The Scale of B-flat and its Importance.
The only scale that Keely mentions in his writings is the scale of B-flat. It appears strange that no other scale is ever mentioned considering the man was doing research into harmonic relationships, musical intervals and chords. Her are two of the many occurrences to give an illustration what I mean:
The only two vibratory conditions that can be so associated as to excite high sympathetic affinity, as between two physical organisms, are: -
Etheric chord of B flat, 3rd octave, and on
Etheric sympathetic chords transmission
Eb on the scale 3rd, 6ths and 9ths; octaves harmonic;
having the 3rd dominant; the 6th enharmonic, and the 9th diatonic.
The chord mass representing the musical sphere, being the sympathetic etheric chord of B flat third octave………………
Example.- Suppose that we had just received from the machine shop a spun shell of twelve inches internal diameter, 1-32 of an inch thick, which represents an atmospheric volume of 904'77 cubic inches. On determination by research we find the shell to be on its resonating volume B flat, and the molecular volume of the metal that the sphere is composed of B natural. This or any other antagonistic chord, as between the chord mass of the shell and its atmospheric volume, would not interfere, but would come under subservience. We now pass a steel shaft through its centre, ½ inch in diameter, which represents its axial rest. This shaft submits the atmospheric volume of the shell to a certain displacement or reduction, to correct which we first register the chord note of its mass, and find it to be antagonistic to the chord mass of the shell, a certain portion of an octave. This must be corrected. The molecular volume of the shaft must be reduced in volume, either by filing or turning, so as to represent the first B flat chord that is reached by such reduction. When this is done the first line of interference is neutralized, and the condition of sympathy is as pure between the parts as it was when the globe was minus its axis. There is now introduced on its axis a ring which has seven tubes or graduating resonators, the ring being two-thirds the diameter of the globe, the resonators three inches long and ¾ inch diameter, each one to be set on the chord of B flat, which is done by sliding the small diaphragm in the tube to a point that will indicate B flat. This setting then controls the metallic displacement of the metallic combination, as also of the arms necessary to hold the ring and resonators on shaft or axis. Thus the second equation is established, both on resonation and displacement. We are now ready to introduce the diatonic scale ring of three octaves which is set at two-thirds of the scale antagonistic to the chord mass of the globe itself, which is done by graduating every third pin of its scale to B flat thirds, which represent antagonistic thirds to the shell's molecular mass. This antagonism must be thoroughly sensitive to the chord-mass of one of the hemispheres of which the globe is composed. The axis of the scale-ring must rotate loosely on the globe's shaft without revolving with the globe itself, which it is prevented from doing so by being weighted on one side of the ring by a small hollow brass ball, holding about two ounces of lead. The remaining [Page 13] work on the device is finished by painting the interior of the globe, one hemisphere black and one white, and attaching a rubber bulb, such as is used to spray perfume, to the hollow end of the shaft. This bulb equates vibratory undulations, thus preventing an equation of molecular bombardment on its dark side when sympathetically influenced. It is now in condition to denote the sympathetic concordance between living physical organisms, or the receptive transmittive concordance necessary to induce rotation.
So, is there something special about the use of B-flat or is it simply that he started his work using B-flat in his first machine and found it too cumbersome to change all his graduating instruments, tuning forks, reference forks in his vibratory microscope and so forth over to some other key? It certainly would have been easier to continue in the same key, rather than re-calibrating everything.
And, if that was not the reason, what other reason could there be?
An added complication is that we do not know what Keely's B-flat means in terms of frequency.
Easy you say, go to a piano, the black key between A and B is B-flat.
Actually, it isn't. Aside from the fact that on the tempered scale we are using B-flat and A-sharp are the same note, when in reality they are two different notes that have been adjusted to a common denominator to make playing easier there is the question of concert pitch.
So what is a concert pitch and why is it important?
In order for any number of musical instruments to be able to play together and sound harmonious they all must be tuned to the same pitch. The concert pitch is an agreed upon arbitrary value that acts as a reference point to which all instruments are tuned. In common use today is A=440, that means that the A above middle C has a frequency of 440 cycles per second or Hertz. Though common in English speaking countries it is by no means universal. Continental Europe uses A=442 whereas Germany, Austria and China use A=445. But that standard was first proposed in 1939 and only introduced in 1955 when the International Standards Association adopted A=440 as ISO16. In other words long after Keely's time.
So, to what pitch did Keely tune his machines?
We don't know. It cold have been anything between 435 and 445, though there were concert piches around in the 19th century that were outside even that wide range. Bearing that in mind let us choose the midpoint between these values as a starting point in our examination. If we now create a Pythagorean diatonic scale around A=440 we get about 261.12 for middle C. going down six octaves we get around C=4.08.
Now we make a startling discovery.
On the scale C=4.08 B-flat becomes 7.25333 and B-natural becomes 7.74562. These are almost exactly the accepted boundary values of the Schumann Resonance, the resonant frequency of earth! Curiously enough these are also the frequency band of alpha brain waves associated with elation and religious feelings.
See for yourself in the attached spreadsheet.
Coincidence? Perhaps not.
Keely was evidently aware of having tapped into some field or other as the following comments of his show.
"It is only necessary to ascertain the terrestrial chord masses to be able to run sympathetic machinery. When I have mastered these mechanical difficulties I shall be able to control this most subtle force."
"All diversion from the polar terrestrial envelope are but nodal outreaches, induced by the proper order of sympathetic vibration; not dissociations and associations of sympathy; but operating on the same principle as the outflow, or nodal outreach of the mental organism toward the physical, in its control over it.
"It is through the action of nature's sympathetic forces that planets are born and their volume of matter augmented. If the sympathetic, negative polar stream were cut off from the earth, its molecular mass would become independent, and would float away into space as would a soap bubble filled with warm air.
Though alternate active energy could be evolved in a cubic inch of steel, by the proper sympathetic exciter, to do the work of a horse, by its sympathetic association with the polar force in alternate polarization and depolarization. This is the power that I am now getting under control to do commercial work. In other words, I am making a sympathetic harness for the polar terrestrial force." KEELY, 1892.
In 1893, Keely, in reply to the question, "What do you include in the polar force?" answered, "Magnetism, electricity, and gravital sympathy; each stream of force composed of three currents which make up the governing conditions of the controlling medium of the universe.
The ninths which I am now endeavoring to graduate to a sympathetic mechanical combination will, if I succeed, close my researches in sympathetic physics, and complete my system." Within the year the announcement was made that Keely had completed this graduation, with entire mechanical success, "hooking his machinery on to the machinery of nature."
Perhaps that explains where the surplus energy came from in his machines. If he created a resonant circuit that was absorbing energy from the earth's field that would make sense. That the so created resonant field would drag in other streams of energy on one of the harmonics of the fundamental is also feasible.
In fact Keely talks about this. This is a quote from a contemporary article on his airship:
At an early period of Keely's researches, on the lines suggested by the distinguished professor of the Bonn University, Dr. Hertz, viz., of the conditions governing the operation in nature of the unknown energy he was dealing with, Keely wrote to a friend:
"It appears, in my researching experiments, quite evident to me, that under different orders of progressive vibration, when the sixth order is reached on the positive, a condition presents itself in an accompanying agent that adds to the etheric flow a very peculiar action. I call this third agent its sympathetic attendant."
Maybe all that Keely was doing was to use the earth's frequency as some sort of carrier wave.
I am not saying that is the case, but to me it appears as a promising area of research that should be undertaken.
THE ROLE OF ACOUSTIC FEEDBACK IN KEELY'S MACHINES
Hans von Lieven, copyright