The Oquaga Spirit Speaks About Her North American Indian Tribe Where Women Ruled. They were part of the Algonquin Indian nation. Could this spirit speak! My poem on the Oquaga Spirit states the situation:
What a communicator was she
This sprite both blithe and free.
So much she needed an ear,
She ignored my tranquility
But I was more than willing
To listen to her story
About her lake and hills
And all their beauty and glory.
The Oquaga Spirit is a spiritual essence around Oquaga Lake located on top of a mountain in Deposit, New York. The mountain range is called the Catskills; a once famous place for New York vacationers trying to escape the heat of summer. On Oquaga Lake you literally can forget about the rest on the world. Only the skies, crystal clear water and lush forests are there. The town is called Deposit after the logs that lumberjacks deposited to be shipped down the Delaware River. We have spent over a dozen summers on the lake since 1983. I sensed that the spirit is an old female American Indian guide from the Lenni Lenope tribe. All the enlightenment, which I received by Oquaga Lake on the 3 x 3 magic square of numbers, came from this lady spirit guide.
Oquaga Lake Where Lenni Lenape Tribe was Matrilineal
The Lenape kinship system is matrilineal. Children belonged to their mother’s clan who gave them their social status and identity. Hereditary leadership was from the mother’s clan. Women had the power to remove anyone that they disliked. They not only managed the agriculture, but decided allotments of land by the needs of extended families. Married couples lived with the bride’s family and were able to receive help in raising their own children from the matriarch and her daughters.
Christmas and the 7 x 7 Number Square. By this time, I know that some are saying, “Is there anything that he (meaning me) thinks that number squares cannot explain?” W.S. Andrews in Magic Squares and Cubes confirms the possibilities of what I blog about: In his introduction his states that the harmony of numbers that magic squares puts forth helps us to understand the cosmic order that dominates all existence. Furthermore, that reality is dominated by “mathematical regularity”- exactly what the magic squares are about.
HOW CHRISTMAS CAME TO BE DECEMBER 25
Seven is called a virgin number because no number less than seven enters into it as compared to other numbers. Specifically, 4,6,8 and 10 can be divided by two. Three divides 6 and 9. Four divides 8; and 5 divides 10. Here is the story of Christmas Day: If you add all the numbers from 1 to 49, their total is 1225 which I believe first Christians took as 12/25 or December 25. Certainly, coming out of the 7 x 7 virgin number square we could expect nothing less. Also, As Michael S. Schneider states in A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe, the letters of the Greek alphabet also represent numbers in a tradition called gematria. He states when the letters of Athena’s Greek name are added together they total 77. When her maiden name as Athena Pallas is considered, it totals 343 which is 7 x 7 x 7. In Hebrew “mazel” means luck. It’s numerical equivalent is 77. Maybe that’s why we say “Lady Luck”. How about the song from Lerner and Loewe’s Guys and Dolls, “Luck Be a Lady Tonight”? Also, a boy becomes a man at age 13 with his Bar Mitzvah (son of the commandments) which in Hebrew has a gematria of 343 (7x7x7). Ancient civilizations had so many parallels. I think that just learning about our common traditions can help all of us to live together in peace.
Secrets of Genesis: Genesis uses the 1st two number squares; being 3 x 3 and 4 x 4. The number squares are pictured below as a point of reference. They have been extensively described by author John Michell whose books have been my constant companions for decades. Whereas our civilization tends to look for differences, older civilizations stressed similarities. In a nutshell, looking only at differences leads to war while looking for similarities leads to peace. These two opposite tendencies label the two pillars on the Hebraic Tree of Life.
In ancient times the 3 x 3 number square was assigned to a planet, Saturn. The square represented limits, boundaries and the law. The 4 x 4 number square was assigned to Jupiter and represented expansion, business growth and success. In my blogs I have already discussed the Greek word, gematria. It is the use of the same symbol to represent both a letter and a number. Letters and numbers in Middle Eastern languages enjoyed a grand unity so that every letter, word or even phrase had an assigned numerical value.
In Genesis, as God created the Earth, the Torah states about His creation, “and God saw that it was good.” “Good” has a Hebraic gematria of 17 (pronounced “Tov”). On the 4 x 4 number square associated with Jupiter and creation and expansion pictured below, any two opposite numbers total 17: as 4 and 13; or 7 and 10; or 8 and 9 etc. When creation was finished God said it was “very good.”. In Hebrew this is pronounced Tov meh-ode. The word Meh-ode ( very) has a gematria of 45, which totals the numbers from 1 to 9 on the 3 x 3 number square of Saturn. To invoke the sum total of the numbers on the smallest number square, of the limiting planet of Saturn, says work is done, enough is enough. It’s time to rest.
