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Henry S. Reuss

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry Schoellkopf Reuss
Henry S. Reuss.jpg
Image courtesy of the Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1983
Preceded byCharles J. Kersten
Succeeded byJim Moody
Personal details
Born(1912-02-22)February 22, 1912
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
DiedJanuary 12, 2002(2002-01-12) (aged 89)
San Rafael, California
Resting placeForest Home Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Margaret Magrath
(m. 1942; her death 2008)
RelationsHenry Schoellkopf (uncle)
ParentsGustav A. Reuss
Paula Schoellkopf
Alma materCornell University
Harvard Law School
AwardsBronze Star
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Battles/warsWorld War II

Henry Schoellkopf Reuss (February 22, 1912 – January 12, 2002) was a Democratic U.S. Representative from Wisconsin.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ The Scale We Take For Granted


this video is sponsored by CuriosityStream! hey, welcome to 12tone! over the years, we've talked about lots of really weird and interesting scales. we've even made up some of our own, but let's be honest: not many people are writing music with the enigmatic scale. what if we were to turn that same sort of analytical eye toward the most popular scale in western music, major? (bang) unsurprisingly, there's been a lot of good research on what makes this scale work, so buckle up, 'cause we're going deep. before we do that, though, I think it's important to mention that I'm not trying to argue that major is the "best" scale. I don't even know what that would mean. major has a lot of great properties that make it work really well as a basic, foundational scale, but there's also plenty of properties it doesn't have, and which scale is best will always depend on what you're trying to do with it. my point here is just that major is good, not that any other scale, western or otherwise, is worse. with that out of the way, let's get started. in order to understand the major scale, we first have to start with the major triad. this is one of the most consonant sounds in western music, and there's a good reason for that: the frequencies of the three notes in a major triad form a 4:5:6 ratio, one of the simplest possible. or, well, this gets a bit messed up thanks to modern tuning, which means what we actually hear is only an approximation of that ratio, but our ears are trained to adjust for that difference so it still basically works. anyway, let's take an G major triad, with the notes G, B, and D. now, if we take this top note and build another major triad on top of it, we get D major, with D, F#, and A. and if we go back down to this starting note and build a major triad below it, we get C major, with C, E, and G, and if we take all those notes and rearrange them so they're all in the same octave, we get… (bang) a G major scale, built from three overlapping major triads. this is a form of scale-building called Primary Triad Construction, and it works because the I chord shares a note in common with the IV chord and with the V chord, so all we have to do is pick a root, define the qualities of those three chords, and we get an entire scale for free. we can do this with any chord qualities we want, but as we saw, if we stick with all major triads we get the major scale, and since the major triad is such a fundamentally consonant sound, it makes sense that the scale we build out of them would be too. continuing the consonance theme, it's worth noting that major has a lot of perfect 5ths, generally considered the most consonant interval after the octave. if we look at the major scale, (bang) it's got six of them, the most that a seven-note scale can possibly have. in fact, the only other seven-note scales with that many are the modes, which are a series of scales where you take the notes of the major scale but play them as if a different note is the root. we'll get into those a bit later. before we do that, though, I want to look at a couple more properties that major shares with its modes. for example, it's maximally even: that is, given that our tuning system has 12 distinct pitches, major's as evenly spaced out as a seven-note scale can be. it's not perfectly even because 7 doesn't divide cleanly into 12, so we're forced to slot in some half steps here and there, but they're as far apart as possible, making major the closest we can get to a balanced note distribution. this means we don't get any super weird chords or intervals: it's all as smooth as we can make it. but why 7 notes, anyway? why not use 6, where we can get a perfectly even distribution? well, lots of reasons, but I think one of the most important is just that we don't really want a perfectly even distribution: slight variations are what gives a scale its identity. like, let's take a look at that 6-note distribution: (bang) this is called the whole-tone scale, and it's completely even. here, we're