About Me

Christopher Lee Fraley

I’m Chris Fraley, a classical music composer, primarily focused on writing choral music. Throughout my composition training, and in spite of my voracious reading, I felt that Harmony seemed so arbitrary—that the bits and bobs just didn’t fit together and often contradicted each other.

Then I stumbled upon Lies My Music Teacher Taught Me (by Gerald Eskelin) and I realized I was not the only musician to feel this way. That little book cleared up many misunderstandings (some of which I was taught!), and eventually led me to Harmonic Experience (by W.A. Mathieu) which finally introduced me to a coherent understanding of Harmony.

From there, I started my own investigations into music—what actually happens when two pitches combine? I studied harmonics and the math behind them. I did experiments, and was astounded at the results. Had no one noticed this before?!? I eventually learned that Hermann Helmholtz had performed some of the same experiments that I had, and had published a book in 1862. The English translation of this book, On the Sensations of Tone, is a classic, still very relevant today, if not a little technical.

As for myself, I have spent the past 15 years deeply studying how musical sounds interact, which is the basis for all of Harmony. This web site is the culmination of my research, understanding, and insights into the matter.

I hope you are surprised by what you learn here. Music is a spiritual experience made richer by understanding, just like truly knowing someone is the deepest of connections.