File: Albrecht Dürer – Melencolia I (detail).jpg
From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository The number square of Jupiter and success in action
The wheel of the Zodiac in the Sepphoris synagogue
Music of the Four Types of Triads and the Four Organic Elements Use the Same Numbers.
Four elements were known in antiquity and recognized through the Middle Ages: Earth, air, fire and water. In the 21st century, we laugh at this. After all, we know there are 92 re-generative and re-occurring elements. But in the process, we have overlooked a secret code: The 4 basic elements of organic chemistry are carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen.
The source of fire on stars is hydrogen, atomic number-1
Our air is mostly nitrogen, atomic number-7
The hardest earth substance is diamond made from carbon, atomic number-6
By atomic weight, our water is mostly oxygen, atomic number-8
Their 22 total ( 1 + 6 + 7 + 8 = 22) goes around the zodiac 3x for a total atomic weight number of 66
Let’s take a quick look at parallel this has to musical triads
The basic building block of triads is the single 1/2 tone, 1 half step.
From the first note to the last with major and minor triads we count 7 half steps.
From the first to the last tone of the diminished triad we count 6 half steps
From the first to the last tone of the augmented triad we count 8 half steps.
Next point to tie in with the elements: God’s four letter name, called the Tetragrammaton, is a contraction of the three tenses in Hebrew. The important thing here is that in many Middle Eastern languages, the symbol for a letter was also the symbol for a number. There were no separate symbols for numbers. This is called by the name, gematria (a Greek word). Jehovah in Hebrew is spelled: yud (10) hei (5) , vav,(6) hei (5) for a total of 26. The three tenses of time in Hebrew are: was (hei-yud-hei) with a gematria of 20; am (hei-vav-hei) with a gematria of 16; andwill be (yud-hei-yud-hei) with a gematria of 30. Thus, 20 +16+ 30 = 66. As Jehovah is spelled with the same letters as the three time tenses, His existence is connected to all time, the past, present and future.
The same truths hold for Islam. According to Annemarie Schimmel, in The Mystery of Numbers, 66 corresponds to the value of the sacred word, Allah. Turkish Sufis explain that Turkish art uses emblems of the tulip and the crecsent Moon respectively, lalah and hilal. These two words not only use the same letters as the Sacred Name, but also they total 66 in Arabic by their gematria. Finally, the circle of the zodiac in Hebrew is referred to as Galgal; spelled in Hebrew gimmel- lamed; gimmel- lamed. The letter gimmel is the symbol for number 3; and the letter lammed is the symbol for 30. Thus the two gimmels and two lameds total 66. All mankind has so much tradition in common. Now let’s share peace and plenty.
A Date With Debussy: As I Record His Music at Glenridge Performing Arts Center- My family put together an incredible birthday present for me. Abe, my oldest son, wanted me to play and record one hour of the piano music of Claude Debussy. That got the ball rolling. I immediately agreed. Preview YouTube video Ohrenstein plays Debussy Arabesque No. 2
SAMPLE THE VIDEO MADE AT THE GLENRDIGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER ON YOUTUBE
MY DEBUSSY PARIS MUSIC CONNECTION
My own piano instructor, Mischa Kottler, asked me when he was 94 years of age to give a concert of French music. That I should show people how I play. Kottler studied on the 1920’s with Alfred Cortot. In turn, Cortot was a contemporary of Debussy. He personally knew him in Paris. Debussy was born August 22, 1862. Cortot, September 26, 1877. I learned Debussy’s craft from Mischa. It uses included the plethora of two note phrases. Also Debussy developed a hidden notation to specify which notes he wanted to emphasize.
PARTICULARS OF THE RECORDING
That got me started on a 4 hour/day regimen of practice. On my birthday, October 24, my daughter Kathryn and her wonderful husband, Jonathan, bought me the session. It was videoed by Mark Palmer.
AT THE GLENRIDGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
My wife, Sharon-Lesley coached me on some tricky rhythms. She the agreed to be the page turner.
My youngest son had a day off. He was the lighting technician and stage assistant. That was after a 4 minute tutorial.
My oldest son, Abe, was the first to insist on one hour of Debussy. He is a marvelous computer technician.
