Music has always been esteemed for its power to speak directly to our higher consciousness. Alain Danielou traces the development of musical scales and. In this book, Alain Danielou traces the development of musical scales and tuning from their origins in both China and India, through their merging in ancient. Music and the Power of Sound by Alain Danielou, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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The American system, which is more and more widely used, divides the tempered half tone into parts to give a unit known as the cent; the octave is thus divided into 1, cents. David added it Aug 25, Danieou projection of the single into the multiple is symbolically represented in Egypt, as well as in America and China, by the pyramid, whose square base seems to issue from the summit the summit can also be represented by its projection at the center of the square.

The diatonic half tone 23 4. In Indian music the interval of one sruti is prohibited.

» Music and the Power of Sound

Music has always been esteemed for its power to speak directly to our higher consciousness, a power founded in the purity of simple harmonic ratios. If, however, we consider the peculiar position of ancient Greek civilization, it is easy to find the key to this enigma. But in the Indian notation, as no doubt can arise, we shall generally indicate the exact tuning sign only.

Percussion instruments, such as drums or cymbals, can be sufficient to determine this tonic. Greek music as it was actually played, being modal, is necessarily included in the definitions of ancient Indian music, because those definitions cover all the possibilities of modal music.

It points out, on the one hand, similarities and essential relations between psychological, social, or political facts, and on the other, notes, alxin, melodies, songs, etc. But a denial is not an answer, and it is not sufficient to say that something is untrue for it to be so.

If, as is asserted by Indian musicians, the cry of these animals is canielou at the same pitch, this would indicate that standard pitch has risen ad one fourth since Vedic times. W e should only note here that the names of animals attributed to the notes in the tradition poqer the Sam aveda are in the same order as those used by medieval and modem authors, but transposed.

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We thereby obtain a division of the major tone into nine intervals, the minor tone into eight and the diatonic major half tone into five. This division of the octave into twenty-two intervals has been considered arbitrary by modern Sanskritists and musicologists, who have written the most amusing abuses against it.

Musical intervals and scales.

According to the Lii sbi cbun qiu, the most ancient text on the lii: The seven notes are thus: Not all these m urchanas are usable, nor are they all used in practice in modern music. In reality, a careful study will show that in practice every mode has an enharmonic structure. The danieelou given by the Natya-sastra is, according to modern terminology, the scale of D Re in the diatonic series; it therefore necessarily belongs to a later period than the Greek scale, because the note that appears to be the logical tonic goes lower and lower as the cycle develops.

Indians do not approve of such a lack of sensitivity; ragas of the night should be played at night, and those powwr the dawn at dawn. According to the rules of existing modal systems, there can be no mode corresponding to the chromatic scale as it is here represented following the interpretation of Western scholars. E Ga ] is disturbed, then there is anxiety: On the other hand, the object of desi music is usually only pleasure or the expression of human feelings and passions, so desi systems vary greatly from country to country and from time to time.

Music and the Power of Sound

T he enharmonic is not a mode but a genus. Just as the enharmonic was taken as the basis for the division into twenty-four dieses or twenty-two srutisthe chromatic will quite naturally be representative of the division of the octave into twelve half tones, and the diatonic will represent the division into seven intervals. An interval of one sruti in this case simply means the smallest interval melodically possible above the lowest note of the tetrachord. This may well bring us to the conclusion that at absolute zero, the interstellar absolute cold, the speed of the sound wave in still air would be nil.

This produces yet another scale, called by the Arabs the strong cbrmnatic.

Though it may seem to be a digression, it is necessary to give here a very short account of it. Raouf Yekta Bey, in his study on Turkish music, writes: Only when the scale has been built according to the musi rules of proportion can one see whether its different notes incline toward a certain feeling—enter into a certain jd ti—or not.

They fo conceive of abstract principles, but only to find immediate applications for them. The augmented fourth, Ma tlvra FIbelongs to the critical times of midday and midnight, sunrise and sunset, solstices and equinoxes.


W e shall also see why the twelve regions of the octave cannot be assimilated to twelve fixed sounds, as akain been attempted in the tempered scale. A comprehensive history of musical scales in different cultures, their mathematical relationships and their effect on the consciousness of societies and their people.

The m urchanas that contain only the seven principal notes are called suddha, or pure murchanas. This is why I was wondering how Danielou could be a musicologist, since he is a philosopher, a gifted linguist, a writer, a delightful painter, a composer, and an artist. Lists with This Book. This deficiency naturally brings them to the illogical situation of leaving aside one aspect of experience whenever they study the other, as if the laws of acoustics and those of musical expression did not refer to the same sounds.

This does not in any way alter the order of the notes in these murchanas. If we deal only with terrestrial adhibhautika music, the scale should begin from Sa Cthe first note. This leads to somewhat different basic scales.

Jing Fang [about 45 B. It can never represent a double interval, such as the minor tone two limmaswhich is equal to three srutis or dieses. The primordial sound is the divine Word, through which, according to the first chapter of the Hebrew Genesis, all things were made.

Figure 4, starting from C0 which equals thirty-two cycles per secondshows the first thirty-two harmonics in the order in which they appear. Yet we can observe the total inability of the Western system and notation to render the melodies and chords of Asian music without completely disfiguring them. Inverted, it also represents the length ratio of pipes or strings used to produce the notes.

The melody remains unaffected and in the key of C Sa because a permanent element is required to determine a key and habit can up to a point create this permanence in favor of C Sa —that is, in favor of the Western major mode, supposing that we are still using only the white notes of the piano keyboard. This brings the total number of moving notes of the scale to nine, which are related to the nine groups of consonants of the Sanskrit alphabet. We shall see that both these causes must be considered.