From Encyclopedia of Microtonality
Shí-èr-lǜ (Script error: No such module "Zh"., [[Help:IPA/Mandarin|[ʂɻ̩Template:Tone-cmn.aTemplate:Tone-cmnɚ lyTemplate:Tone-cmn]]], 12 pitches) (twelve-pitch scale) was a standardized gamut of twelve notes. Also known, rather misleadingly, as the Chinese chromatic scale, it was one kind of chromatic scale used in ancient Chinese music. The Chinese scale uses the same intervals as the Pythagorean scale, based on 2:3 ratios (8:9, 16:27, 64:81, etc.). The gamut or its subsets were used for tuning and are preserved in bells and pipes.
The first reference to "standardization of bells and pitch" dates back to around 600 BCE, while the first description of the generation of pitches dates back to around 240 CE.
Note names[edit | edit source]
- 黃鐘 (黄钟) - Huáng Zhōng - tonic/unison - 1 : 1 - Play (help·info)
- 大呂 (大吕) - Dà Lǚ - semitone - 37 : 211 - Play (help·info)
- 太簇 - Tài Cù - major second - 32 : 23 - Play (help·info)
- 夾鐘 (夹钟) - Jiá Zhōng - minor third - 39 : 214 - Play (help·info)
- 姑洗 - Gū Xiǎn - major third - 34 : 26 - Play (help·info)
- 仲呂 (中吕) - Zhòng Lǚ - perfect fourth - 311 : 217 - Play (help·info)
- 蕤賓 (蕤宾) - Ruí Bīn - tritone - 36 : 29 - Play (help·info)
- 林鐘 (林钟) - Lín Zhōng - perfect fifth - 3 : 2 - Play (help·info)
- 夷則 (夷则) - Yí Zé - minor sixth - 38 : 212 - Play (help·info)
- 南呂 (南吕) - Nán Lǚ - major sixth - 33 : 24 - Play (help·info)
- 無射 (无射) - Wú Yì - minor seventh - 310 : 215 - Play (help·info)
- 應鐘 (应钟) - Yìng Zhōng - major seventh - 35 : 27 - Play (help·info)
There were 12 notes in total, which fall within the scope of one octave. Note that the mathematical method used by the ancient Chinese could never produce a true octave, as the next higher frequency in the series of frequencies produced by the Chinese system would be higher than 880 hertz.
See the article by Chen Ying-shi.
See also[edit | edit source]
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Reinisch, Richard (?). Chinesische Klassische Musik, p. 30. Books On Demand. ISBN 978-3-8423-4502-7.
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Joseph C.Y. Chen (1996). Early Chinese Work in Natural Science: A Re-examination of the Physics of Motion, Acoustics, Astronomy and Scientific Thoughts, p. 96. ISBN 962-209-385-X.
- Chen (1996), p.97.
- Needham, Joseph (1962/2004). Science and Civilization in China, Vol. IV: Physics and Physical Technology, p.170-171. ISBN 978-0-521-05802-5.
- 一种体系 两个系统 by 陈应时 (Yi zhong ti-xi, liang ge xi-tong by Chen Ying-shi of the Shanghai Conservatory), Musicology in China, 2002, Issue 4, 中国音乐学，2002，第四 期
[edit | edit source]
- Graham Pont. "Philosophy and Science of Music in Ancient Greece: The Predecessors of Pythagoras and their Contribution", Nexus Network Journal.
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