using G whole-tone, with these notes, but if we took the F whole-tone scale instead (bang) it's… the exact same set of notes. both scales have G, both have A, both have B, and so on. this is because the whole-tone scale is symmetrical: every note is a whole step away from its neighbors, so if we shift everything up or down a whole step, each note just becomes the next one in the scale. this means, in effect, that there are only two actual whole-tone scales, and the notes themselves give you very little indication as to where the root is. the major scale, on the other hand, is asymmetric: it has no repeating pattern smaller than the octave, which makes it easier to assign and feel the functions of various notes. they all work together to establish the key, giving you a much stronger sense of tonality than the whole-tone scale. there's twelve unique major scales, one for each possible root, and while that may seem obvious, it wasn't guaranteed. we only have that because it's asymmetric, and 7 and 5 are the only numbers of notes where the maximally even distribution isn't symmetrical. well, that's not quite true, there's also 1 note and 11 notes, but let's be real, we were never gonna use those. anyway, that evenness also gives it another cool property: it's heliotonic. this means that you can notate it such that every note in the scale gets its own line or space on the staff: effectively, the seven notes of the scale use seven different letter names. including this on the list is definitely a bit of a cheat, 'cause modern notation and note names are both effectively built around the major scale so it shouldn't be surprising that they work so well with it, but I wanted to mention it anyway because heliotonic is fun to say. it's also a proper scale: I made a whole video about this recently, but basically, a scale is proper if the sizes of its generic intervals are well-ordered. that is, if you go up, say, two scale steps, you will have gone at least as far as if you went up one scale step somewhere else in the scale. for an example of something that doesn't do that, take the double harmonic scale: (bang) here, the scale step from the 6th to the 7th is three half-steps wide, whereas going up two scale steps from the 7th to the 2nd is only two half-steps. this presents a contradiction, where a larger interval is actually a smaller distance, making the scale improper. there's only a couple proper 7-note scales, so major's in a pretty exclusive club here. but even more exclusive is Myhill's Property: this means that every scale-step distance corresponds to exactly two different half-step distances, so like there's major and minor 3rds, but no augmented or diminished ones, and major is the only 7-note scale that does this. this may seem like an incredibly arbitrary thing to check for, but it's actually a really big deal for diatonic set theorists. it's like a bellwether: having Myhill's property guarantees that the scale has all sorts of other cool properties too, including being maximally even. it's also one of only two 7-note sets with the impressively-named Deep Scale Property. I want to make a full video about this at some point, but briefly, this means that each interval occurs a different number of times: there's 1 tritone, 2 half-steps, 3 major 3rds, 4 minor 3rds, 5 whole steps, and 6 perfect 4ths. now, obviously that's not all the intervals: we already said it has 6 perfect 5ths too, which seems to contradict our point, but here's the thing: in scale theory, a perfect 5th actually is a perfect 4th. they're the same thing. like, G major has the perfect 4th from E to A, which means it also inherently has the perfect 5th from A to E. including both would mean counting that interval twice, so we usually don't bother with anything larger than a tritone, and thus, all of major's intervals are different. this tells us a bunch of cool stuff about, like, transpositions and whatnot, but that's gonna take a whole lot more explaining, so again, follow-up video. someday. maybe. we'll see. having 6 perfect 5ths, though, also makes it what's called a well-formed collection, which means we can build it by stacking a single interval over and over. that is, we can start on the 4th, in this case C, and just keep stacking perfect 5ths until we get all the notes of the G major scale: (bang) this makes the perfect 5th what's called a generator, where we can build the entire scale out of just that one interval, and again, given how consonant the perfect 5th is, being generated by it is kind of a big deal. but isn't it a bit weird that, in order to generate it, we started on the 4th? I mean, we get all these other cool properties no matter which note is the root, so why shouldn't it be the note we actually used to generate the scale? if we call that note the root, we get a scale called Lydian: (bang) and some theorists have argued that Lydian *should* be viewed as the fundamental scale in Western music, but I'm not convinced. first of all, we don't actually