December 2021 Tonalibus update

This December 2021 Tonalibus update extends an invitation to an upcoming concert in Basel on February 10. Further, it announces the Fidibus shop release of playlists for free continual listening. And it touches on the completion of the catalogue of tonalities and the expansion of the glossary. Finally, an inspiring quote concludes this Tonalibus update.

Invitation to a cooperation concert in Basel, Switzerland

Troubadour Marcel Haag
and Ulrico of Tonalibus


Kiental Ulrico

Thursday, February 10, 2022, 19:30~21:30
QuBa Quartierzentrum Bachletten
Bachlettenstrasse 12, Basel

(More info and program highlights forthcoming in January.)

Fidibus shop news: Free playlists

December 2021 Tonalibus update

Tonalibus playlists offer easy and free continual listening and downloading of individual pieces. Tune in and enjoy!

The playlists offered at this time in the Fidibus shop are:

  1. High mountains on fire, light, and soundplaylist Tonalibus D — so far: five new pieces, 33 minutes — a work in progress, accumulating like snow on the mountains
  2. Riding the wave’s crestplaylist Tonalibus C — ten pieces, mid 2021, 67 minutes
  3. Relishing the presentplaylist Tonalibus B — nine pieces, early 2021, 45 minutes
  4. Creative joy of a new lifeplaylist Tonalibus A — twelve pieces, 2020, 39 minutes

Tonalibus news: Catalogue completion

December 2021 Tonalibus update

The Tonalibus catalogue of anchored tonalities, after all, appears reasonably complete with its eighty entries. A recent concluding addition was the TetraNa progression. Besides the previously announced tonality TetraNa, this progression presents the three TetraNa inversions: Norcor, Locor, and Upcor.

“Inversion progression, from here to there and back” — 8-string guitar, bass, Tibetan (tingsha) cymbal pair —
TetraNa inversion Norcor, progression to Dorian via PentaMinLa / Pentabal and back — 7:26 — as loop on a separate tab — TetraNa progression visuals and plain sound samples you find on the page TetraNa progression

Harmony is when opposites meet and circles close in unity — while remaining open-ended. The TetraNa progression exemplifies this quite visibly in its relative simplicity.

TetraNa, as tetratonality, spans only four notes, the fundamental and initial three overtones of the harmonic series. This progression rounds off the Tonalibus catalogue of tonalities, after growing to a considerable number of entries. It unifies the overtone foundation with pattern progression, full and partial, progressive and regressive, as well as anchored and to some extent also not anchored.

Harmony in its widest sense includes and remains open to everything and all. This progression stands for how the Tonalibus catalogue is to remain open-ended after reaching some level of completeness of something that in its entirety will always escape complete human grasp, will always be greater and go further — harmony, here in its expression as myriad of anchored tonalities.

Tonalibus news: Glossary expansion

December 2021 Tonalibus update

The glossary defines basic and unique terms and names used by Tonalibus. It is the first option under Concepts in the top menu or on the Concepts page. Now it includes also the various key syllables used by Tonalibus in tonality names. Thus, a tonality name can express the inherent structure of the corresponding tonality.

The terms in the glossary are ordered alphabetically. However, this order differs from one language to another. This website automatically pulls up the version corresponding to the language of your system or your geographic location, e.g., with the links mentioned above. With the following links though you may see the different language specific glossary versions. The glossary in English translates to German, French, and Italian but keeps the alphabetic order of the terms in English. While the versions of the glossary in German, in French, and in Italian remain in the given language and list the terms in proper alphabetic order accordingly.

Spiritualibus quote

“The essential nature of words is, therefore, neither exhausted by their present meaning, nor is their importance confined to their usefulness as transmitters of thoughts and ideas; but they express, at the time, qualities which are not translatable into concepts. This is like a melody which, though it may be associated with a deep meaning, cannot be described by words or by any other medium of expression. It is that irrational quality which stirs up our deepest feelings, elevates our innermost being, and makes it vibrate with those with whom we are closely related in love and work.”

