Eightball: Understanding the Significance of #8 This topic, by necessity, will requite many blogs. In the game of pool sinking the 8 ball in a pocket, can make you win or loose the game. Being a composer/pianist, I will mainly cover the use of #8 in music with my first blog. The first fundamental overtone of music is the octave. This tone sounds at the same time as the octave “overtone” of its lower note. Although it’s softer, it still can be heard. The ratio of the speed of its vibration of the higher to the lower is 2 to 1. Count the white keys under the outstreched hand in the picture below. There are eight white keys.
- Go to piano.
- Depress the higher “C” with your thumb(as in the picture) without making a sound.
- Keep it down.
- Then depress and play the lower “C”. It is being played by the “pinky.”The two notes are pictured above
- You will then hear the formerly quiet higher “C” resonate quite strongly and clearly.
The white keys, from the fifth finger to the thumb, define the “C” major scale. Major and minor scales are defined by eight tones. So are the more ancient chruch modes. These include the dorian, phrygian, lydian, aoelian…Scales are at the basis of playing any instrument. I offer piano lessons in Sarasota. Now, back to number 8.
- A complete musical thought or phrase has 8 bars of music. That gives it stablity. Think of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”: “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow.” These words cover eight bars of music. This is an example of musical sentence.
In the realm of chemistry eight also has special properties. Eight electrons in an atoms or shared by compounds in the outer shell does the following:
- It stablizies any compound.
- It defines a “period” on the periodic chart. Or, it makes for totally stable or inert element. Similarly, a period stablizes or completes a sentence.
Eightball and its Mystique of “8” are also in the World’s Religions
Buddha taught of the eightfold noble path. It led to enligtenment. In Islam a fascinating parallel exits between music and heaven. This is in the belief that there are 7 hells and 8 heavens. The title Hasht bihisht ( 8 paradises) is used several times in Persian literature. This I found in the book, The Mystery of Numbers by Annemarie Schimmel. I worked with maestro Rubinoff and His Violin as his arranger. Any musical idea that only had 7 bars sounded “wrong.” Eight bars sounded correct. That always turned out to be the case. Rubinoff was extremely successful as an arranger and violinist. While at Wayne State University, I was a music major. I also was Rubinoff’s accompanist and arranger. Conclusion: Get on the “eightball”. Learn to enjoy life, and feel fulfilled. Most important: partake of music- David.