Africa EENI Global Business School University
Racial Harmony / Tristan and Isolde

Principle of Racial Harmony and Tristan and Isolde

The Principle of Racial Harmony of James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey and the Western Music (black and white keys of a piano)

Africa EENI Global Business School & University

  1. EENI Principle of Racial Harmony
  2. Principle of Racial Harmony James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey (black and white keys of a piano)
  3. Principle of Racial Harmony of James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey and Tristan and Isolde (Reflection by Pedro Nonell)
  4. Beyond the black and white keys (implications for EENI)

Principle of Racial Harmony (EENI, Kwegyir Aggrey)

Reflection by Pedro Nonell, Founder and President of the Board of Directors of EENI Global Business School.

Pedro Nonell (EENI Global Business School)

One of my biggest hobbies is the music; I like almost all the good music, flamenco, blues, African music... but especially the «Tristan and Isolde» by Richard Wagner. For me, it is undoubtedly one of the most important works of the Western music, the chromaticism and infinity of this opera of about 4.5 hours is unique.

The Tristan and Isolde breaks with the existing principles of tonality by opening doors to the atonal music.

The whole opera is a monument to the love between two people, Tristan (Richard Wagner) and Isolde (Matilde Wessendonk), magnificently expressed by the music. From the musical point of view, there are four unequalled moments: the prelude, the love duet of the second act, the prelude to the third act (totally atonal) and the scene of transfiguration (or death) of Isolde (Liebestod).

In the early stages of the prelude we find the famous Tristan chord:

Tristan chord (Racial Harmony)

If we look at all the notes of this passage, from the point of view of the principle of racial harmony enunciated by James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey, we see that there are so many «white keys» (those that do not carry a sharp one, ♯, correspond to the white keys of the keyboard), as «black keys» (they have a sharp front, ♯, correspond to the black keys of the keyboard), the natural (♮) cancels the sharp (that is, changes a note from black to white).

On a keyboard of a piano there are the following notes: Do – Do ♯ - Re - Re ♯ - Mi – Fa – Fa ♯ - Sol – Sol ♯ - La –La ♯ - Si

Black and white keys (Piano, Tristan, Kwegyir Aggrey)

Let's see the notes, both «black» and «white», that appear in this enigmatic and unparalleled passage.

La - Fa - Mi - (Fa - Si - Re♯ - Sol♯) - La - Mi - Sol ♯ - Re - La♯ - Si

On the notes of a piano scale, I mark the notes used in these bars in yellow:

Do – Do ♯ - Re - Re ♯ - Mi – Fa – Fa ♯ - Sol – Sol ♯ - La –La ♯ - Si

If we consider that neither Mi nor Si «do not have sustained» (without black key), in this chord, we see three «white keys» (Re, Fa, La) and three «black keys» (Do ♯, Re ♯, Sol ♯), and this wonderful combination, weighted between «whites and blacks», is one of the highlights of the Western music.

(NOTE. The harmonic analysis of this chord is much more complex; even some books have been written on the Tristan chord, this brief explanation has been tried to do it in the most intuitive way possible, without the reader knowing of harmony).

The part that we have analysed previously (bars 1 to 4) is repeated changing the key in bars 5 to 8. Before starting in LA, now in SI. In measures 9 to 12, it is repeated but starting in RE.

Prelude, Tristan and Isolde

In the last two measures of the third line, we can see an excellent combination of black and white keys: Mi ♯ - Fa ♯ (Re) - Sol - Sol ♯ that ends with a strange dissonant chord «fortissimo (ff)».

It is impossible to explain these sounds in words, if you want to hear how this first part of the Tristan Prelude sounds on the piano, please click here (in preparation)

Study a Master International Business in Spanish Armonía racial, teclas negras, Tristán e Isolda French (Master International Business) Harmonie raciale / Tristan et Isolde Study Master Business in Portuguese Harmonia racial / Tristão e Isolde



(c) EENI Global Business School (Africa) . We do not use cookies