Show Less
Restricted access

Musica Mathematica

Traditions and Innovations in Contemporary Music

Series:

Rima Povilionienė

The concept of «musica mathematica» seeks to accurately examine the intersection of two seemingly radically different subject areas. From the perspective of a European perception, the definition of the science of music was a result of the Pythagorean concept of universal harmony. The Pythagoreans were the first in European culture to raise the issue of uniting music and mathematics, sound and number.

In the three parts of the monograph, versatile cases of the intersection of music and mathematics are displayed, moving from philosophical and aesthetic considerations about mathesis to practical studies, discussing the interaction between music and other kinds of art (architecture, painting, poetry and literature), and providing a practical research of contemporary music compositions.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Author’s Preface

Extract



The concept of musica mathematica1 seeks to accurately examine the intersection of two seemingly radically different subject areas. In the sphere of musical research, this concept is in essence related to one of the trends of music – attributing the theory of music to science – to the sphere of mathematica. Over the course of different epochs, musical theory has been classified as Latin musica theorica/theoretica/contemplativa/speculativa/arithmetica etc. Theory was the domain of the scientist who came armed with academic knowledge and who studied the esoteric secrets of music.

From the perspective of a European perception, the definition of the science of music was a result of the Pythagorean concept, which is based on the universal harmony of numerical proportions. The Pythagoreans were the first in European culture to raise the issue of uniting music and mathematics, sound and number. They perceived music as an abstract sphere based on mathematical means.

In the Middle Ages, Boethius (c. 480–524/5) considered this problem in his treatise De institutione musica (6th century). He placed music in the quadrivium of the mathematical sciences, thus continuing the position of the thinkers of Antiquity. The influence of this position was also reflected in later treatises, for example in the study of the 13th century Musica speculativa secundum Boetium (1323) of the French mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and music theorist Johannes de Muris (1290–1351/5), who taught at the Sorbonne. It is also reflected in works of the 17th century, titled musica mathematica. They...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.