In Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Bill Harford is unmasked before the secret society while three notes are ominously struck on the piano. First we hear an oscillation between F and F#, followed by a dissonant and repeated high G.
In The Next Octave, we track these notes in the harmonic series and uncover some startling relationships between them. What’s more, these relationships have been encoded in Shakespeare’s King Lear. And how the notes F and F# affect the C major’s perfect 5th, the G note, will blow your mind.
Chapter 14, “The usurpation of the mese,” shows how the characters of Edgar and Edmund represent the notes of F and F#. Edmund reveals his identity when he sings a tritone, the “devil in music,” and, as you’ll see, these brothers occupy a truly odd piece of real estate in the harmonic series.