May/June 2021 Tonalibus Update

This May/June 2021 Tonalibus update presents new personal sound samples. It highlights the integration of another tonality into the Tonalibus catalogue. It provides an update on the Fidibus shop. And finally, it highlights Harmonic Experience, a massive book on harmony in music.

New personal sound samples

“Acoustic Scale Acceptance” — a previously rejected tonality

LydDorian / ClusterPro — 8-string guitar — 3:36 — as loop on a separate tab

“Just Be, No More” — an unintended short PentaCor pūjā

PentaCor — 8-string guitar, fujara, crotales, and gongs — 1:20 — contains low sounds — as loop on a separate tab

“Journey Around the Sun” — a circular Core modulation

8-string guitar — 7:08 — modulation: PentaCor, ReachUpMix, Dorian, ReachUpMix, PentaCor — as loop on a separate tab

Another tonality: LydDorian or ClusterPro

A good year ago, during the initial evaluation of tonalities to become part of the Tonalibus catalogue of anchored tonalities, what is known as Lydian dominant or acoustic scale and other names, was rejected because of being only partially anchored and appearing insufficiently harmonious. However, recent study and experimenting with it, now led to its integration into the Tonalibus catalogue after all. Following the current Tonalibus naming convention, being a clustered or melodic heptatonality, its Tonalibus name is LydDorian or ClusterPro.

Recognizing its inherent harmonic intricacy went along with the discovery that its most contrasting two pitches, the tritone and minor seventh, appear more harmonious when initially approached from above, not from below. Then, after introducing them from above, they gradually become also more palatable when approached from below. It was not the tonality that was insufficiently harmonious, but not knowing how to use it harmoniously that caused its previous rejection.

LydDorian / ClusterPro — short sound sample, rhythmic — 8-string guitar — 0:48 — as loop on a separate tab
LydDorian / ClusterPro — short sound sample, calm — 8-string guitar — 1:03 — as loop on a separate tab

Fidibus shop update

Following its suspension in May, the Fidibus shop is now again online. Current offers are sporadic mini-concert sessions and the CD A Symphony of Life and Love. However, Tonalibus exploration courses and individual sound mantras remain on hold for the time of their revision and eventual renewal.

Harmonic Experience by W. A. Mathieu

The full title of this big 563-page book is Harmonic Experience — Tonal Harmony from Its Natural Origins to Its Modern Expression. The first sentence of the introduction summarizes its contents: “Harmonic Experience describes the full range of harmony, from its fundamental gestures to its most complex expressions, by means of the unifying principle of resonance.” — p. 1

It appears that W. A. Mathieu indeed comprehensively presents and elaborates on some of the same or very similar fundamental concepts of harmony in music that Tonalibus is based upon. However, it will take some time to assess and confirm the extent of this. For now, to provide an initial taste of his approach, here are a few general statements from the introduction to Harmonic Experience:

“Every rule and formulation ever made burns away at the moment of music making. Ultimately everyone makes music intuitively; individual circumstances determine the point at which the music rises above the mind and the intuition takes over.” — p. 5

“The Sufi mystics say, ‘The mind is the willing slave of the heart.’ The key word is willing. The intellect that wills to be in the service of the intuition is powerful and mature — the kind of mind a musician needs in order not to be paralyzed by knowledge. …
You find the balance between heart and mind by asking your heart what it really needs to become musically complete. If the question is clear, your answer will be clear too. Then your mind is finally free to offer service.” — p. 6

“You can’t learn music linearly. Rather, you learn it all at once, a little at a time.” — p. 7

“Sound itself is the teacher of sound.” — p. 9

1997 — Inner Traditions International, Vermont