The C Major Scale is an F Major Chord: George Russell and Paul Hindemith

No commentary on this one, I’m just pondering this quote from the late George Russell’s “Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization.” Russell (who was called “The Invisible Guru” by Ian Carr) was a deep thinker whose philosophical approach to music influenced the development of jazz profoundly. (I haven’t seen evidence of that myself, but some of his adherents make this claim, so I’ll take them at their word.) As a longtime Hindemith fan, I enjoyed reading this particular acoustical/philosophical foray linking these two extraordinary composers and musical thinkers.

According to Hindemith, the tonic of an interval of a fourth is the upper note, while the tonic of an interval of a fifth is the lower note. Consequently, in viewing the major scale as a chord, both intervals indicate that the tone on the fourth degree is the tonic of that chord. The C Major Scale, therefore, is actually an F Major chord.

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