Augustine’s childhood was greatly influenced by several factors. One of which is music.

Music created a
big impact on Augustine‘s life especially his conversion and spiritual formation. His famous line “tolle
lege” which means “take up and read” is in a sing-song fashion (Cum canto dicentis).

Upon understanding Augustine’s theory of music, it is a necessity that we first understand what the
problems about music were during his time: One problem was how to fill the fourth or fifth pitch to fill
to create a systema or scale. Pythagorean harmonics attempted to solve the problem but the solution
given remains inexhaustible. Pythagoras’ approach to the problem was mathematical. His answer to the
problem was by adding a tone and a tetrachords the scale can be completed. He puts:

(9/8)2·256/243·(9/8)3·256/243=4/3·3/2=2/1 (Plato,1957)
Another person who attempted to solve the problem of the scale was Aristoxenus. He
was a studet Aristotle. Aristoxenus preffered not to approach the problem
mathematically entirely. Aristoxenus

There is indeed a slight Platonic miture on Augstine view of music. But despite that he tried to
set out a firm view, his own idea standed out among those who discussed the treatise.
Throughout the years critics have opted to minimize the value of his work, but it is still an early
work of Augustine and should not be considered worthless.

De Musica was intended to discuss primarily on melody and examine rhythms and the first five
books p[resent a consideration of secular verse forms. The first five books pertain to rhythm and
meter which he describes as childish and Trivial (Augustine) De musica 6.1. The sixt book
displays a very serious business about the hierarchy of number as composed of the soul. Books
II-IV elaborates a theory that is given in Book I.