Conclusion: As proud as I am of A Date With Debussy-, I am even prouder of my family coming together to give me the best birthday present of my life. Date of release to be announced. And yes, I am working on piano music for an all French concert. It will include works Ravel and Faure.
Our Musical Circle of Fifths and Plato- Is this connection crazy? After all, Plato was born about 428 BC. Our Circle of Fifths, which most of our present day music is based on, came into being in France and Germany in the later 1700’s and then spread to England in the 1800’s. Plato wrote extensively about the five regular polyhedrons; the dodecahedron, pictured above, being the most complex of the five. He speculated on their nature in Timaeus c.360BC.
PLACING THE 12 KEY SIGNATURES ON THE DODECAHEDRON
Here is the parallel:
The 5th tone in the C major scale (which has no sharps or flats) is “G” as C,D,E,F,G. The last tone, “G” defines the home tone of the next major scale in the circle, G major.
The 5th tone of the G major scale (which has an F sharp in the key signature) is “D” as G.A.B.C.D. The last tone “D” defines the home tone of the next major scale, D major.
The 5th tone of the D major scale (which has F and C sharps) is A as D,E,F,G,A. The last tone A, defines the home tone of the next major scale, A major.
This sequence keeps on going through all 12 key signatures of our circle of fifths. In the picture above, C#,Gb, and Cb are called enharmonic and are attached as doubles called by different letter names written out at the bottom of the illustration: C# and Db major are played on the same piano keys; as are F# and Gb major; and B and Cb major. Thought they are 15 by name, they are 12 by actual number.
WHY MUSIC IS PARADISE IN SOUND
So where is Plato in all of this? The geometry of the dodecahredon parallels our circle of fifths as follows: If the defining 5 tones of the key are each set in the vertex of a pentagon, then the 12 scales perfectly outline the figure of the dodecahedron. As the Platonic solids considered perfect and totally symmetrical, and symbolized the totality of the universe; then we can say the same of our Circle of Fifths . It too is perfect, totally balanced and places us in this state of mind when we listen to it. Our Musical Circle of Fifths and Plato- translates to a new definition of music: Music is paradise in sound. The art offers no less.
The Trouble-makers: Igor Stravinsky (right side) with choreographer DiaghilevPhoto: Hulton Archive
How Stravinsky Caused a Riot in Paris . Paris has always been thought of as an avant guard city. New and fresh ideas have had a chance to take hold be it in fashion, culture, entertainment or the arts. However, even Paris has its limits. Enter Igor Stravinsky on May 29, 1913 at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees with his ballet, “Sacre du Printemps” (The Rite of Spring) choreography by Nijinsky. The work represents an ancient pagan rite in two parts.
The Adoration of the Earth
WHAT CAUSED THE RIOT?
Sacre du Printemps” just broke too many rules, musically speaking. It uses wild rhythms, harsh sounds issue forth from the instruments, polytonality (more the one key at the time), – all combined together to cause the audience to break out in pro and con factions along with fist fights, swearing other and the like. Stravinsky had asserted himself through dissonances. I must share a story of how the Rite of Spring impacted me at my high school, Cass Tech High in Detroit. The year was 1963. I was in the chorus. Our choral director, Italo Taranta, would play the Rite of Spring on a phonograph every single day while the class was settling down. Most of us hated the music; but after a couple of weeks everyone loved it as we would bounce and move to its seemingly crazy rhythms. I was never able to let go of this controversial piece of music. When I did my Master’s thesis at Wayne State University, for my music history class; I did a more complete story of of The Rite of Spring, while speculating on what could have been the actual trigger in the original riot. If you have taken the time to read this blog, please listen to “Sacre du Printemps” and e-mail me about your impressions. I would appreciate it. I think that even today the music is startling.
Beethoven Enlarged Everything. He almost single-handed crossed the threshold in music from the Classical era to the Romantic era while clearing the path for the rest of the world to follow. For example, in his 5th Symphony his feelings of jubilation were so great in the 4th movement, that he added a piccolo, contrabassoon, and three trombones to the standard orchestra. It was the first time that trombones took their place in the orchestral family. Also, the extreme registers were pushed further than ever before by the piccolo and contrabassoon.
