Melody and 3/4 Time are Returning

Melody and 3/4 time are returning. Music that is heavy on square, off beat rhythm and simple chant but lacks beauty of melody and rhythmic variety has overstayed its welcome. They have been like guests that just won’t leave.  These guests, by the way,  have names. I call them the three “R’s”:  Rock and Roll and Rap. Most of their rhythms are square . They dominate through 4/4 or 2/4 time meters.  Two of the guests, Rock and Roll, insist and the constant hypnotic repetition of the “upbeat,” beats two and four. These three guests tend to avoid triple meter like the plague. To them, the words and melody of the 1936 song “By Strauss” music by George and lyrics by Ira Gershwin represent a worst case scenario: Ira  Gershwin writes about how a melody in 3/4 time literally goes lilting through the house. By the way, you can enjoy By Strauss in the classic movie, the 1951 production of : An American in Paris. It is a showstopper It is danced with comedy and verve as only Gene Kelly can.  The movie was inspired by the 1928 orchestral work with the same title by George Gershwin. It also features some of Gershwin’s most loved songs. The climax is a 16  minute  ballet on the 1928 orchestral work.  By the way, the movie won 8 academy awards.

Detail from frontispiece to Thomas Wilson’s Correct Method of German and French Waltzing (1816), showing nine positions of the Waltz, clockwise from the left- where the musicians are seated (from Wikopedia)

THE EFFECT OF TIME METERS ON THE PUBLIC

Duple (2/4 and 4/4) meters have sharp angles. Just watch a conductor outlining the angular motions with his baton. Triple meter can be conducted with a baton going in circles. When  understanding time meters and their effects,  the alchemical “squaring of the circle” takes on new meaning: Duple meters are earthbound. The square is associated with the alchemical element of  of earth. The circle represents heaven. Squaring the circle means bringing heaven to earth. The circle represents spiritual qualities- Qualities that are beautiful but you cannot touch.  We need to paraphrase “squaring the circle.” Since the angular rhythms have been so prominent for the last 60 years, we need to “circle the square” with 3/4 time and melody.

OUR RICH WALTZ TRADITION

 I recommend this needed return to melody written in three-four time meter. It will help with our spiritual survival which ultimately helps our physical survival.  This task is up to the composers.  One such popular waltz number is by Cat Stevens, Morning Has Broken. Norwegian Wood by the Beatles is another. You Light Up My life by Joe Brooks is a third example.  Schubert wrote a collection of waltzes. Brahms has a book of waltzes. Chopin, of course loved waltzes and gave the Viennese waltz a Polish twist.  Remember Strauss, the waltz king, which the Gershwins championed as I just wrote about above. The old minuet is in 3/4 time.  Let’s look to these rich traditions of the past. Then we can turn around to face the future, knowing that our lives will be happier as a result. Incidentally, the ancient Greeks had the same thoughts about music – that music affects character.  They called this musical property  by the name of “ethos”.

Stonehenge Was Built By Musical Tones

 

There’s music in the air as I, David Ohrenstein, believe that Stonehenge was built by musical tones.

 

 

 

 

Credit for photography: Digital Imaging Project of Mary Ann Sullivan, Bluffton College;

Stonehenge was built by musical tones in terms of the numbers found in the vibrations per second of an old musical scale.  This the personal theory of David Ohrenstein (myself). The numbers are derived from what is now called the Greek diatonic scale.  Stonehenge  translates the numbers of this scale, in terms of vibrations per second, into  numbers of  measure that were also used by former civilizations from around the globe.

 THE UNITY OF MUSIC AND GEOMETRY

There once was a blueprint that unified music with simple geometry. I discovered the  plan while playing the piano in the summer of 1993 for the Scott family at Scotts Oquaga Lake House in Deposit, New York. Years after, I discovered that the blueprint is preserved by a system of numbers called gematria: Letters used to double as  numbers. Therefore each letter, word, phrase   or sentence  had a numerical value. That is the essence of gematria. 

352 the Diatonic musical tone “F”

Here is the modus operandi of how Stonehenge was built by musical tones: The diatonic tone “F” (as per Issac Asimov in On Physics and Guy Murchie in The Music of the Spheresvibrated 352 times per second. This strongly ties into Judaism.  The most important Judaic prayer is the Shema Yisroel ,which declares the Oneness of the Creator. The two words (Deuteronomy 6:3) right before this six word declaration (Deuteronomy 6:4)  translate to “milk and honey” with gematria of 352. The meaning is simple: from milk and honey, which represent being loving, nurturing and caring, we achieve oneness or unity with the Creator. Now, take 352 as the diameter of a circle. Its circumference in whole numbers is 1106. When the 6 word declaration of the Shema Yisroel is spelled with the double “yud” for the Holy Name- as it is in the prayer books- the gematria of this phrase is also 1106. The message is: Milk and honey places us at one with our Creator.

ARCHITECTURE AS “FROZEN MUSIC”

 The diatonic tone “F” (352) is also found at Stonehenge as the average distance between the pillars (above picture) is 3.52 feet. The average of width of these same stones, facing the center,  is double that- 7.04 feet. Musically, when a number is doubled, it sounds one octave higher.  The average length of the lintels on top of the pillars is triple 3.52 or- 10.56 feet.  Stonehenge is but one example.Other diatonic tones can be found not only at Stonehenge; but at sites of all cultures and creeds.

  Here’s another example of how Stonehenge was built by musical tones:The diatonic tone “C” (264 vibrations per second) is also at Stonehenge and is expressed as  the measure of a distance. John Michell illustrates how the distance from the center of the station rectangle to the heel stone is 264 feet. The  station rectangle is made by the paths of the orbits of the Sun and Moon. It marks where their paths intersect at right angles.  The same number, 264, is  prominent in Judaism. The Hebrew word for the Passover ritual is Seder; which means order. The number behind the same musical tone (C) that marked the order of the paths of the Sun and Moon at Stonehenge, also denotes the order of the ritual at Passover.

                                                                                                                                LIFE, LOVE AND MUSIC

Measures expressed here are not an anachronism. John Michell, in The View Over Atlantis, writes about how the British 12 inch foot existed in the past.  Samples of the cubic inch of gold for  weight comparison are found at the British Museum. They are from ancient Egypt, Babylon and Greece.  I think it would be fitting for there be a new re-dedication to the kindness, love and nurturing that are expressed by the words of milk and honey in Deuteronomy 6:3.  To begin the work, which is substantial, we should dedicate ourselves to renovating sites that were once built by measures derived from tones of the diatonic scale. The rebuilding would offer all mankind a unified and hopeful vision of peace and co-operation; and lead us to the path of a new Golden Age of peace and plenty.