Music and the Ages: Building the Scale Reveals the History
I do not think I have ever shared this before.
Let me just give a simple prequel to avoid a lot of technical stuff.
Basically, Western Music has 12 notes total. Seven are in a key. It is effectively a fact that there are eight total ages of human history by Tradition and approved private revelation, and the first and last ages are like octaves of history, similar in nature and characteristics but spanned by seven great gaps. (More specifically, Noah's day is the same as the end of the world. Day one is the same as day eight; the world is almost entirely wicked in both cases; the world is destroyed by water; the world is destroyed by fire.)
Now, technically, the 12 notes of music can be derived by the 1/3 harmonic. What does this mean? More specifically, if you have a string and you tighten it to some note on a neck, then natural harmonics occur at the perfect singular fractions, as in 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 ,and so on. That is, to elaborate, if you lightly put your finger on the point that is 1/2 of the string length down from the top and pluck it, a special ring will happen that doesn't normally occur. This is called a harmonic. The same can be said for the 1/3 mark, the 1/4 mark, ad infinitum.
Now, it happens that the 1/2 mark, when fully depressed on the neck, gives you the octave. If you then take that note as your base and depress the next 1/2 mark from there, you get the octave of that octave. But that is just a double octave of the original note, just much higher pitch. Consequently, but applying over and over again the 1/2 rule, you will never get anything other than the starting note, just higher pitch. So this is not very interesting, and, in fact, will clearly not be able to generate for us the 12 notes of Western Music.
BUT, 1/3 DOES give the meat, the full 12. More specifically, if you depress the string on the neck at the mark that is 1/3 the length of the string, you then get what is called a fifth.
Appropriately, and amazingly, the fifth is the simplest possible note to add to the base note of the key to make a chord
Which is that? It means that the base note and the fifth is the dullest, most basic chord possible. it is emotionally neutral; meaning, it does not imply by itself either major or minor, joyful or sorrowful. Punk rock does chords like this. G5, for example; It is G and then D, two strings, separated by two frets; it is a brain-dead chord; think of smoke on the water; or iron man.
Now, long story short, if we start to do what we did with the 1/2 principles, that is, if you then take the fifth of THIS fifth, and continue ad infinitum, you end up generating all 12 notes of Western Music.
Now, here is what is amazing: when you do this process and assign the pure seven notes of the octave of the ages according to their order, then the fifth of the fifth of the, etc, process ends up generating the ages of the Divine Plan in theological order. How so?
Well, first, it completes the beginning preeminent ages, the first two, the Flood and Babel.
Then, it walks the through the ages of the New and Old People God in proper order of the "ways" [of the saint, the purgative, illuminative and unitive], in such away that it first counts a way for the NEW People and then the same way for the OLD People; then it counts the NEXT way in sequence for the NEW, then THAT same way for the OLD, etc, until done, until it arrives where it started. Here is the final list of the fifths in succession, and the rest of the article can show how the list is substantiated by the actual technical progression on the fret-board.
The succession of fifths:
1. Fall and Flood (also Second Coming of Christ by the octave relationship)
5. First Coming of Christ, Pentecost, or NEW Babel, formation of NEW Covenant
2. Babel and formation of OLD Covenant
6. Illuminative way of New
3. Illuminative way of Old
Here, now, is the technical proof for math and music junkies. Beware, some complexity! :P We recall that natural music in the basic scales of ascending joy and descending sorrow manifest the eight great ages of the world.
For example, Noah's day is the same as the end of the world . Day one is the same as day eight; the world is destroyed by water; the world is destroyed by fire. What is less well-known is that natural music is based upon the simplest way (almost) to apply the law of harmonics to generate notes. More specifically, the laws of harmonics on a string show that perfect harmonics can be found at the singular fraction points: More specifically, these points are 1/2, 1/3, 14, ...; 1/2 [touch and pluck the string at one half the length of the string] , 1/3 [touch and pluck the string one third of the way down from the top of the string], 1/4 etc
Moving forward, it turns out that 1/2 is too simple. More specifically, pressing the string down at the 1/2 mark simply gives you the octave of the original note, which of course is just the same note we started with but a higher pitch.. Hence, applying the 1/2 over and over and over again upon itself simply generates higher and higher octaves, none of which are any different from the first note, just higher pitch.
