Since at least the days of Pythagorus we have understood that harmony is dependent on simple numerical ratios of vibration. All cultures seem to have discovered the Octave, the extreme consonance of vibrations in the proportion of 2:1, and most cultures also discovered what we call the ‘fifth’ created by proportions of 3:1. Since no amount of multiplying by 3 will ever produce the exact same number as repeatedly multiplying by 2 once can never produce an Octave purely by a sequence of Fifths. The current western 12 note scale is created by averaging out the small difference between 12 Fifths and its nearest Octave so that each of the Fifths becomes very slightly sharp rather than perfect. This seems to work due to the tolerance of our ears that does not demand perfection in order to perceive harmony. Close enough is apparently good enough, though some diehards with a finer sense of hearing continue to disagree.
It is highly probable that the Greek initiates gained their knowledge of the philosophic and therapeutic aspects of music from the Egyptians, who, in turn, considered Hermes the founder of the art. According to one legend, this god constructed the first lyre by stretching strings across the concavity of a turtle shell. Both Isis and Osiris were patrons of music and poetry. Plato, in describing the antiquity of these arts among the Egyptians, declared that songs and poetry had existed in Egypt for at least ten thousand years, and that these were of such an exalted and inspiring nature that only gods or godlike men could have composed them. In the Mysteries the lyre was regarded as the secret symbol of the human constitution, the body of the instrument representing the physical form, the strings the nerves, and the musician the spirit. Playing upon the nerves, the spirit thus created the harmonies of normal functioning, which, however, became discords if the nature of man were defiled.
While the early Chinese, Hindus, Persians, Egyptians, Israelites, and Greeks employed both vocal and instrumental music in their religious ceremonials, also to complement their poetry and drama, it remained for Pythagoras to raise the art to its true dignity by demonstrating its mathematical foundation. Although it is said that he himself was not a musician, Pythagoras is now generally credited with the discovery of the diatonic scale. Having first learned the divine theory of music from the priests of the various Mysteries into which he had been accepted, Pythagoras pondered for several years upon the laws governing consonance and dissonance. How he actually solved the problem is unknown, but the following explanation has been invented.
One day while meditating upon the problem of harmony, Pythagoras chanced to pass a brazier’s shop where workmen were pounding out a piece of metal upon an anvil. By noting the variances in pitch between the sounds made by large hammers and those made by smaller implements, and carefully estimating the harmonies and discords resulting from combinations of these sounds, he gained his first clue to the musical intervals of the diatonic scale. He entered the shop, and after carefully examining the tools and making mental note of their weights, returned to his own house and constructed an arm of wood so that it: extended out from the wall of his room. At regular intervals along this arm he attached four cords, all of like composition, size, and weight. To the first of these he attached a twelve-pound weight, to the second a nine-pound weight, to the third an eight-pound weight, and to the fourth a six-pound weight. These different weights corresponded to the sizes of the braziers’ hammers.
Pythagoras thereupon discovered that the first and fourth strings when sounded together produced the harmonic interval of the octave, for doubling the weight had the same effect as halving the string. The tension of the first string being twice that of the fourth string, their ratio was said to be 2:1, or duple.
Kimsooja (b. Taegu, Korea, 1957, South Korean) - A Reflective Palace Of Rainbows, 2006 The Palacio de Cristal was originally built in the late 1880s in Madrid, Spain. In 2006 artist Kimsooja transformed it into this rainbow reflecting palace. Installations
Gateson x Yoshi Kondo collaboration marble.
One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
avraham-chai: When you don’t lose yourself, the beloved is like a thorn When you lose yourself, the beloved is the purest gold When you don’t lose yourself, a fly can fell you When you lose yourself, elephants fall before you When you don’t lose yourself, you’re a cloud of grief When you lose yourself, mist and fog parts for you When you don’t lose yourself, the beloved turns away When you lose yourself, the sweetest wine comes your way When you don’t lose yourself, you’re as dispirited as autumn When you lose yourself, your January is like spring All your restlessness is out of your desire for stillness Just desire restlessly, then, love will fill and still you All your unhealthiness is out of your desire for health, Just abandon health, then, even poison will heal you… ~ Rumi Translated by Nilou Mobasser