem)betweenovertones
andundertones,thelatterbeingdarkerinsoundinrelationtothegeneratortonalityorfundamentaltonality.

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Theminorseventhchordinabsoluteconceptiondefinitelyhasanundertonequalitytoit,despiteequal
temperamenttuningasourearstendtocompensateforthisanyway(moreonthislater).Wewillseethatitis
thedominantseventhchordinabsoluteconceptionwiththetonicofthekeyasgeneratorwhichcanbe
substitutedforthedominant7thchordintelluricadaptationbuiltonthefifthdegreeofthissametonic.In
otherwords,inthekeyofG,G:Eb:C:A(inabsoluteconception,i.e.thinkingdownward)canbesubstitutedfor
D:F#:A:C(intelluricadaptation,i.e.thinkingupward).InthecaseoftheG7chordinabsoluteconceptionthe
undertonesrepresentthefundamental(orgenerator),5thpartial,3rdpartialand7thpartialrespectively.In
thecaseoftheD7chordintelluricadaptationtheovertonesrepresentthe3rdpartial,15thpartial(i.e.3times
5),9thpartial(twofifthsup)andthe21stpartial(i.e.3times7).Soonechordisallundertoneenergyand
theotherisallovertoneenergy.Thismaybeapparentinthiscasebutthingsgomuchfarther,aswillbeseen
later.AswillbediscussedlatertheovertoneenergycangenerallybeassociatedwiththeSunandwith
brightness,theundertoneenergywiththeMoonandwithdarkness.

ErnstLevythengoesontoprovehowtheminorseventhtonethatheisreferringtorepresentstheseventh
partialoftheharmonicseries(inotherwordsrepresentingtheratio7:4asopposedtotheratios9:5or16:9,
whicharealsominor7ths.Converselytheundertoneminor7thisrepresentedbytheratio4:7,or8:7octave
reduced).TokeepthingsmovingIwillskipthisdiscussionofthetuningofthenaturalseventh,interested
readerswillfindthisdiscussiononpages45and46ofLevysATheoryofHarmony.WhatIamgoingto
discussiswhatishappeningfromthestandpointofprogressionsusingthesesymmetricalideas.

Onpage48ofATheoryofHarmonyLevyshowsthefollowingprogression(Examples9through13):

FromthispointonIwillusethenegativesignwhenspeakingofchordsinabosoluteconception,e.g.G7in
absoluteconceptionwillbewrittenasG7.

Inexample9weareinthekeyofBbmaj.Herethethreechordsfunctionaspositivesecondarydominant,
negativedominant,positivetonic(C7toBb7toBbmaj).

Inexample10weareinthekeyofDmaj.Herethethreechordsfunctionasnegativesecondarydominant,
positivedominant,negativetonic(C7toD7toDmaj).

Inexample11weareinthekeyofCmaj.Herethethreechordsfunctionaspositivedominant,negative
dominant,negativetonic(C7toF7toCmaj).

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Inexample12weareinthekeyofCmaj.Herethethreechordsfunctionasnegativedominant,positive
dominant,positivetonic(C7toG7toCmaj).

Inexample13differentdominant7thchordsareshown,C7,F7,C7,G7.Itcanbeseenthateachofthe
negativechordsrepresentanextensionortoppartofthepositivechords.Eachabsoluteconceptiondominant
7thchordisthenegativecounterpartofatelluricadaptationdominant7thchordandyoucanseethatboth
negativeandpositivechordsarepartofthesamedominantcomplex.Forexamplethepositive=C7whilethe
negative=F7.Bothdominant7thchordssharetwotones,GandBb.TheF7canbethoughtofasanupper
extensionoftheC7.Infactthisentiredominant7thcomplexwouldbetraditionallycalledaC11b9chord.Both
dominantchordsmostnaturallygotoatonicchordwithFastheroot,C7>FmajandF7>Cmaj,sothey
bothprogresstoparalleltonicchords,e.g.theybothprogresstotonicchordswhichhavethesamerootbut
differentpolarities!Icallthechordsparalleltonicchordsbecausetheysoundoutparallelworldsoftonalityand
weknowthatintraditionalmusictheoryFminoristheparallelminortoFmajor.TheC7andG7chordsarein
thesamerelationshiptoeachother.

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