keep *all* those cool properties. we lose our primary triad construction: Lydian has a diminished IV chord, which is a lot less pretty. it still has three major triads, and they still include all the notes, but one of them is the II chord, which is completely unconnected from the root, so it's not really the same thing. but I think there's a better reason why major is the mode we stuck with. it's based on an argument I first heard from Jacob Collier, and it has to do with resolutions. as we mentioned earlier, every mode of the major scale contains two half-steps and one tritone. these are the two most dissonant intervals, so they're the primary drivers of the scale's resolutions, but it can be hard to get the two of them to work together. for example, let's look at the major scale. (bang) the half-steps are here, between the 3rd and 4th, and here, between the 7th and octave. each of these pairs has one unstable note that wants to resolve to the other, and as a rule of thumb, the stable point is going to be whichever one is part of the tonic triad, which is a fancy name for the I chord. so in major, the 4th wants to resolve down a half-step to the 3rd, the 7th wants to resolve up a half-step to the root, and if we take both our unstable notes together, we get a tritone. that's maximum dissonance, creating maximum resolution. also, notice how the two unstable notes resolved in opposite directions? that gives those resolutions a sense of balance, making the scale as a whole feel more stable. on the other hand, if we take Lydian (bang) we still have the 7th rising up to the root, but the 4th is no longer a half-step above the 3rd. it's now a half-step below the 5th, so it also wants to go up. both our unstable points resolve in one direction, which means all of the tension in Lydian wants to rise, and if we play the tritone, only one of those notes wants to move. likewise, if we take the 5th mode, mixolydian (bang) we get our 4th falling down to the 3rd again, but now the other half-step is between the 6th and 7th. this is a bit trickier 'cause neither of those is in the tonic triad, so as a back-up plan, let's say the more stable one is whichever note isn't a tritone away from a note in the I chord. in this case, that means the 7th resolves down to the 6th, which means in Mixolydian, all the tension wants to fall. we can run a similar analysis on the other modes and find that only two of them have tritones between their unstable points, and thus have balanced resolutions: there's major, obviously, and there's the 6th mode, Aeolian, (bang) which you might recognize as natural minor, another pretty important scale. of these two, though, major's the only one where that tritone actually resolves to the root, which may help explain why, of all the possible modes, we chose that one as our foundation. and that's just a handful of the cool things about the major scale. honestly, this video could've been twice as long and I still wouldn't run out of things to say. major is such a common device that we don't really stop to think about how cool it actually is, but there's a lot of really good reasons why it makes such a solid foundation for Western music. we've sort of grown out of it a bit, and that's totally fine, but sometimes I think it's worth taking the time to appreciate just how much there is to know about even our most basic musical objects. and if you're looking for a major upgrade to the way you watch documentaries, you might want to check out this video's sponsor, CuriosityStream! see what I did there? I took the name of the scale and… yeah, you get it. anyway, CuriosityStream is a streaming service with a massive library of documentaries to choose from. One that I've been enjoying is Norman Seeff's The Sessions. check it out! *snap* this is actually a series of short clips from photographer Norman Seeff, where he films the discussions he has with the artists he's photographing, providing a shockingly candid look into these artists' lives and their approach to creativity. it features some amazing musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Nate Reuss, and Stevie Nicks, as well as other brilliant, creative minds like Jim Henson. there's a lot of gems in this series. *snap* and there's plenty more where that came from, including documentaries on the arts, history, science, and nature. they're even offering 12tone viewers a free 30-day membership to get you started, so just click the link in the description, use the promo code "12tone" when signing up, and enjoy their entire library for free. and hey, thanks for watching, thanks to our Patreon patrons for making these videos possible, and extra special thanks to this video's Featured Patron, Owen Campbell-Moore. if you want to help out, and get some sweet perks like sneak peeks of upcoming episodes, there's a link to our Patreon on screen now. you can also join our mailing list to find out about new episodes, like, share, comment, subscribe, and above all, keep on rockin'.


