Recently, I was watching Down From the Mountain, a Bluegrass concert of songs from the movie, O Brother Where Art Thou. At the beginning of the concert film, they had footage of the various musicians during rehearsal. Emmylou Harris was among the musicians and something she said caught my ear.
She was talking to Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss about Roy Huskey Jr., a bass player who died in 1997. Huskey has Synesthesia and saw musical notes as colors. At 20:33 in the film, Emmylou said,
“But you know what Roy Huskey said, that B Flat was the last note in the universe and it’s very very very black.”
That statement got my interest.
I did some searching on the internet and found that in 2003, scientists reported that the black hole in the Perseus cluster was emitting B Flat. Here is an excerpt from a post on the NASA website from November 17, 2003, Interpreting the Song Of a Distant Black Hole
“Using the piano keyboard’s middle C note as a reference point for the middle of the piano key music range, Fabian’s team determined the note is a B -flat. On a piano, the B-flat nearest middle C is located midway between 1/8th and 2/8th of an octave away. In musical terminology, this B flat is 1-1/2 steps from middle C.
The Perseus cluster black hole’s B-flat, by contrast, is 57 octaves below middle C or one million, billion times lower than the lowest sound audible to the human ear! In terms of frequency (the time it takes a single sound wave to pass by), the lowest sounds a person can hear is 1/20th of a second. The Perseus black hole’s sound waves have a frequency of 10 million years!”
At this point, I wanted to see if B Flat had a harmonic connection. So, I did some checking. It turns out that if you convert the value of B Flat, you will get the harmonic of the Speed of Light.
I’ll explain the calculations in this screenshot:
If you look up the frequency for B Flat (Bb 4) just below Middle C on a piano, you will find its value is 466.16 Hz. However, to check for harmonics you have to convert this value.
1 Hz is 1 cycle per second. But, what kind of second are we talking about? A second based on a 24 hour day or a day broken into 24 periods. To work in grid units, you have to use a 27 hour day, or a day broken into 27 periods. Using the Gridpoint Atlas software, I converted the value.
The first value of 466.16 is in normal time or hertz. I have labeled this as normal time – actual.
The second value of 414.3644444444444 is after I have converted it to grid time. I have labeled this as grid time – actual.
I took the grid time value and checked the harmonic. If I shifted the value slightly to 414.3596158564265 (grid time – calculated), I found it would yield the Maximum value for the Speed of Light or 144000.0000.
If you then convert that value from grid time back to normal time, you will get the fourth value, 466.1545678384798, which I have labeled as normal time – calculated.
What all this means is that the value of B Flat that yields the harmonic is 466.154 which is slightly off from the published value of 466.16.
I made two sine wave sound files, one with a frequency of 466.16 and one with a frequency of 466.154 and then listened to them. The human ear can’t tell the difference between the two.
Interestingly enough, if you check the values of all B Flats on the piano, Bb 1 through Bb 8, you will find that each yields the harmonic of the Speed of Light. Although it’s not always the same Speed of Light harmonic.
Perhaps the musical scale should be centered around B Flat, rather than Middle C.