“All that is visible clings to the invisible, the audible to the inaudible, the tangible to the intangible, and, of course, the thinkable to the unthinkable.”

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Books One & Two, Paul Twitchell, pp. 414-415

Happy holidays and the best 2022!

The miracle of the present moment — December 2021 — near Grächwil / Meikirch, Switzerland

August 2021 Tonalibus update

This August 2021 Tonalibus update first touches briefly on the new album Tonalibus A, B, & C. Then it presents a new personal and two new cooperation sound samples. Further it highlights the current expansion of the tonalities catalogue. This is a work in progress and linked to ongoing research and experimentation with harmonics or overtones, including reciprocals, inverse and nested relations.

Tonalibus A, B, & C — the album released

Tonalibus A, B, & C - album

The album Tonalibus A, B, & C with its thirty-one personal sound samples by Ulrico is available globally on many music platforms, e.g., Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Deezer, and more. You can find links to the main platforms and a detailed listing of the tracks in the Fidibus Shop entry for the album Tonalibus A, B, & C. May you enjoy these sounds — heart to heart, soul to soul!

New personal and cooperation sound samples

“Natural harmonics gateway” — first step in a Na tonality

PentaPro / PentaNa — triple 8-string guitar — July 2021 — 4:36 — as loop on a separate tab

“Christina’s theme” — a work in progress

Melodic theme in D minor / Aeolian and voice by Christina Braun, 6 and 8-string guitar by Ulrico — August 2021 — 8:49

“Hallo Stille [Hello silence]” — a booklet by Nicole Keller

Text by Nicole Keller, voice by Karin Gsöllpointner, 8-string guitar in C# Mixolydian by Ulrico — August 2021 — 5:09

Tonalities catalogue expansion

The Tonalibus catalogue of anchored tonalities is in the process of being significantly expanded. As a result of further researching the natural harmonic or overtone series a new group of tonalities became evident. Tonalibus chose its name to be Na tonalities, with Na for natural harmonics.

Harmonics or overtones and resonance are fundamental to harmony. Therefore, Na tonalities are uniquely harmonious. Ideally, they span over multiple octaves, at least three or four. They follow the sequence of natural harmonics or overtones and form an arch with secondary harmonics turning into tertiary ones (or reciprocals). Thus they lead to more commonly known tonalities. Na(tural harmonics) tonalities and other additions will soon appear in the Tonalibus catalogue.

Finding these tonalities was like mining ore. New tonalities kept leading to others like in a main strand of ore. Plus there were also side strands leading to further tonalities outside the Na group qualifying to be added to the catalogue. Eventually though they all led to already existing tonalities, which strengthens the validity of the catalogue as it is.

In total, so far this brought forth close to twenty additional tonalities qualifying for the Tonalibus catalogue, including a few existing tonality name adjustments. Thus, PentaPro or PentaNa, the tonality of the current month of August, received its second name, PentaNa. And the group of clustered or melodic tonalities expands to include also two super-clustered tonalities with a step pattern of five consecutive whole steps and two consecutive half steps.

The following two visuals present the group of Na tonalities and their main modulation path that fully follows the natural harmonics series.

Tonalibus 1e-3 tonalities – 2023-11 – 82
Tonalibus 1e-3 tonalities – 2023-11 – 81
Tonalibus 1e-3 tonalities – 2023-11 – 83x
Tonalibus 1e-3 tonalities – 2021-08 – 75y
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Tonalibus 1e-3 tonalities - 2023-11 - 82
Tonalibus 1e-3 tonalities - 2023-11 - 81
Tonalibus 1e-3 tonalities - 2023-11 - 83x
Tonalibus 1e-3 tonalities - 2021-08 - 75y
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The numbers in the above visuals represent the halftone positions of a tonality’s pitches within their vertically, top-down depicted octave.

