WIT Press

Music, Nature And Structural Form


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P.S. Bulson


The simple harmonic relationships of western music are known to have links with classical architecture, and much has been written over the centuries about the concept of musical proportion in geometrical composition. However, it is possible to extend the link between music and structural form by noting that the well-tempered chromatic scale can be represented in terms of the frequencies of successive notes by a doubling logarithmic spiral. Musical harmonies, sequences and compositions can be given a geometric form and represented by a type of abstract art. These geometric figures resemble man-made structures, and the spirals on which they are based are similar to the shell structures of nature. 1 The structure of music It is well known that attractive, easy on the ear harmonies in conventional western music are linked to simple ratios between the frequency of vibration of notes played or sung simultaneously. Pyth