The science of harmonics in Classical Greece

TitleThe science of harmonics in Classical Greece
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsBarker, A
Number of Pagesxii + 481 pp.
PublisherCambridge University Press

The ancient science of harmonics investigates the arrangements of pitched sounds which form the basis of musical melody, and the principles which govern them. It was the most important branch of Greek musical theory, studied by philosophers, mathematicians and astronomers as well as by musical specialists. This book examines its development during the period when its central ideas and rival schools of thought were established, laying the foundations for the speculations of later antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It concentrates particularly on the theorists' methods and purposes and the controversies that their various approaches to the subject provoked. It also seeks to locate the discipline within the broader cultural environment of the period; and it investigates, sometimes with surprising results, the ways in which the theorists' work draws on and in some cases influences that of philosophers and other intellectuals. []


Aestimatio 2008 5: 55-64 Massimo Raffa; BMCR 2009.10.38 Nathan Sidoli; CR 2008 58 (2): 403-404 Jon Solomon; Early Music History 2008 27: 287-293 Liba Taub; JHS 2009 129: 166-167 Charles Burnett; Mnemosyne 2010 63 (2): 324-328 John Curtis Franklin; CW 103 (1): 116-117 Robert W. Wallace

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