February 2022 Master’s Letter

Greetings Brothers,

We’re in that cold part of the year. My boys and I shoveled snow for a few days. This time of year, we are all ready for Spring, hope all is well with all. If you we’re born in Michigan “ya got’s to love it”! January poker seemed to go well. Always great live entertainment presented by the poker players and staff. We always need brothers to step up and participate. Yes! this does create a great deal of money for our philanthropic giving.

I was doing a little bit of research into Pythagoras the other day and wanted to share my findings. A bit of a lecture on someone who lived about 2500 years ago.

What is known of Pythagoras comes from later writers piecing together fragments of his life from contemporaries and students. It is known that Pythagoras was born on the island of Samos, off Asia Minor, where his ancestors had settled after leaving Phlius, a city in the northwest Peloponnese, after the civil war there (even then they had civil wars?) in 380 BCE. He received a quality education as his father, Mnarchus, was a wealthy merchant. He may have studied in Babylon and in Egypt and possibly had the best Greek tutors of the time. All of this is speculative, however, as the information comes from later writers who accepted, uncritically, what others wrote about him. If there was an authoritative biography of Pythagoras, or original works by the man himself, they are long lost. Scholar Forrest E. Baird comments: “Pythagoras was associated with so many legends that few scholars dare to say much about his life, his personality, or even his teachings, without adding that we cannot be sure our information is accurate. That there was a man named Pythagoras who founded the sect called the Pythagoreans, we need not doubt; among the witnesses to his historicity was his younger contemporary Heraclitus, who thought ill of him. Nevertheless, it is notoriously difficult to distinguish between the teachings of Pythagoras himself and those of his followers, the Pythagoreans.” (1).

It seems that he may or may not have any personal thoughts written down.

Back to my original thinking of his influence on music Pythagoras’s mathematical skills created the chromatic scale that is still used in modern day. I’m no where’s close to being a math guy, but his math calculated the distance between notes of the major scale of what we use as a standard for most of the music that is written today. Out of that are created the seven scales of music.

If you’d like to read more detail about the seven modes of a major scale, please look at the article at Total Guitarist. http://totalguitarist.com/lessons/theory/scales/modes/.

What we hear either on the radio, live shows is a combination of the artist who uses this practice.

Not sure even if this was a Pythagoras equation. Supposedly it was. Either way, it has become a norm in math and music.

I have studied and used these modes in my music over the years.

Blessing’s brethren. WM

Duane

  1. Pythagoras. https://www.worldhistory.org/Pythagoras/. Accessed 2/10/2022.
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