Alexander J. Ellis - On the Musical Scales of Various Nations (Journal ...

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JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY 0•' ARTS.

lonrnal d tht ,Jocidy of

~rts. I

No. 1,688. VoL. XXXIIl

FRIDAY, MARCH 27. toSs.

Hardy, G. Hurlstone, Parlc:-lodge, East Twickenh.am.

Head, Jobn, F.G.S., u,

Qu~en

Anne's-gate, S.W.

Hodges,:Hcrbert J., Cbescerfi.eld·boase, Barclay-road,

.Fu!ham, S.W. K~ndal, James, ro6, Chc:apside, E.C. Pears, Andrew, Spring-grove, Jsleworth. Stenning, All an E., F...ast Grinste.ad, Su.ssex. v.~hile, \Villi.am Henry, Lower Condcrcum, New· cil.stle-on-Tyne.

Tbe following candidates were balloted for and duly elected members of the So~iety : All (;tNitj~UXJ-114n# for flu SHit(,? #lll1~t/J k atldn!.U~d fq IM S#c~f4r)', 7dll·#htel, Atf,djlu~ Lnd IV in one scale, between V and VI in two scales, and also between VII and I in three, perhaps five scales. There is also an approximate subminor or harmonic Seventh (950 for 969 cents) between 11 and VII in two, perhaps four scales. 'Ve should not go wrong rr.ore than a quarter of a Tone, and that ooly in the first two notes, if we assumed I 100 li 300 Ill 200 IV 100 V 100 VI JOO VII 100 1', which would give us the tempered C Csh E Fsh G Gsh B C for the 7 P~log notes, and this would give the scales, PELOG C E F sh GB C, DANGSOE C Csh G G sh BC', BEM C Csb Fsh GB c·, and BARANG C Csb Fsh G Gsh C'. And although these are bad imitations, especially as regards the C C sh E, when they come together, yet they are the best imitations of the Pelog scales, which our radically different scale can produce. No one seems to have ventured on giving Pelog airs in European notation.

-

vu 100 400 100 VI 300 VII 100 VII100 400 VI 100 400 VI 300 VII 100 VII 100

1' 1' I' 1' I' 1'

The Pelog scales of Java quite dispose of the notion that Pentatonic scales are confined to intervals of a Tone and a minor Third, for we

do not find a Tone in them anywhere, and the minor Third is rare, while the Semitone is frequent. XIV.-CHINA. There is a long description of Chinese music in Amiot, and shorter ones in Barrow \Villiams, and Dennys, and another in the catalogue of the Chinese court at the Health Exhibition of 1884, the last having numerous airs in Euro~ pean notation. • All of these books seem to assume a.s undoubted that the Chinese musical intervals are. the same as the European. Amiot begins by giving the relative lengths ,. pf,.~ AmiOI'$ accoul)t o11

1110

Ujt

...

l' , •., 11' 151 ll1'.182 IV'

3'. Sums .. o

Tempo:red•· Notes I

t00

Il 150 IJ( 150 IV 2100 V 200 V11,So VI1 t5o I'

5· Swns. o

200

.;se>

soo

100

8so

1000

uoo

6. Vib .....so

so.s

ss•

6c>I

6?..

757

825

900

There were only 11 notes in the particular inst.rument examined, which was blown {or rather sucked) for us by one of the ChinesP. musicians. This seems, therefore, to have the bagpipe intervals, very sli'ghtly altered in dis· tribution. According to Mr. Hermann Smith's measurements, a Sheng in his possession should produce a series of Fifths (reduced to one Octave), which would agree with Amiot. The Sheng, 1 understand, very readily gets out of tune. \Ve selected it because it is ..·ell known, and its tones are fixed. 4). First Chime O/ Gongs or Pien -lo, \Van-lo (in Dennys, No. 38, van Aalst, No. 14, p. 57,) or Yan-lo as called at the Chinese Court and in South Kensington Museum, from both of which we had specimens, which differed greatly. That from the Chinese Court is given here, the o ther in 5). A series of 10 small chee•e·plate·shaped gongs in a frame, one at the top, and then three rows of three in each, here numbered as seen from behind, where they projected, and were struck by the wooden hammer, I at the top, ll Ill IV in first row, V VI VII in seco nd row, VIII IX X in bottom row. In the table, however, I arrange them in order of pitch. They were struck in this order, omitting IX and I. 1 am quite unable to give any theory for this scale, and especially for the note.s IX and I omitted by the player. But I give a tempered form, which seems to suit when these are lcrt out. We are told by van Aalst that "it h~s become eA 316 C'; where line 5 agrees very closely with line J, and on calculating the vi b. on line 6, they agree almost exactly with those in line J. Now I transform the scale by beginning it with IV= G, and get G•8• AJr6CJ82 Dzo4 .E316 G, where the intervals are identical with those of the Dulcimer in its pentatonic just form, or C182 D316F182 G204A3r6 C. Hencethesetwo instruments practically furnish different modes of the same scale, that. is, the same succession of notes begun in different places. But then i: was the same man who played and tuned both. 8). Ballam, W .C., 4 p.m. Mr. F. J. Uoyd, 01 Field E.aperiments.'' Cbero.icaJ, 8 ut:'lin(ton-house, Vl.,8p.m. A.an\Yersa_ry )tcctiag for Election of Officers and Couocil. Eut lnd.iao Anociation, Eseter-hall, Strand, \V,, :tl p.m. Mr. Robert Browa. "Tbe Co.etliuese of lndia.D Admiai.s:tratioa.'' TUlt$DAY, MARCH .JI ...CMl Eaglneer't, 21, Great G-eo~· s~t, S.W., 3 p.m. Di~uion on Mr. Peter Willia.m '\Villaas' paper, "Tbe El«trlt; Regulation of the Speed of Steam·eori.:nes and of other Moton for Dri.vinc Dynamos.'' WIDS£SDAV1 A PAJL 1 ... Pha.no3.«utlca11 17, Bloomsbury· square-, W .C., 8 p.m. l . Mr. F. W, Pusmo r~, •• Not& on 3." alleged Decoll~potition of Qulaini! in cobt;act Vt.ith Lime." 2. llr. T. P. l:Uunl, •• An I m• purity la DitHIIed Water." 3· Me8t.r~. W. Elbome. a.ad H. Wilsoo, "Proxim~tG Analysis or Colubr1u Redio3ta. Bart." 4· Mestrt. \V, Elboroe a.nd H. v.rnson, •• Saccus T'a.r.t:iad.'' An::hZ!tJiogkal Assodadoa, ,Jt, Sacbille·street, '\\r ., 3 p.m. Prof. Alfred C. Ft)•er, u Notes on ,&.acient GLus/' TO VJt.$0AY, .&,Uit. s Lianean, Burliagtoa ·house, \V,. 8 p.m. J, Mr. H«:o.ry Q-ro,·cs, .. The Cout Flor.a. or Gapygia., South ltaly. '' 2. )[r, S pencer Moore-, ,. Studies in Vqebble Diolog)'-Obserntioo• on the Contlna.ity of ProtOplasm; a.ad on RosaaoiJ"'s Crystals in the Bndot~na·cells or Alcm,~kol, Gla.t.iovi.i."

Chemical, Burliagton.·b&use., W., S p.m. Ladies' Sanitary Auo.c.i 3.tion,u, Bern~·dreet, W., 36 p.m. Mrs. Sbeil~ "PhysioiOt)' a.nd t-.be L.:nn of Health." {Lecture \~I.). "Ye11tibtlon 3ad Oislaf6dion."

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