Thursday, February 01, 2007

Music of the Spheres

The Greeks had it figured out. About music that is.

Music was thought to be born of the Gods. People thought music had magical powers. It was said to heal sickness, purify the body and mind and work miracles in the realm of nature. If you think about it that isn't to far off from the Old Testament story of David and Solomon when he played his harp and cured Saul's madness.

Music had a wider meaning for the Greeks. It was inseparable with numbers, which were thought to hold the key to the whole spiritual and physical universe. So when the sounds and rhythms were organized, it exemplified the harmony of the cosmos and corresponded to it. Plato expounded this theory in the Republic.

In fact, most of the important Greek thinkers associated it with the Cosmos. Mathematical laws corresponded both the underlying system of music and the stars and planets. Therefore, each planet was associated with different modes. Plato wrote of this correspondence in "The music of the Spheres" - the unheard music produced by the revolution of the planets.

It is interesting to note that as science progresses, scientists are discovering that everything has a "pitch” Even string theory supports this notion. The notion that all things are made of the tiniest of tiny 'strings' that vibrate and, in a way, form a kind of harmony, creating structure to all matter.

Recently, the universe was said to have the pitch of a Bb.


Seth Ward said...

ahhh the sounds of crickets....

sorry, you may get a few of these until the test is over.

Anonymous said...


operamama said...

B flat? hmmmmm....what does it mean? i was just wondering what planet rap music would be closest to. oh, i guess that would just be rhythm. i am trying to attach a musical genre to each planet. venus--clasical, mars--rap, mercury--country perhaps? saturn--swing, because it rhymes with rings? i dunno.

operamama said...

okay, now, i am picturing saturn's rings dancing to swing music. "jump jivin'." to be exact. maybe the rings even swing each other and over lap to swing music. what fun!

Anonymous said...

Actualy, O-mo, I think Saturn has to be go-go music. (Think rings as hula hoops.)

Seth Ward said...

I have also been known to cut one darn near a Bb. Middle C if I've had my fiber.

operamama said...

cach--yep, go go music would work as well...although now, i am picturing a go-go girl in the middle of saturn with jiggling parts. women don't normally picture those things.

seth--gross. i can't believe you've pitched your flachelance. (spelling?)

Seth Ward said...

I have always loved how you misspell things. Their is a certain art to it. When I misspell things, it looks retarded, when you do it, it cracks me up to no end.

Example: (written on a bulletin during church)

"Quit making gestures every time that guy says amen. You are being an Edget."

I don't know if there IS way to spell that word invented by Rosco Peeko Train on the Dukes of Hazard but it's my fav.

Chaotic Hammer said...

I started out, in my younger years, as a bit of a grammar nazi. I'm still acutely aware when people make spelling and grammar errors in their writing, but have trained myself to just ignore it.

A grammar-geek mindset is almost completely incompatible with the internet. If you're going to let such things bother you on the internet, you will die from some weird neurological condition at a very young age.

Not me. I choose life, and sanity.

(And besides, like Seth, I have learned to see a certain cuteness and novelty in certain misspellings. I'm married to a very intelligent but spelling-impaired woman, so this is also a matter of survival for me, you understand)