Musical notes, was Re: Hot, Cold, and Temperature
|From:||Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, March 27, 2004, 16:25|
In a message dated 3/27/2004 10:43:57 AM Eastern Standard Time,
>> For ex, for a temperature scale,
>> why should "cold" be at the lowest end, and "hot" at
>> the highest ?
>Sheer history. When Anders Celsius proposed the centigrade scale in 1742,
>he set 0 to the boiling point of water and 100 to the freezing point.
>It was probably Carolus Linnaeus (the biological taxonomist) who suggested
>reversing the scale's direction to agree with the existing Fahrenheit
>(32 to 212, 1724) and Reamur (0 to 80, 1731) scales.
Is there a similar explanation in music -- why are high notes called "high"
and low notes called "low"? Are notes "high" and "low" universally (in
Chinese, Navajo,. . . ) or are there languages that use left/right, or wet/dry, or
some other metaphor instead of high/low? When did the high/low metaphor come
into use for musical tones?
I once asked this question to a linguist, who did not know. I'm hoping
someone around here does.