This means that we must graduate to the 1/3 fraction in order to get any more complex music. In this regard, it turns out that by applying the 1/3 function progressively does give us the 12 notes of modern Western music. Toward that end, to depress the string one third of the distance from the start gives one what is called the fifth. This note is the fifth in the series of do re mi fa so la ti do. As far as our ages are concerned, the fifth age is the coming of Christ. Now, we already have the first and eighth notes, which are of course the flood and the end of the world or the second coming. Note that these are foundational notes; these are foundational points of Salvation history based on the beginning of the world, the end of the world, and the coming of the Christ. These foundational points form the basis of the entire Christian religion, even as the Church defines that the Trinity and the incarnation are the foundational Mysteries of the entire Christian faith. This would seem to imply that if the entire Christian faith can be built up from the mysteries of Trinity and incarnation, then the entire ages of the human drama can be built up from the 5th, the 1st, and the 8th., or, that is, the fraction of 1/3 in music. It works! Not only that, but if we continue to take the 5th of the 5th of the 5th, or, derivatively, the third of the third of the third we end up building the ages of Salvation history in a manner that makes sense theologically. it is amazing!
How does it work? Well, let us just dig in.
Let me reiterate the following. We start with depressing the fret at the 1/3 mark. This, again, is the 5th, or the 5th note of the seven notes of the key, the do re mi fa so la ti do. We then consider a new string to exist. This string is from where we are now depressing [the 1/3 mark] unto the end of the string; clearly, this string is effectively 2/3 the length of the old string.
Now, with our new reference string we apply the 1/3 point to THAT. This new fifth, as it were, is one third of the new string's length from ITS starting point. Now, effectively, the new string length is 2/3 the original, and 1/3 of that is then 2/9 of the original string's length Putting it all together, the new fifth is 2/9 the original string length beyond the 1/3 mark of the original string. Caution: Another problem can exist when we do this, that the new fifth goes beyond the octave mark, or 1/2 the string. In this case, to retain all notes in the original octave, it becomes necessary to flip the new fifth back into the original octave such that the reflected note has the same proportional distance from the open string as the beyond-the-octave note has relative to the length of the new octave This is probably confusing and it should be. We are just trying to show how the process works in some sense.
All that is important to know from here is that if we continue this process, we end up generating 12 total notes that are all unique, and when we reach the 13th step , we almost return to where we started. Effectively this means that we arrive at 12 total notes that can be derived from the harmonic rule of the 1/3. These are the 12 notes of western music, as we mentioned earlier. Because they have been derived logically from a law of harmonics, it truly can be said to be natural music and not merely a relativistic arbitrary way to partition the musical period.
Now, getting back to what we spoke of earlier, what is amazing is,the process actually derives the notes of history in a theological order that is meaningful. Toward this end we simply need to know that, firstly, the frets of the 12 notes can be generated by the 1/3 mark algorithm just described above. Then, secondly, the process of the fifths, works like this: to acquire the next fifth in a sequence of fifths, you simply subtract 5 frets or else go forward 7 frets (in either case, a fret is a half step for music majors). From here, following fifths of fifths of fifths accomplishes the same purpose as the 1/3 of the 1/3 of the 1/3, and so forth.
Out of this, the profundity is amazing: it starts with the fact that we already have the beginning of history and the first coming of Jesus. (the open note and the first fifth). Now we can move forward from here. For this, the string can effectively be the string of a guitar, where the key is the open note. This note is effectively 0. From there, the frets are numbered as normally numbered for a guitar, so that 12 is the octave, and, in a certain sense, relative to the next octave scale, also 0.
Then, since this open note is the base of our key, we must mark the seven frets that contain the pure notes of the key. Here they are:
What this means is that regardless of what frequency the base note, or open string is, do re mi fa... is always frets 0, 2, 4, 5, no matter what.
Let us insert the ages per our previous model of other writings:
2: Babel and Calling of Abraham, Formation of Old Covenant
4: Illuminative Way of Old: Exodus, OT Kingdom
5: Unitive Way of Old: Exile, Restoration
7: First Coming, Formation of New Covenant
9: Illuminative Way of New: Catholic Christendom
11: Untiive Way of New: Our Lady's Age of Peace
12: Second Coming of Christ
Now the fun begins. We know there is a beginning to human history's redemption: the flood, number 0. We know Jesus comes at some point, namely, the first fifth, or note number 7. Now what?
