The Lay of the Last Minstrel

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1. The dimensions of the chapel, both choir section and entire floor plan, appear to be tuned to so-called Classical Tuning at A-422.25 at the room temperature of 20C (68F). This is also the average summer temperature in Scotland. This tuning was very prominent through the classical and romantic periods, used by Mozart, Handel as well as 1750 Berlin and 1810 Paris.

2. The choir region in the chapel is a giant resonance chamber constructed to kill standing waves in the vertical dimension and maximize resonance in the horizontal length and width directions. The horizontal resonance continues through the rest of the lower chapel. The vertical standing waves are suppressed by virtue of the choir height being at a golden ratio to the chapel length and width.

3. If the temperature in the chapel is raised to 33.72C (92.7F), the correct tuning becomes 432 Hz to resonate with the chapel dimension - however, another benefit occurs. The waveforms geometrically fit with the chapel dimensions.

3. As I've shown with the StarKey, there are countless golden sections used to construct the chapel. Some of these are shown on this illustration. I think the overall strategy was to divide the chapel vertically in golden means to prevent echos, but then use dimensions compatible with a wavelength of 2.6666666 feet to maximize sound clarity and volume.

My overall impression is that the choir resonance chamber, fed by the organ located midway up, symbolized a kind of birth canal or womb. The music would resonate the congregation as if gestating them for a while, later giving birth as they exit the front door. When the StarKey is superimposed, it would appear as if the chapel were a woman giving birth and the baptistry was the infant's head. That's just my impression, though, and no way to prove this was their intention.


On further review, I remain convinced these numbers are correct, but am now going to propose something that may explain an old legend about Rosslyn.

At room temperature, Classical tuning at A-422.25 Hz will resonate best with the chapel. But, if you want the geometry of the chapel to reinforce or amplify the music, you would need to heat up the air inside to 33.72C and tune your instruments to A-432. In reading The Lay of the Last Minstrel, I'm wondering if this might explain why the night a Baron of Rosslyn dies, the chapel would appear as if it's on fire. That is, could the Sinclairs have lit fires along the outside of the chapel, or more likely in the large fireplace in the crypt, to heat it up the inside as part of a sacred musical ceremony to help the spirit reincarnate?  Could this have been the source of the smoke inside the chapel as described in the tale and might it even create some kind of atmospheric reaction in the chapel, such as the lightning described?  Read this and see what you think.

The Lay of the Last Minstrel
Sir Walter Scott

"O'er Roslin all that dreary night,
A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam;
'Twas broader than the watch-fire's light,
And redder than the bright moon-beam.

It glared on Roslin's castled rock
It ruddied all the copse-wood glen;
'Twas seen from Dryden's groves of oak,
And seen from cavern'd Hawthornden.

Seem'd all on fire that chapel proud
Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffin'd lie,
Each Baron for a sable shroud,
Sheathed in his iron panoply.

Seem'd all on fire within, around,
Deep sacristy and altar's pale;
Shone every pillar ffoliage-bound,
And glimmer'd all the dead men's mail.

Blazed battlement and pinnet high,
Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair--
So still they blaze, when fate is night
The lordly line of high St. Clair.

There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold
Lie burried within that proud Chapelle;
Each one the holy vault doth hold--
But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle!     // Rosabell means "beautiful rose"... is this the Venus pentacle orbit? //

And each St. Clair was buried there,
With candel, with book and with knell
But the sea-caves rung and the wild winds sung,  // First edition read: "But the Kelpie rung (water horse) and the Mermaids sung. //
The dirge of lovely Rosabelle."              // Is the dirge of Venus some kind of music tuned to 432 Hz in a hot 33.72 C chapel? //


// Could the following occur when the right music is played inside a heated resonant chamber?  //

"Then sudden, through the darken'd air  
A flash of lightning came;
So broad, so bright, so red the glare,
The castle seem'd on flame.
And fill'd the hall with smouldering smoke,,..."