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Comment by Skye Løfvander on April 8, 2014 at 9:33pm

Hello Planetware,

I am well aware of your methods and I think they are rather far fetched. It is obvious you shouldn't transpose a frequency value by octaves until it matches a frequency in the colour spectrum without taking into consideration that you simultanously have to transpose the wavelengths. Wavelength is exactly as crucial to the identity of the tone as the frequency!

By the method you are using, you end up with a combination of frequency and wavelength which is neither tone nor colour. So it is speculation just like the notion of the correlation between the Indian tuning method and an octave of the tropical year is mere speculation.
And there are several other reasons why I would never indiscriminately spread my equal signs between the two very different fields of wave expression, tone and colour.

Yes, the velocity of the propagation is different in other materials like water or solids. What is given here is the value for air which is the media we mostly listen to music through. But even for water (and other materials) the wavelength-frequency relation is fundamental and indispensable.

You may transpose anything to anything and you may even find beauty and apparent meaning in it.
What we really need to give attention to are the kind of relations which are essential to how nature works, not to the superficial speculations about correlation where the most basic reflections of relevance have been omitted.

Comment by Skye Løfvander on April 10, 2014 at 11:49am

Hello Planetware,

I actually don't think I am destructive. I am critical, yes, and I am being honest about it. What is essential is that I am not just sneering and calling names. I allow myself to point at what you and Mr. Cousto and thousands of others either do not understand or don't bother about even though it is extremely basic and very essential to the understanding of our perception of waveforms.

One reason why you may find it destructive is, that you are in it for economical profit whereas I am concerned about disseminating of misunderstandings and a simplistic view which can only add to alienation. I am right now not having a conversation with a person but with a business trademark - Planetware.

And actually talking about methods is not the point. We are talking about one method, that of octavation.
I could also octavate my body temperature or shoe size to the number of calories in my breakfast but the result wouldn't really be meaningful, would it? However it is not much different from what you are suggesting we should should do by comparing properties of hydrogen with those of tonal frequencies.

And let me repeat:
You cannot - and I mean not - just octavate a frequency without simultaneously octavating the wavelength. These two aspects are absolutely fundamental components of the identity of a tone or a colour. You can not isolate the one from the other neither in gasses, fluid nor solids.
Frequency and wavelength are indisputably interconnected.

Whenever you octavate a tone so that its frequency matches a value from the colour spectrum, you end up with a value of the wavelength which deviates by the factor of one million from the wavelengths of the colour spectrum. So you have something which is neither viable as a tone nor a colour.

Furthermore you completely ignore:
- that the two waveforms are fundamentally different: One is disemminated transversally, the other lonngitudinally
- our sensory perception of the fields have very different bandwidth. We can hear more than 10 octaves tones but only see just short of one octave colours. That is crucial to how we structure our concept of the two wave expressions.
- An octave is not always just 1:2. On all pianos, no matter of tuning, the higher octaves are tuned wider than 1:2 and the lower octaves more narrow.
- The distance between the the wave fields - tone and colour - is enourmous 2^40
- The natural division of the tonal spectrum is the harmonic series. Fundamentally the octave here is divided in 2-4-8-16-... In your iColour Piano you frankly claim that you can ignore that structure and apply it to the 7/12-divided piano.
- The natural division of the colour octav is not in 7. Newton happened to be wrong at this point. Indigo is not a primary colour.

... etc., etc.

To repeat:
I honestly don't think I am destructive, I am calling out for soberness and conscientiousness!

Comment by Skye Løfvander on April 10, 2014 at 12:29pm

" (...) wie von Herrn Løfvander fälschlich behauptet, mit einer Vermischung von Frequenzen und Wellenlängen."

No matter if a tone is sounding in air, in water (liquids) or in solids it will be subject to the frequency-wavelength relation, f x λ = v (frequency x wavelength = velocity)

- It is a question of the nature of tone. You cannot separate the two!

”fälschlich behauptet”??
- If you could point to a situation where the frequency and wavelength of a tone or a colour are not interdependent, I think you should do that!

Comment by Wolfgang Saus on April 10, 2014 at 2:27pm

Very interesting discussion!

Comparing different wave forms and frequencies to tones is an interesting concept from the viewpoint of psychic or psycho acoustic perception. Physics is by now not able to explain beauty. And their is beauty in the concept as is in the underlying numbers and mathematics.

And it's stunning if Indian musicians tune their instruments to octaves of planet moves. Is this fact proven? I saw it only in books about the octave principle. How precise are those tuning frequencies related to the planet tones?

A tolerance of alone 12 Cent up or down (1/8 of a halftone step) would mean a difference of 5 days in the tropical year. I could imagine that the planet system wouldn't stay stable with such a tolerance. 12 Cent is about the smallest tone difference to be distinguished if you play a single tone. Hearing is better when comparing two tones, but in tuning the first note you only have the reference of a however percieved planet tone. How do those musicians tune? And how reproducible is the tuning? Was this investigated, Planetware? Would be interesting to know.

But I agree to Skye that some people when speaking about planet tones tent to point out a physical connection while misunderstanding the underlying concepts of physics. I would rather look for synesthetic, subconcious or metaphysical connections.

Comment by Wolfgang Saus on April 10, 2014 at 2:41pm

Skye, the octave is not a stable fact in music anyway. As pointed out by W.A. Sethares in his brilliant book Tuning, Timbre, Specturm, Scale the perception of an octave intervall is related to the 2/1 ratio of matching overtones rather than to 2/1 frequency ratio. If you stretch the overtone scale of the sounds you can percieve an octave even if the fundamental frequencies have a ratio of 9/4.

Comment by Skye Løfvander on April 10, 2014 at 3:02pm

Hello Wolfgang,

I welcome your comment. It seems to me, though, that you don't mean "But I agree to Skye (...)" as your arguments prior to that are also in favour of my viewpoint. I would suggest "And I also agree to Skye (...)"

And thanks for nuancing that the octave is not all that universal.

If someone puts forward in a discussion that classical indian musicians tune their instruments to an octave of the tropical year that must be considered as claim which needs substantiation. Before that I can't relate to it as anything but myth, no matter if the claim is to be found in a book about octavation. What is needed is plausibility from a descent and reliable source, not rambling claims. I am not unfamiliar with Indian classical tradition.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (Carl Sagan).

Comment by Skye Løfvander on April 10, 2014 at 3:23pm

Who would argue in favour of a claim that our musical perception is conditioned by the fact that the utility frequency of the AC power system in most of Europe is 50 Hz?

Should the fact that we live in Europe lead us to favour notes of 50, 100, 200, 400, 800,... Hz when singing in electrically lit rooms here and to favour notes of 60, 120, 240, 480, 960, ... Hz when singing in North America, where the utility frequency of the AC power system is 60 Hz?

Well, I think not!

Comment by Skye Løfvander on April 10, 2014 at 3:24pm

Improved version of the image.

Comment by Wolfgang Saus on April 10, 2014 at 3:53pm

There in fact are mechanical connections between light and sound. In photo acoustic spectroscopy you use sputtered light to induce thermal effects that can be measured as sound. Also if you go into the vibration of molecules the movements relate to microwave spectrum. And by inducing cavities in liquids by application of standing ultra sound waves you can induce light emission. But I don't think any of this is meant by the octave principle.

Comment by Wolfgang Saus on April 10, 2014 at 3:58pm

Percieving wavelenght as a sensation is an interesting field too. We are used to frequency perception. The frequency doesn't change if we change the fluid from air to water. I learned to feel the wavelength in air. It's a completely different sensation than hearing. I feels more like a mechanical vibration which I cannot realy describe.


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