SEARCH: Musica Universalis

Musica Universalis

by Elliot Thorpe

ethorpe.pngThose of you who are musicians are fully aware of the relation of the pitch of a musical note and the length of the string that produces it.

The discovery of this relationship was attributed to Pythagoras some 2,500 years ago. He subsequently proposed that our Sun, the Earth’s moon, and all the planets (then discovered) all emitted their own hum, uniquely based on their orbital revolution. He also suggested that quality of life on Earth itself reflected the pitch of said hum. Plato furthered this notion by saying that astronomy and music were naturally twinned together because of the mathematical knowledge required to understand them. Aristotle came by and basically said all that was rubbish, that Pythagoras was being beard-stroking, overly poetic, and if there was such a hum created by the planets, it’d be so loud as to outdo the largest most ferocious thunderstorm, and we’d all be deaf by tea time.

Anyway, this Pythagorean concept was named musica universalis, literally translated as ‘universal music’ or as it’s more commonly known, Music of the Spheres. … continue reading the Fall 2019 issue of SEARCH.

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