Well, just continue to take fifths and see where it goes. In short, we will see that it takes us in such a fashion that the first two ages are covered, namely, after our flood, babel and the founding of the Hebrew covenant. From there, something interesting happens: the process works in the order of the ways [way of the saint] of the People of God, such that first a way of the New People is traversed, then the same way of the Old People is traversed, and so forth. That is, a New/Old alternation. So, here we go. Again, remember, to get a fifth, you either go back five frets or go forward seven.
We start with the flood, or 0, which, by our ocatve rule, is also 12, or second coming. The fifth of this is either 0 + 7 or 12 - 5. Either way, 7 the First Coming of Christ. Alreadly, we have gone from Second Coming to first Coming. Good!
So now, we are at the 7th fret, the First Coming of Jesus and formation of the New Covenant [again, the first fifth]. The next fifth is 7 - 5 = 2. Bingo, 2 is a preeminent phase, the second one, Babel and Confounding, and the formation of Hebrew or OLD Covenant. In fact, it completes the first two ages of history, the first being the fall and flood which we already had.
Now what? Take the next fifth. Here, instead of subtracting 5, we will add 7: 2 + 7 = 9. Yes! 9 is the NT illuminative way of light for NEW, Catholic Christendom, the first great age of New.
Next, subtract 5: 9 - 5 = 4. Bingo, 4 is the illuminative ways of OLD.
4 + 7 = 11, the unitive way for the New: our current minor apostasy and the coming era of peace.
11 - 5 = 6. Here, we have a rut, we have failed to hit a real note. 6 is effectively flat for Jesus' first coming.
Well, in short, for the next four notes, the process acts like what we just did [go new/old, new/old, etc], except the notes are just one step flat:
6: Flat: First Coming, Formation of New Covenant
1: Flat: Formation of Old Covenant
8: Flat: Illuminative Way of New
3: Flat: Illuminative Way of Old
10: Flat: Untive Way of New
(again, above, alternate between subtract five or add seven)
After 10, we get 10 - 5 = 5. We are back in the game: we had left off with 11, or the unitive way for the New. 5, now, is just this for the Old.
Finally, 5 + 7 = 12, which is Second Coming, or also the Flood, and we are back where we started.
Amazing huh? Complicated, a little, but dwell on it. It is not really that crazy.
Addenduum, the result is this:
The process of the fifths does this:
1. Flood, or Second Coming of Christ by Octave
5. First Coming of Christ, formation of NEW Covenant
2. Abraham and formation of Hebrew OLD Covenant
6. Illuminative way of NEW
3. Illuminative way of OLD
Dialogue on the Music Building of the Ages, Part II
Can I share a couple tidbits of what I left out? The one was the fifth. The note of 1/3 down the fret is... the simplest possible note to add to the base note of the key to make a chord. Which is that? The base note and the fifth is the dullest most basic chord possible; it is emotionally neutral; meaning, does not imply by itself either major or minor, joyful or sorrowful;
Punk rock does chords like this; G5 for example; it is G and then D; it is a brain-dead chord; think of smoke on the water, or iron man; What is kewl is, the more notes you go in the development, they get more complex.
It works like this. 5 is basic; then 2 is more complex but still emotionally neutral; then 6 is minor; and then 3 is major; 7 is the major seven: beautiful, peace; here, I am using the numbers 1234567; the 1-8 of the ages as do re mi, ..., not 0 - 11;
There are eight notes in the key octave, but they are spread out over twelve frets; five times there are gaps between the notes, and two times no; sorry for the confusion; point is, the complexity increases as you develop the fifth of fifth of the fifth...
What is amazing is, for one, the process of building music naturally from the law of the 1/3 harmonic is, it peels out the ages in logical order. And secondly, it starts with base information, which is amazing; if we start with an abstract world, we only know two things to start; it has a beginning and an end; the next thing we know, is that the Incarnation will come. That is it. We don't know when the Incarnation will come, even in sequence. What is amazing is, this is basic info, just like G 5 is basic; and, in fact, the base info I just gave you is the only official doctrinal or dogmatic data we have for history. The Church does not define history between the Fall and Jesus, nor between Jesus and the Second Coming. It defines Creation, Fall, elements of First coming, and then the Second Coming, including info just before the Second Coming. It does not define that Babel is real; it does not define that Egypt and exodus are real, etc; and it does not yet dogmatically partition the NT age. This theology of music could argue how the Church will define the ages.