Reciprocal harmonics — fascinating relationships

Current Tonalibus research focuses among other things on reciprocal harmonics. These are mirror image or inverse harmonic relationships.

The most significant example of this is the quart (perfect fourth). It carries its fundamental octave as primary harmonic, its quint (perfect fifth). However, the quart itself is but the second last pitch of the occidental twelve-tone system to appear approximately in the harmonic or overtone series as the twenty-first harmonic or overtone and one of the four most deviating ones. Nevertheless, besides the quint, the quart is one of the two primary anchors of a tonality, as the tonality’s fundamental is its reciprocal quint. Tonalibus calls the quart the regressive tonality anchor, because it shows where a tonality comes from. The quart in a way creates the fundamental. But then it has to contend with being one of the least harmonious pitches in the resulting tonality’s harmonic series. This can be called the generational interplay of harmony, the theme of a previous blog post.

The above may lead one to look for and recognize corresponding relationships of harmony in life in other contexts beyond music. But this goes beyond the current scope of Tonalibus and you may contemplate this as you see fit.

Similarly fascinating harmonic relationships can be observed between the major sixth and major third, between the minor third and minor seventh, as well as between other pitches. Relationships of this kind go beyond mere concepts. They are based on physically measurable observations that can be reproduced. More about this may come out in future Tonalibus posts.

Best wishes to conclude this August 2021 Tonalibus update

„Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen, [Sleeps a song in things abounding,]
Die da träumen fort und fort, [that keep dreaming to be heard,]
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen, [Earth’s tunes will start resounding,]
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort. [if you but find the magic word.]“

— Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, Wünschelrute, 1835

August 2021 Tonalibus Update
Forests, fields, a horizon of mountains, and the silhouette of a lonely birch — Grächwil/Meikirch, Switzerland

July 2021 Tonalibus update

This brief July 2021 Tonalibus update presents three new personal sound samples and one new cooperation sound sample. It highlights the global release of the new album Tonalibus A, B, & C. And there is a heartfelt closing note and image.

New personal sound samples from June and July 2021

“ॐ मणिपद्मे हूँ Auṃ maṇi padme hūṃ — Blues”

Pentamix / PentaDor (Egyptian scale) — triple 7-string guitar and voice — 8:28 — as loop on a separate tab

“Reaching Up to Heaven” — in ReachUp tonality

ReachUp — triple 8-string guitar and bass — 7:11 — as loop on a separate tab

“Back on a Blue Track” — treasuring healthy roots

PentaMin / PentaEol or pentatonic minor on F — double 8-string guitar, bass, djembe — 7:41 — as loop on a separate tab

“Wild Thing” — new cooperation sound sample

ReachUp (double harmonic/Gypsy minor) — Voice by Christina Braun — 8-string guitar by Ulrico — 3:48

The new personal sound samples can also be found in the still growing collection Summer 2021, the new cooperation sound sample under Cooperation 2020-2021.

Tonalibus A, B, & C — a pending album release

Tonalibus A, B, & C - album

The album Tonalibus A, B, & C is a quite extensive collection of thirty-one selected personal sound samples by Ulrico. It contains two and a half hours of uplifting music recorded over the last full year. At the present time, this album as well as some singles from it are in the process of becoming available globally on many music platforms, e.g., Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Deezer, and more. Once released, the platforms offering this Tonalibus album and singles will be listed in the Fidibus Shop entry for this album. There you will also find a listing of its thirty-one tracks with their titles, their instruments, and their duration. Stay tuned for the the album Tonalibus A, B, & C!

July 2021 Tonalibus update closing note

This is an encouraging note just received from a friend in France who experienced a close loss:

“Dear Uli, thank you for the musical notes. I listen to them in the background when I write letters. They carry me along and accompany me on my way. Thank you for this universe!”

July 2021 Tonalibus Update
Full rainbow arching a moment of completion, of unity and freedom — June 2021 — Grächwil, Switzerland

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