What is the nine-tone chord from "The Dark Crystal?"

What is the nine-tone chord from “The Dark Crystal?” It sounds cool, but it’s hard to pick out. Anybody know?

Yuo can pick out that it involves nine tones, but you can’t pick out which tones they are? :dubious:


The singers enter into the chord sequentially. A good musician could figure it out. One potential problem is that the notes seem to have a lot of undertones. It may be hard to pick the actual note.

If you’re nerdy enough, just digitally sample the chord and generate a spectrogram.

Okay, whereabouts in the film does this happen?


It happens near the beginning.

I have a feeling that they are all consecutive fourths or something (it’s been a while since I heard it.) It’s not discordant as such, but doesn’t really resolve itself to be a basic chord.

Moving to Cafe Society.

General Questions Moderator

At minute 6:09 or thereabouts is a shorter and smaller version of the chord in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPot8NtIq6c

The first time it’s intoned, we hear it better and with more parts (at least two of the uRu who were singing it the first time are dead before the second clip), but while I can find every other bit of the movie on YouTube, the first 10 minutes or so is nowhere to be found. Grr.

That one I’m getting–in order–C, F, D, A-flat, then a bunch of other notes that are hard to pick out. Those first four spell a D half diminished seven in third inversion.

Consecutive fourths would be a “quartal chord” by the way, and certainly seemed to be where that one was going before the damn A-flat came along (G would have resulted in a quartal chord based on D).

As a matter of fact, yes. But that’s because I’ve read the book, and I’ve counted the characters, so I know it’s got nine notes.

Ah, that must be the “damn weird note” in there. When I was a kid, I used to sing the G and wince when the character went to the “wrong” note. I don’t know music theory, but I know what sounds weird! :stuck_out_tongue:

As to the OP, since no one’s been able to find an example of the chord online, I’ll tell you this much. If there are actually nine distinct tones in the chord (no repetitions at the unison or octave) then the technical name for that would be a “tone cluster”. It may very well be a quartal chord or similar in the final analysis (a nine tone quartal chord in D would be D, G, C, F, B-flat, E-flat, A-flat, D-flat, G-flat, which includes the four tones I identified before) but at that point only the most die hard theory geek (like me) would bother to figure that out.