Early life

Henry Schoellkopf Reuss was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of Gustav A. Reuss (pronounced Royce) and Paula Schoellkopf (b. 1876).[2] He was the grandson of a Wisconsin bank president who had emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1848.[3][4] Both his mother and uncle, Henry Schoellkopf (1879–1912), were grandchildren of Jacob F. Schoellkopf (1819–1899), a pioneer in harnessing the hydroelectric power of Niagara Falls.[5]

He grew up in that Milwaukee's German section. Reuss earned his A.B. from Cornell University in 1933 and was a member of the Sphinx Head Society. He then earned his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1936.[1]


He was a lawyer in private practice and business executive. He served as assistant corporation counsel for Milwaukee County, Wisconsin from 1939 to 1940 and Counsel for United States Office of Price Administration from 1941 to 1942.[2]

World War II

He was in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945, leaving as a major.[1] He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in the infantry.[6] He served as chief of price control, Office of Military Government for Germany in 1945, and deputy general counsel for the Marshall Plan, Paris, France in 1949. After the War, Reuss became a special prosecutor for Milwaukee County in 1950.[2]

Political career

In 1950, he left the Republican party due to antipathy for Senator Joseph McCarthy. As a Democrat, Reuss waged an unsuccessful primary election campaign to become McCarthy's opponent in the 1952 general election.[6] He attended the 1952 Democratic National Convention as an alternate delegate.[2]

He served as member of the school board for Milwaukee from 1953 to 1954. He served as member of legal advisory committee, United States National Resources Board from 1948 to 1952. He was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Milwaukee in 1948 and 1960, losing to Frank Zeidler and Henry Maier, respectively.[2]

Reuss was elected as a Democrat from the 5th district to the Eighty-fourth and to the thirteen succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1983).[1] He served as chairman of the Committee on Banking, Currency, and Housing in the Ninety-fourth Congress. He served as chairman of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs in the Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Congresses. He served as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee in the Ninety-seventh Congress.[1][6]

After the 1974 post-Watergate Democratic landslide victories in Congress, Reuss defeated the more senior Wright Patman of Texas as chairman of the House Banking Committee.[6][4] He opposed the war in Vietnam, and supported the campaign of U.S. Senator Eugene J. McCarthy for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination. He served as an at-large delegate for McCarthy at the Democratic National Convention that year.[7]

Later career

He was not a candidate for reelection to the Ninety-eighth Congress in 1982. After retiring from Congress, he continued to donate to Democratic campaigns, including to Senator Russ Feingold's and Paul Tsongas's campaigns in 1992. Mrs. Reuss was a bigger and more active donor to Democrats and related groups.[8]

Personal life

In 1942, he married Margaret Magrath (c. 1920–2008).[9] She was an alumna of Bryn Mawr College who earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1944, and a Ph.D. from George Washington University in 1968, both in economics. She worked at the Office of Price Administration in the 1940s, and taught at Federal City College from 1970. University of District of Columbia took over FCC in 1977, and she continued teaching there until she retired in 1985, as department chairman. She served mayor Marion Barry in several capacities, supported the Community for Creative Non-Violence, Emily's List, and various Democrats. They had four children, seven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.[9] Their children were:[1][6]

  • Christopher Reuss (d. 1986)
  • Michael Reuss
  • Jacqueline Reuss
  • Anne Reuss


His name graces the Reuss Plaza Federal Office Building in Milwaukee, and the National Park Service's Henry Reuss Ice Age Center near Dundee, Wisconsin.[1][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Political Graveyard: Lawyer Politicians in California, Q-R". The Political Graveyard. Lawrence Kestenbaum. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e Keene, Anne T. "Reuss, Henry Schoellkopf". American National Biography Online. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  3. ^ Siracusa, Joseph M. (2012). Encyclopedia of the Kennedys: The People and Events That Shaped America [3 volumes]: The People and Events That Shaped America. ABC-CLIO. p. 663. ISBN 9781598845396. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b Kaufman, Burton Ira (2009). The Carter Years. Infobase Publishing. pp. 399–403. ISBN 9780816074587. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Jacob F. Schoellkopf". The New York Times. September 17, 1899. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e Clymer, Adam (2002-01-15). "Henry Reuss, Liberal in Congress, Dies at 89" (New York Times). The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-28. leading liberal in Congress on issues from interest rates to pollution to Watergate to aid for New York City
  7. ^ Herbert, Bob (2002-01-21). "An Honorable Man". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-28. ...a thoughtful and creative congressman who represented the North Side of Milwaukee...
  8. ^ "CABIN JOHN, MD Political Contributions by Individuals". Advameg, Inc. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  9. ^ a b Sullivan, Patricia (2008-10-08). "Margaret M. Reuss; Political Activist, Professor". Washington Post. p. B6. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  10. ^ Schonwald, Josh (2004-09-29). "Ice Age Trail Cometh:  In Wisconsin, follow the road and go back in geologic time". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-28.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles J. Kersten
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 5th congressional district

January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1983
Succeeded by
Jim Moody
This page was last edited on 6 June 2019, at 21:45
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