Monday, February 14, 2011

Greek Aulos, Kathleen Schlesinger

after Drew Daniels:

an favorite old book and a webcam.

For my olde book, I chose The Greek Aulos by Kathleen Schlesinger, which is in fact SHUNNED by the music theory/classics establishment. This is because her radical theory, based on empirical observations of the tubes, does not hold water in the physical implementation on reed instruments.

You see, she saw equally spaced holes along the remnants in the British Museum, and postulated: "The Greek Harmoniai were based on the undertone series in different modal shifts".

Ancient Pot with Mexican Auloi projected on it.

This aulete is anxious due to her misrepresentation in rotten shards of pipes.

This aulete is more about seducing the ladies with his strains. You may see equally spaced holes on the aulos, but the pitch is in fact more based on the bore of the holes. So Kathleen based her revolutionary theory on an over-generalization. This man would evenly bore the ladies.

Montage: remains of auloi with a bacchanale frieze.

Kathleen saw different "extensions" of the reed as modulating into different undertone series. Auletes may have used extendable wands while they were playing.

This image is overlaying theory about the Wosta of Zalzal (mostly correct), with a bas-relief of a procession. To me, the most tension in this image comes from worrying about the giant cat thing biting off that man's penis.

Elgin auloi, quite phalloi.

the feat of Pronomous: an extendable straw!

Kithara reconstruction along with drawing of "block used to play kithara"

The bearded (barbarian) man and his aulos, beating a high whiney tune, according to secret runes.


Undertone Series -> Planck Constant -> Godsynth

Now. Let's talk about the undertone series a little bit. Harry Partch used Kathleen Schlesinger's work to formulate his grand synthesis of over and under tones, Just Intonation. What did Kathleen's misinterpretation add? Undertones had always been "theoretical", because you can only hear overtones acoustically, like in the tuba, dijeridoo, etc. Kathleen said, no, undertones are actually ancient. And now we have electronic music that shows us they are the future. You see, a "sync modulation" produces clean undertones of a given tone, and you can hear the sadness, the minorness, the opposite of the harmonic series "happiness".

Now if the undertone series is synthetic, made by a synthesizer, and our quantum states are strictly undertones of the planck constant, this suggests that not only is there a god, but he made our universe on a synthesizer. Cheerio!


  1. How dose Pan fit into this harmonic situation?

  2. Undertones are real! In vocal-ventricular mode phonation (Tibetan chant), in which the ventricular folds vibrate in a whole-number division of the frequency of the vocal folds, at least the second and third undertones can be realized by the human voice. Cowell in "New Musical Resources" references some experiments performed by a Russian researcher confirming the acoustic reality of undertones. I assume there is more current scholarship.

  3. Actually, Schlesinger's theory is the only one that makes sense of what ancient authors, especially Plato and Aristotle, say about the ethos of the ancient Greek modes.

  4. boy this one really brain punched me

  5. Mari Kimura plays Undertones on her violin with ease (just do a YouTube search).

  6. Most all ancient scales are based on the subharmonic series because of the use of equal divisions of string lengths. This is not to say that subharmonics were not developed into elaborate systems of partial sets. While it is stated that reeds differ than wind pipes , i am awaiting to see an illustration of that.

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