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The Science of Harmonics in Classical Greece - Andrew Barker

The Science of Harmonics in Classical Greece

Paperback Published: 16th June 2011
ISBN: 9780521289955
Number Of Pages: 494

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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 2007 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.

Industry Reviews

Review of the hardback: 'This is a fine, important book from one of the pillars of Greek musical scholarship, and should be carefully digested to the last footnote by every serious student of the subject.' Mnemosyne
Review of the hardback: 'The significance of Harmonics in Classical Greece - which displays all the features needed to become a classic for both studies in Classics and in musicology - does not only regard ancient philosophical and scientific studies. Indeed it sheds light on important aspects for medieval musicologists and for 16th and 17th -century debates, marked by a return to the ancient, even thanks to the Latin translation of Plutarch's De musica published by Carlo Valgulio in 1507.' Nuncius: Journal of the History of Science
Review of the hardback: 'Barker has written an important book for anyone interested in ancient Greek music theory and its relationship with other intellectual activities of the time, such as philosophy and the empirical or mathematical sciences.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Barker has written an important book for anyone interested in ancient Greek music theory and its relationship with other intellectual activities of the time, such as philosophy and the empirical or mathematical sciences...This is a densely argued work with many detailed discussions of technical sources. It is unlikely that any scholar will agree with all of Barker's readings, but we should be grateful to him for laying out his own readings with such care, and in the process, shedding light on many difficult passages. " --BCMR
"...this is a very significant book, a highly original contribution to a very problematic field, and an essential starting point for further research into classical Greek writings on music theory." NECJ, James Grier, University of Western Ontario

Preliminaries: Introduction
Beginnings, and the problem of measurement
Empirical Harmonics
Empirical harmonics before Aristoxenus
The early empiricists in their cultural and intellectual contexts
Interlude on Aristotle's account of a science and its methods
Aristoxenus: the composition of the Elementa harmonica
Aristoxenus: concepts and methods in Elementa harmonica Book 1
Elementa harmonica Books 2-3: the science reconsidered
Elementa harmonica Book 3 and its missing sequel
Contexts and purposes of Aristoxenus' harmonics
Mathematical Harmonics
Pythagorean harmonics in the fifth century: Philolaus
Developments in Pythagorean harmonics: Archytas
Plato
Aristotle on the harmonic sciences
Systematising mathematical harmonics: the Sectio canonis
Quantification under attack: Theophrastus' critique
Postscript: The later centuries
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521289955
ISBN-10: 0521289955
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 494
Published: 16th June 2011
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.72

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