Musical Armonies in Pythagorism


Old Pythagorism introduced a rationalization of all possible reality from two concrete premises: number and harmony; both in mutual collaboration would explain from the universal to the ephemeral. The system of the first provides the "passional" second with strictness and the possibility of being understood. But the tasting of proportional beauty is needed to give life and sense to this mathematical approach.

Regarding music, in this singular group of philosophers and faithful believers, the greatest value was given to the "most consonant invervals": fourth, fifth and octave, albeit having prfiously reached a justification for diatonic scales (divisions in tonoes and semitones were already stated there). The division of the music scales is found in texts of Philolaus of Croton and others, but it is best an more beautifully shown in Plato's Timaeus. In the description of the world's soul (35a1-36b6) one can understand, among a good amount of numbers and calculations, how the animic support of the world and even of any possible reality plays the roll of a beautiful proportional and musical structure; a sort of scale in which the intervals are outstanding and underscore the strangely plausible relationships between the eidetic world and to become.

In the Timaeus the Platonic philosophy is more than present, but supported by a Pythagorean categorization that no doubt will transcend throughout our Western civilization. Here, philosophy transcends its particular time, establishing its own rational myth: Pythagorean truth, a celestial harmony set in immediate reality that says what is beautiful and what are its limits. It governs despite all contemporaneous efforts to break its rationality.

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