Someone once suggested that I should find harmony around myself, that I would feel better. Thankfully I took
the advice literally. It allowed me to put my focus on the things that I love: thinking about music & being observant.
Prior to that time I never used scales when I would compose. I would add the accidentals along the way, I composed by interval. After that time I noticed their usefulness as extensions of the superstructure known as the overtone series. As units of measurements, scales pave the roadways that exist within a constantly shifting, very non-linear environment. The environment exsists within itself..within its own unit. I was always taught this in school, but I never thought to incorporate it into outside perspectives, finding harmony in my surroundings.
The quickest, simplest way I know to incorporate music as my personal space is from an outside perspective. For the sake of this example I will be represented by the overtone series, randomly choosing the note A. Just as the note A contains its own substructure of natural harmonics, so do continents contain their own organizing principles that define intervals and triads.
I live on the North American continent in the country of the U.S., which in itself contains 50 states. Those states are comprised of counties, which are comprised of townships. Those townships are collections of towns/cities, which are comprised of neighborhoods, and so on. My point is that each group is produced by the need of the other..the natural need to coexists in an organized, consistent, harmonious way. The same is true from the opposite perspective as well, from point of view from the city all the way up to concept of the continent.
Unfortunately language doesn't describe the abstract mechanics of music accurately (oddly enough the opposite of that statement is true), these perspectives are more apparent through association charts. Here is an awfully non-accurate depiction of the geographical hierarchy I just described, a correspondence chart, & the overtone series beginning on the fundamental note of A:
This is a very superficial, but poignant, example of how the non-linear organizing principles that govern harmony are displayed in our daily surroundings. Just as the geographic space gets smaller from continent to house, the distance from Interval to interval gets smaller as the series progresses.
It is important to keep in mind that each of the 12 chromatic notes resonates its own overtone series, & with each new step that's added the reverberations will become exponential. The fundamental is the anchor in a sea of chromaticism. It provides purpose amidst a pure chaos, standing as a beacon in a very non-linear environment.