The Relation Between Light and Sound.

Scientific American 17, 27.4.1867

The speaker first alluded to the terms common alike to painting and music, such as color, tone and harmony; he also likened the great painters to the best musical composers. Referring then to the connection existing in theory, he showed that in an octave of music the highest note was mused by twice the number of sound waves that produced the lowest Dote. So, of light; while red results from 450,000,000,000,000 vibrations of ether in a second, the number of undulations must be nearly doubled before the highest color, extreme violet, is produced. The professor then drew attention to a diagram in which the colors cf the spectrum were referred to the middle notes of a piano key board in the following order.

Do - Red - C
Re - Orange - D
Mi - Yellow - E
Fe - Green - F
Sol - Blue - G
La - Indigo - A
Si - Violet B

The primary colors it will be noticed correspond to the notes of a perfect chord. The actinic rays, which it is known increase in power beyond the violet of the spectrum, are referred to the higher notes of the piano, the calorific rays, which have their maximum heating power beyond the red ray, correspond to a third octave.

It would be contrary to good taste in dress to place the color yellow by the side of green: so the combination in music of the notes E and F produces imperfect harmony. As new colors are constantly being introduced, it seems reasonable to suppose that at some future day we shall be in possession of tints corresponding with the semi-tones in music.

The speaker then gave a brief history of music, referring to the primitive ideas of harmony and the pretentious notation of the Greeks; the simplifying of these musical names by the Romans in the substitution for them of the letters of the alphabet from A even to P and Q. The discovery of the simple octave led to the rejection of all letters beyond G, but the note B natural was for a long time unknown. As originally written, the Scottish air, "The last rose of Summer," did not contain this letter. Afterward, on the general adoption of this note by the musical world, the Germans be-stowed upon it the name H, so that their musical scale as amended now reads A. H. C. D, etc.

Prof. Vander Weyde mentioned that he had divided the scale into thirty one equal parts, while Prof. Tillman consider, it as composed of fifty three equal divisions.

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