On the Musical Scales of Various Nations - Alexander Ellis - 1885

This is a transcription, with transcriber's corrections, of a reproduction of Ellis's article, the original having been published in 1885 in the now defunct Journal of the Society of Arts. This transcriber (Stuart Frazier Allen) worked from a photocopy of a reproduction published in A Century of Ethnomusicological Thought: (The Garland Library of Readings in Ethnomusicology: A Core Collection of Important Ethnomusicological Articles, Vol. 7), edited by Kay Kaufman Shelemay.

Each of the 16 sections of the 43 page article (pp. 485-527) is represented here as a single web page.
IIMusical Scales
IVTheory and Practice
First Division: Heptatonic Scales
VAncient Greece and Modern Europe
VIPersia, Arabia, Syria, and Scottish Highlands
XIWestern Africa
Second Division: Pentatonic Scales
XIISouth Pacific

Footnote marks have been changed from stars and daggers to small letters, starting afresh from letter a in each section (each web page).

Table format has been altered to present the same information (except as corrected) in formats more appropriate and practical for html.

When it makes reading easier in the transcriber's opinion, notations for sharpening or flattening a note have be pushed up against the note letter; for example, Csh might be used in the transcript where C sh was used in the original.

Normal links within the transcription text refer to other places in the transcription text itself. Obviously, these were not in the original -- they were created by the transcriber for readers' convenience.

The following are special HTML symbols used in this transcription, which are listed here in case your browser doesn't display them in the normal way.
Symbol DisplayDescription of Intended Display
single prime
double prime
triple prime
vertical parallel lines
æa-e ligature
áletter a with acute mark
àletter a with grave mark
çc with cedilla
ée with acute mark
èe with grave mark
êe with circumflex
íi with acute mark
ïi with diaeresis (two dots above)
œo-e ligature
ôo with circumflex
üu with diaeresis
×multiplication operator
½1/2 fraction sign
separator between numerator and denominator
÷division operator
dagger symbol
°degree symbol
minus sign