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The Harmony Crystal

(Harmony Crystal copyright 1972 by John Townley)

This little mandala was published in The Astrological Review (the magazine of The Astrologers' Guild of America), of which I was then editor. Although an apparent attempt to make astrological and musical equivalencies, a topic that has gone on for centuries, its more immediate use is as a songwriter's tool

Forgetting the astrological symbolism (the notes/chords could have gone in scalewise fashion around the Zodiac but didn't, for good reason), it's just the circle of 5ths with relative minors circled inside. The trick of usage is that when you want to go to an easy chord change, just stay close to the last one. When you want drama, go further away (the augmented 4th is the opposition, the most radical change), the further away, the greater the drama

Of course, the minor inside any triangle is an easy change from all three tangent points, but it has the ability to transport you with equal ease to an entirely other place (just change the minor to major, and you're three chords away without the usual drama). And the reverse. It's songwriter's harmony in a twelve-sided box for when the Muse goes out for a coffee break. Astrologically, there's lots more there, but that's another story. 

The logo inside is that of Apostolic Studios (named for its 12 tracks, not necessarily the Apostles, though don't count them out), and the hexagrams (badly repro'd here) are the Creative, Receptive, and Inner Knowledge. I was hopeful at the time, still am...
I hear music...
  Copyright © John Townley 2005. All rights reserved.
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