Science expanded the boundaries of the universe. The visible universe of today surpasses human imagination.
You can walk and you can run; yet you would die from exhaustion and heart failure, if you were forced to run beyond your capacity. Today you can travel on land at a hundred miles per hour, and it makes you feel only a little tired.
You couldn't pull a loaded freight car even for a quarter of a mile, but an engine does it for you, carrying unimaginable loads at a super-speed.
While our ancestors had flown in their dreams, you and I can fly at four hundred miles per hour while awake, and see the curvature of this planet. If in the future we only triple this speed, we will be able to "stop the sun". Our ancestors lived literally in the dark, while our artificial lights of today make color photography possible even at night.
Although man, in many respects, is physically less developed than the animals, his brain has led him to scientific discoveries which make him the ruler of this planet. It seems natural to believe that if science provides methods which make it possible to overcome our physical limitations, it may also equip us with superhuman capacities in some other fields of human experience. Then why not apply scientific method to the arts? Creative abilities are of no different origin than any other human abilities, They all come from the same source: the brain and the nervous system. It is about time to get off the uncontrollable magic flying carpet of strained imagination and take a rocket, which will bring the stars closer to us.
This book is a miniature reflection of a new expanding universe incorporated in my major work: "Mathematical Basis of the Arts". While the latter penetrates into all the possible forms and techniques, actual and hypothetical, this little work is only a raindrop, reflecting the immediate surroundings.
Use this book as you would use spectacles if you were near-sighted. It will relieve you from strain and despair, protect you from inhibitions and will offer you an immediate solution of many technical problems. It will open before you a new and fascinating world which is about us, yet remains unseen. It will stimulate your imagination beyond your own expectations because it will provide you with new and alluring experiences.
This book is a radical departure from the existing "musical theories". It doesn't tell you: "don't do this" or "don't do that". It overcomes completely the dualism of musical esthetic codes with their "good and evil" and "heaven and hell".
Contrary to the customary routine, which cultivates in a student fears and inhibitions, this book tells you: "don't be afraid to do as you please; this is your world, you are protected from disaster thru the very laws of this world, as you are protected from falling off this planet by the existing gravitation".
When the late George Gershwin, who, besides being a very active student of mine for four and a half years and a sincere admirer and enthusiast of my "theory", met me for the first time, he was at a dead end of creative musical experience. He felt his resources, not his abilities, were completely exhausted. He was ready to leave for Paris, where he contemplated studying with one of the leading composers. A mutual friend, Joseph Achron, who believed the study with me would save Gershwin from both a trip and a disappointment, recommended me as teacher to George.
When we met, Gershwin said: "Here is my problem: I have written about seven hundred songs. I can't write anything new any more. I am repeating myself. Can you help me?" I replied in the affirmative, and a day later, Gershwin became a sort of "Alice in Wonderland".
Later on he became acquainted with some of the materials in this book by playing them thru. "You don't have to compose music any more-it's all here," he remarked.
Every honest musician would feel the same way. While the scope of intonations in the music we have been so proud of for several centuries is confined to but a very few scales and chords, here, due to a mathematical method, are inexhaustible resources of raw materials. In a half hour of playing the tables offered in this book you get acquainted with more "master patterns" than in all the music thruout European history.
Like all the sincere seekers of truth, whether scientists or artists, who become ecstatic when they stumble upon fundamentals, George Gershwin was particularly fond of majestic simplicity which the scales disclose. Hence his extensive use of scales as thematic material, by running them up and down without shaping them into melodies, but changing their structure and the structure of the accompanying chords by means of mathematical variations. You will find much evidence of this device in "Porgy and Bess", as well as in many compositions of the last two centuries.
Whatever your ambitions and aspirations are, and whether you are contemplating a long journey or just want to take a walk around the corner --don't forget your glasses!