In the 9th Symphony, the limits are pushed even further. Not only does he use the piccolo, contrabassoon and three trombones again, but he adds the triangle, cymbals, timpani and bass drums for special effects. But still Beethoven was not happy with the limited sound. He added four solo voices and a four part choir. The reinforced musicians and chorus joined forces to point to Beethoven’s vision of a better world: Beethoven used his text from Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”. As a result, he is credited with bringing in the modern orchestra with its large tonal capabilities. Also his symphonies and concertos were on a greater scale than any of his predecessors. He vastly increased the use of the orchestra in his last three piano concertos,Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano and for his Violin Concerto. The orchestra was elevated to the status of a symphonic partner.
Beethoven was always looking for a more massive sound. He would move from one concert hall to the next in Vienna for this quest. He premiered his 9th symphony at Vienna’s Karthnertor Theater because it was somewhat larger than the Esterhazy chapel he was using. Instruments were often pushed to their acoustic limits in order to create the sound he wanted. He was also notorious for breaking strings on pianos, which required that better pianos be built. By the way, Beethoven invented the technique of the prepared thumb; which my teacher, Mischa Kottler, learned from a linage of teachers going back to Beethoven. I teach this technique to my own piano students. As I will be posting a youtube video of Debussy’s piano music; you will be able to observe this technique. Release date to be announced.
The Sign of Scorpio and Music. So many have had their astrological charts drawn in hopes of finding out what they are like deep down inside. Hoping to know the future is a universal desire that has even driven kings to retain astrologers. Some people look to astrology to answer all types of questions: In a relationship, who am I compatible with? What am I best suited for professionally? Is today a bad day to make decisions? Most daily newspapers still have an astrological column.
Yet how many people look to astrology for answers of musical import? Probably very few because there are few resources on this subject. What kind of questions might be asked by a Scorpio?
What instruments is a Scorpio compatible with?
What type of music is suited to my Scorpio personality?
Who were some prominent Scorpio composers
Here is a little free pre-publication information from my upcoming book: Music Under the Zodiac. Scorpio feasts on music not only mentally and physically, but his very core. He’ll enjoy music with a mystical or even an experimental bend. In the in list are complex chords, modulations to distant keys, modern jazz and complex rhythms. Music satisfies his quest for meaning in life and love. Scorpios enjoy music from the Baroque era as each movement tends to be a unique and intense in mood. Music can transport Scorpio to another world.
What instruments would a Scorpio enjoy mastering? Varied pitched percussion instruments like the timpani, triangle, marimba, celeste and xylophone. Piano, of course, is in the running.
Scorpio composers include some with a strong flair for melody (myself included). In this collection we find George Bizet, Johann Strauss (the waltz king), Domenico Scarlatti, John Phillip Sousa, Aaron Copland and Henry Purcell. Over the months, I’ll be covering everyone’s zodiac sign so stay tuned.
The Golden Age; Where is it? The ancient tradition of naming of ages the of man was documented by Hesiod, an 8th century BC Greek poet. In Work and Days, he describes five ages. These ages are cyclic: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Age of Heroes, and Iron.
The Golden Age denotes all the good things in life: peace, harmony, stability, and prosperity. Man lives to an old age, dies peacefully and wanders about after death as a benevolent spirit.
The Silver age was worse. Men were not only foolish and immature, but refused to worship the Deity.
The Bronze age was far more violent. Mankind destroyed one another with bronze weapons.
The Age of Heroes was more just. This age included some of the heroes of the Trojan War.
The Age of Iron, which we are still in, is characterized by turmoil, strife and sadness.
Things might seem bad now, but the cycle is about to restart once more with the Golden Age. The key to the door of our new Golden Age is the tiny grain of mustard seed called the 3 x 3 number square; the smallest of number squares. We can “read”its numbers”, in a way called gematria as they did in antiquity. Often letters and numbers shared one symbol; not like most languages today that use separate symbols for numbers and letters. This tradition is buried in the past but belongs to all mankind: Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, even Zoroaster. Here’s how to read the 3 x 3 square in Judaism. Everyone will be included in future blogs. What we have in common promotes peace and all the good things that come with it.
5 is the central number = 5 Books of Moses
10, any two opposite numbers = 10 Commandments
40, totals 8 numbers around #5= days and nights Moses was on Mt Sinai to receive the law
15, total of any row of 3 numbers=the gematria of the shortest name of God, “Yah” (yud (10) , hei (5)
20, the four corners or 4 inner numbers total 20 = the gematria of the double “Yud”, another spelling of the Holy name.
120, totals the fact that 15 can be found in 8 different ways by adding 3 numbers in a row: (3 sets vertically, 2 sets diagonally and 3 sets horizontally)=the years of the life of Moses.