Guitar Noises #24: January 19, 2022
I don't know the origins of fret makers, either but, I'm perfectly happy to accept this explanation. The tuning of western music has always struck me as a universally beautiful blend of math and art. The logic of the string arrangement makes perfect sense with the theory of 'dot' placement. Makes it easier to learn/teach, too. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
My guess is that the dots just help you count frets really fast. You don’t need the one or two cause duh and then they chunk the fretboard into easily visualized pieces. I find they help me transpose the CAGED system. Since pros don’t need them they likely were added to help beginners and that fact has been lost in the mists of history. Or it could be some completely different reason :-).
Yes, it's true that tunings and a sense of "what sounds right" have been around for thousands of years, but it also depends on the culture and, just looking at the history of music in the West, the sense of "what sounds right" has changed considerably over time. In a way, the more or less universal adoption of equal temperament tuning has falsified music and, in some cirlces, is still a point of contention.
One small thing: your sentence "But our “rules” for tuning and sense of what sounds “good” has been around for thousands of years" has a plural subject -- "rules" and "sense" -- so the verb should have been "have been around," not "has been around." They has?
The meaning for the markers have been a troublesome curiosity to my mind that’s never wet away. This at Least brings more reason to the table. I’ll keep looking for more reason, but this has been extremely helpful in its usefulness, and may well represent at least some of the original thinking behind the mystery.
Thanks for a decent answer, as there can be no random explanation, and simply to say they aid as position markers is far to easel an explanation. I have subscribed here, because reason over random seems essential