Re: sacred geometry

Hal Finney (
Sat, 20 Sep 1997 09:32:59 -0700

Years ago I worked on videogame development (Mattel Intellivision),
and for a proposed (but later cancelled) extension we were creating
musical themes. I worked with a very creative musician, Robert Randalls,
who was eager to push the limits of the sound chip. He put in funny
sound effects in some of the music, but for one piece he experimented
with a different scale, which he had read about but never had a chance
to try.

The normal scale has full steps, like from C to D, and half steps, from
C to C# to D. The scale Randalls wanted to use had C# be different
from Db, so that you had equal steps from C to C# to Db to D. I think
there was also a single step between E and F and between B and C.
This divided the octave into 18 equal steps rather than the usual 12.
Most of the white notes came out to be about the same.

It was just as easy to program the sound generator to use these
frequencies as the standard ones, of course, and Randalls had a great
time playing with the altered scale. We ended up using only one piece
like this. It had a lot of runs in it, since that showed off the special
charactersistics in an intriguing way. It sounded good.

So realize that the standard 12 tone scale isn't the only one possible.