Acoustics & Sound For Musicians - Online Book

The Theory Of Sound Which Constitutes The Physical Basis Of The Art Of Music.

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M                           RELATIVE PITCH                  [IL § 31.
of the ordinary Major and Minor scales, the original sound of reference being the common tonic*, or key­note, of those scales. In saying that these sounds have fixed mutual relations of pitch, we merely state formally an obvious fact. A familiar melody is recognised equally well whether heard in the deep tones of a man's, or in the shrill notes of a child's voice. Whether the singer ' pitches' it on a low or on a high note of his voice makes no difference in the melody itself. In fact the correctness with which an air is sung no more depends on the exact pitch of the note on which the singer starts it, than does the faithfulness of a plan on the precise scale which the draughtsman has adopted. It is sufficient that the constituent notes of the melody should have fixed mutual relations of pitch, just as in the plan, the several objects represented need only be drawn in proportion to their actual dimensions.
The difference in pitch of any two notes is called the interval between them: it is on accuracy of intervals that Music essentially depends.
31. The most important interval in the scale is the Octave. It is that which separates the highest note of a peal of eight bells from the lowest. When
* The tonic may be recognised by ita being the note on which a tune almost invariably ends, and on which it must end if an impression of entire completeness is to be conveyed to the hearer.
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