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Pythagoras and the Music of Spheres

Pythagoras and the Music of Spheres

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Published by: natzucow on Jan 16, 2012
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07/24/2013

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1
Pythagoras&Music of the Spheres
 
There is geometry in the humming of the strings... there is music in the spacing of the spheres.
 
 
2
Pythagoras.
 
The History of Philosophy
(c.1660)by Thomas Stanley.
Pythagoras
 From Egypt we move across the Mediterranean Sea to the Greek island of Samos, thebirthplace of Pythagoras, whose ideas dominate most of the material in this course.We'll introduce Pythagoras and his secret society of the Pythagoreans.We'll look at the Pythagoreans' ideas about numbers, as a prelude to our next unit onnumber symbolism. Finally, we'll introduce a new idea that will be recurring themethroughout this course, the
musical ratios
, which will reappear in discussions of thearchitecture of the Renaissance.Our main link between Egypt and Greece seems to be
Thales
c 640-550 BC, father of Greek mathematics, astronomy, and Philosophy, and was one of the Seven Sages of Greece. A rich merchant, his duties as a merchant took him to Egypt, and so becameone of the main sources of Egyptian mathematical information in Greece. It wasThales advised his student to visit Egypt, and that student was
Pythagoras.
 
 
3
Raphael's
School of Athens
 
Slide 3-1:Raphael's
School of Athens
1510-11.
Janson, H. W.
 History of Art.
Fifth Edition. NY: Abrams, 1995. p.497Pythagoras is shown in this famous painting, done by Raphael in 1510-11, which alsoshows most of the Greek philosophers.
Socrates
sprawls on the steps at their feet, the hemlock cup nearby.His student
Plato
the idealist is on the left, pointing upwards to divine inspiration. Heholds his
Timaeus,
a book we'll talk about soon.Plato's student
Aristotle
, the man of good sense, stands next to him. He is holding his
  Ethics
in one hand and holding out the other in a gesture of moderation, the
goldenmean
.
Euclid
is shown with compass, lower right. He is the Greek mathematician whose
 Elements
we'll mention often.

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