Curiosities of Music - online book

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of less than sixteen vibrations in a second are in­audible on account of their depth, and those exceeding 38,100 vibrations in a second are too high for the human ear to perceive.* Starting from this premise Pythagoras formed a scale founded on the seven planets, as known to the astronomers of that time. This was its form:
The sun was Mese, the controlling middle note, around which all the others circled.
The order of Pythagoreans were held together by the firmest ties, and Pythagoras has been, not inaptly, compared in this capacity with Ignatius Loyola. His adherents, who numbered about three hundred were, in most cases, wealthy and noble, and the power of the society was always upon the side of aristocracy.
Pythagoras was very select in the admission of members, exercising great vigilance lest improper or undesirable persons should be allowed to enter; in this he was guided not a little by his skill in Physiognomy. The initiates had, it is said, to pass through a most rigorous and lengthy period of probation, they were obliged to maintain silence for five years,f and in other ways had their powers
• The sense of sound differs in different ears. In Chappell's Histy. of Music, page 251, an account is given of a wire of sixty-four feet in length, arranged by Sir F. A. Gore Ouseley, to sound the 0, four octaves below C in the bass clef. The note was inaudible, but when taken at half length some of the listeners heard it, while at quarter length it was audible to all.
t See Lucian Auction of Philosophers. Some say two years.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III