Thoth

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Thoth

The white keys on the piano are named after the first 7 letters of the alphabet. But they begin on C, not A: C D E F G A B C. There are 5 black keys that go between them, and they are named after the note above or below: The black key below the B is Bb, but it could be called A#, because it is also just above A. There are no black keys between the B and C, or between the E and F. In some cases, you could for instance have an E#, which would be an F. This does happen in the Key of F#. Every note except B is sharp, there are 6 sharps in F#. The same thing happens in Gb, where every note except F is flat. There is a Cb, which = a B. Even stranger, F# and Gb are identical in sound, but are just written differently, one with 6 #s, the other with 6 bs.

This might seem illogical, but music has its own logic. This way, all of the notes follow their alphabetical order, with one letter per note, albeit #, b, or natural. Yes, sometimes there are naturals that contradict a previous accidental, and there are also double flats and double sharps. Anyway, there are reasons music is written the way it is written, but I am interested right now in how these patterns manifest themselves on the keyboard of a piano, or more to the point, the fretboard of a guitar. When I began studying the guitar, I noticed that there was a pattern that recurred, and it was a pattern of 5 that would repeat the first sequence of half steps and whole steps from the low E string to the high e string. I call them, as in the hexagrams of the I Ching, Yin and Yang. There is a 3rd sequence of only 2 notes, and I will call that one Skip.

     Yang  Yin  Skip

       X    X     X
            X      
       X          X
       X    X    

Here is the pattern that would be a G Major Scale if you started on the F# on the 2nd fret of the low E string. Notice that the pattern is 

   Yin Yin Yang Yang Skip Yin 

          X X X X   X
          X X     X X
              X X    
          X X X X X X   

What are the other possibilities? There are 5 places this pattern can start on. 

   Yin Yang Yang Skip Yin Yin

          X X X X X X
          X       X X    
            X X X    
          X X X   X X

   Yang Yang Skip Yin Yin Yang

               X
         X X X X X X
                 X
         X X X X   X
         X X     X X

   Yang Skip Yin Yin Yang Yang

             X X
         X X X X X X 
   
         X X X X X X 
         X       X X

 
   Skip Yin Yin Yang Yang Skip

           X X X    
         X X X   X X
               X    
         X X X X X X
                 X 

Well, now that I have bored everyone stiff, I will just let this sink in. It is really more for my own edification that I post this. It makes sense to me, but it might not make sense to anybody else. I think that you might want to develop your own systems anyway, rather than struggle to understand my gibberish. Really, when you are playing music, you don’t want to have to stop and think about this stuff. On the other hand, the paradox is that sometimes you have to think about music a lot to get to the place where you don’t have to think about it.

For my next trick, I will turn into the garage [turns and walks into the garage. Turns around facing the audience and takes a bow].

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