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  • rbedwell3


Now, for those of you new to my mathematical approach to music theory, this may be a lot to take in. Work at it though, it holds so many rewards if you can get your mind to understand the content and relevance of what I am about to discuss. I take no prisoners, and hold nothing back, so get your thinking caps on. (NB: This is all my own work, my own discoveries and thoughts. There are no references, bibliographies, quotes or anecdotes. Just my own efforts in trying to understand music.)

The Lydian - Locrian Axis is the fundamental basis on which notes are arranged to create keys, modulations, tension and resolution. (Can you feel your eyes glazing over? Deep breath, focus.)

Have you ever wondered why, (I doubt it but then again I have been thinking of music and theory for 15 years), that when the notes from the circle of fifths are spelled out, the modes are Lydian in one direction and Locrian in the other?

Clockwise: C, G, D, A, E, B, F# = C Lydian

Widdershins: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb = C Locrian

This is no accident, these two modes of the major scale, when acting in conjunction with each other, are the mechanisms for change in music. You may need to read the above a few times and draw as many circle of fifths diagrams as is needed to hammer the point home.

I have been accused on other sites and posts of over analysing and seeing things that are just not there. I think people are just afraid to think in a way that is new to them, and that it jeopardizes what they already thought they knew.

Now, the next activity that the Locrian - Lydian Axis is involved in is in the changing of the key. (For those with the book, the section starts on page 29.) When a key changes, the Lydian - Locrian Axis is the pivot point. Take C Major to G Major:

C Major = C D E F G A B

G Major = G A B C D E F#

The mode on F in C Major is F Lydian. When it has its root sharpened it becomes F# Locrian. That is the pivot point. Lydian - Locrian. What about the other way? I hear you ask.

C Major = C D E F G A B

F Major = F G A Bb C D E

The mode on B in the key of C Major is B Locrian. When its root is flattened it becomes Bb Lydian, the Lydian - Locrian Axis.

So, Locrian (-1) = Lydian : Lydian (+1) = Locrian

This is just the start. I have just introduced the mathematical symbols of + and - into music theory, and it explains exactly what is happening when a key changes up or down, all with just the symbols + and -.

It gets so much more complex that I suggest you work through the examples and see what else you can think of before I post the next instalment: Revenge of the Return of the Lydian - Locrian Axis.

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