From Wikipedia: Chord of Nature

Generating a scale from "filling in" the chord of nature would visually look like...

CHORD OF NATURE    C     E     G        C
                   |     |     |        |
(fill in)          |  D  |     |  A     |
                   |     |     |        |
                   |     |     |        |
(fill in)          |  D  |  F  |  A  B  |
MAJOR SCALE        C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C
  • A pentatonic scale is the chord of nature with an added ^2 and ^6
  • A major scale is the chord of nature with added ^2, ^4, ^6, and ^7

I'm not presenting this as my theory.

I just want to know if over the centuries of music theory someone already proposed something like this.


I think the “problem” of this theory would be that the scales existed before ths chords and that the elements of a triad (the chord of thirds) have been considered for centuries as dissonant.

So a theory of fill-in tones would bridle the horse on the tail. The most reasonal explanation to me would be the description and treating of sustained tones, passing tones and changing notes as elements in the chord theorie and the phenomen of chromatic approaches. But in history of music this period has been too short between early baroque and the concept of 12 tone music.

I have never heard about something similar and don’t remember a treatise of chords were the 2nd, 6th or 7th have been introduced in another way than in the mentioned above or as additional tones in a tower of thirds.

(Except of Debussy’s scales of foreign countries like Bali and Java there are still other scales like the whole tone scale and the scales of 12 tone music that wouldn’t fit in this theory.)


I just went through your link chord of nature. Well, I‘ve fully ignored the overthone serie!

So I‘d like to add: another problem would be that in history of music everything that had been practiced for some generations was later (by the following generations ) considered as given by nature ... and not only in music theory!

  • Scales versus chords is a kind of "chicken or the egg" dilemma. In such cases I tend to think "both at the same time." With music I think of a very old and very universal instrument like the harp and then ask: with all those strings can I really imagine people only played scales one note at a time and never played multiple strings simultaneously? That isn't believable. Surely scales and chord were both used in some way in ancient times. – Michael Curtis Mar 26 at 14:01
  • I can't find nothing in the bible about this when little David played on his harp :) – Albrecht Hügli Mar 26 at 14:09

The Ray of Creation shows (represents) the entire universe as a descending octave.

Spiritual practice in contrast is an ascending octave and is therefore "against God" somewhat like the Gnostics.

  1. Do(minus) : The Absolute
  2. Si(dera) : The starry heavens
  3. La(ctus Firma) : The milky way
  4. Sol : Our Sun
  5. Fa(tus) : The planets that rule our fate
  6. Mi(crocosmos) : Our tiny world – earth
  7. Re(gina Coeli) : Queen if the sky (moon)
  • This is very interesting and I‘ve never heard about this either. One of the first canons I learnt at school was omly built on the major triad: dodododo,mimimi-,sosososo,dododo-,sosododo,sosodo-,sosomimi,sosodo-. with this background of: the absolute, the sun and the Mikrokosmos it makes more sense. :) – Albrecht Hügli Mar 26 at 7:05
  • Is the chord of nature represented somehow in that philosophy? I didn't see that in the wiki page. – Michael Curtis Mar 26 at 15:23
  • @MichaelCurtis I think I understand the overtone series physics and math. But I can't really "get" the filling in notion of "chord of nature". OTOH the significant aspect of the Ray of Creation are the two "gaps" – The black note absence between ef and bc in the c major scale – Rusi Mar 26 at 15:41
  • Strictly speaking that means that what the musician (or keyboardist) would call a lack of gap that theory calls as gap. The way it is represented is that for an octave to work there is an increase in vibrations from C to upper C. That increase must slow down at the 3rd and 7th place for the octave to come right – Rusi Mar 26 at 15:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.