Pythagoras's Theory Of Harmony Of The Spheres

1453 words - 6 pages

Pythagoras is considered, not only as one of the greatest mathematicians in history, but also for his works concerning music, philosophy, astrology, and many others for all the discoveries made by him. One of the greatest discoveries attributed to Pythagoras is the discovery of the musical scale used nowadays. This scale was based on the principle in which all Pythagoreans base their thought: the existence of numbers in every single aspect in existence. A philosophical belief of universal creation based upon the perfect harmony between numbers and nature. From this argument, he built a whole theory about the harmonies (referring to musical harmonies) which exists in our solar system, which was later developed by several philosophers, physicists, musicians, and so on. He stated that the distances between the different planets had a direct relation with those discovered by him in the musical scale, and that each planet would make a special sound that combined with those of the other planets would create a perfect this harmony that is known as the “Music of the Spheres” (also called “Harmony of the Spheres” or “Universal Harmony”). Based upon his geocentric theory of the solar system, his theory about the celestial harmony created by the spheres, stated that those bodies, with smaller distances to the center of the solar system, or those bodies that orbit closer to the Earth, would make a lower notes that would stay constant and would produce and sound without an end.

Through history, as said before, many philosophers have supported and developed what Pythagoras first exposed to the world. One of the most important philosophers to support Pythagoras’s ideas was Plato. In some of his writings he discusses the creation of the universe based on the musical proportions discovered by Pythagoras (Timaeus), and the explanation of the sound emitted by the planets, which is exposed in the “Myth of Er” from The Republic. It talks about a man who died and came back to life who narrates how he saw the space and how, from every “sphere” there was a being singing constantly each one in a different tone, a perfect harmony was built. Nevertheless, not everyone agreed with this theory being the most important of those Aristotle, who claimed that Plato’s arguments where false in his text On the Heavens. He acknowledges that it is a creative and innovative theory, but it is absurd to think that such music, which is imperceptible to us, exists in a harmonic way up in the heavens. I am not going to go deep on that for it is not relevant for the text. As the years went on, many people continued developing this theory. Nevertheless, this philosophical theory, not truly explained until later on, was an inspiration for many artists and that’s why not only philosophers but many other artists mention and base their works upon this theory.

One of the biggest supporters of this was Johannes Kepler upon whom we will build a complete theory about this matter. Though he...

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