Whoa. This is deep stuff.
Thnx, i think it is; it conforms to the other musical theology I have; remember, the ones on deacon and doctrinal history. It really shoud be, in my opinion, the case that music reveals the whole faith
anyway; what i meant is that music is inherent to the liturgy. We are told that the liturgy reveals the whole faith. So if music is the supreme language of the liturgy, then music reveals the whole faith.
I got one more thing on this subject I never thought about do you want to hear it real quick
The first thing is self evident that I already knew which is that the fifth of the 12th fret is the 7th fret and the 12th fret is the second coming and the seventh fret is the first coming. Now, we start our process of developing notes with the open string, which is the Flood. This is effectively like the second coming because the open string and the 12 frets are the same as octaves, just like Noah's day is like the end of the world; Here is what I never thought of: The fifth of the flood is the first coming. And the fifth of the first coming is Babel and the formation of the Hebrew covenant. This is so cool. The first coming of Jesus is the formation of the New covenant right before the church begins the way of the saint. Bingo, Babel, the confounding, and the calling of Abraham are the formation of the Hebrew covenant or the OLD covenant, which is right before the Jews traverse the way. In other words, this means that the zigzag between new and old is fulfilled completely all the way through, that is, it includes that the formation of the NEW covenant zigzags back to the formation of the OLD covenant and then we go into the purgative the illuminative etc; I cannot believe I never saw this before. Isn't that cool? In other words, just as the 5th of every new testament event takes you back to the corresponding OLD Testament event, so similarly the fifth of the formation of the NEW covenant is the formation of the OLD covenant!
Yes just consider this. here we go; we start with the flood; which is number 1; by the way, for ease, i will not use frets, confusing; I will use the ages as one to eight; just trust that the fifths.... when computed relative to the actual frets give what i am saying; it works; you can read the in essay; so here we go; we start with the flood, the first great redemption of history; technically, the fifth of the flood is the first coming. BUT, by the octave rule, the flood "is" the second coming: as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the son of man; in Noah's day, most of the world is wicked, sparing a remnant
at the end of world, in great apostasy, the world is mostly wicked, sparing a remnant of Gentile Catholics and then most Jews, who have converted; in Noah's day, God destroys the world, BY WATER; at the end of world, God destroys the world, by FIRE; so, we can "substitute" the flood with the second coming; now, the fifth of the second coming is the first coming; and that is actually true; whether you take the fifth of the twelfth fret or the open string ,you get fret 7; so the fifth of the second coming is the first coming; and yet we have also included the flood, since the flood "is" [ type of] the second coming; now, the fisrt coming is also the formation of the NEW covenant, Pentecost; it so happens that the FIFTH of the first coming is babel, the confounding, and calling of Abraham, which is the formation of the OLD covenant
so the fifth of the formation of the NEW Covenant is the formation of the OLD covenant. That is, the fifth of 5 is 2; 5 is first coming; 2 is formation of Hebrews after Babel; from here, all else works;
the fifth of babel and Hebrew formation is the illuminative way of New
the fifth of the illuminative way of New is the illuminative way of OLD
the fifth of that is the unitive way of New
the fifth of that is the unitive way of OLD
Wow...it seems like a lot to wrap my head around. This is good and very deep, but very complex.
well, if you can handle it
after the unitive way of light of NEW, the fifth branches off into the discordant notes, or flats; five of them; what these do is simply do what we just did except in each case, the note is just shy of the one we did, that is, flat; this continues until we get the flat before unitive way of light of NEW; then, the fifth of that takes us to where we trying to get... ; the unitive way of light of OLD; after that, the fifth is the second coming, or flood
depending on reference; which is where we started; sounds complicated, and is a little bit; but it all pans out; the jist is this
it walks through all history in the order needed; but the way it does it is to constantly alternate new old, new old, new old
It almost seems like going backwards, unless it's because you're referencing an old covenant in relation to the new one that supersedes it.
Well that's just how it works but it kind of is beautiful because it shows that the new fulfills the old
think of Jesus walking down the road to Emmaus and showing and elaborating to the disciples how He fulfilled the old law
Similarly imagine the church dialoguing with the Jews about how the church is fulfilling all the Jewish history
you remember how I argued that as the Jews will see more of their history for filled by the church they will come to convert