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Nicomachus

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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on May 11, 2002 16:40:11 UTC

Harv,

What would Pythagoras say of this careless dismissal?

>>>"musicians and artists are not concerned about what is the right position."

Oh, but we are. Only we don't know how to put this into words or numbers.

Example: if you're playing a melody to a backdrop of a progression in A minor, then you can stick to the natural scale and nothing will sound out of place. If you're advanced enough, you can deviate from this natural scale and play some accidentals, but you have to know where these accidentals are, as playing just any old accidentals (not belonging to the natural scale) won't work.

There's a lot to the numbers and relationships between a musical key and what frequencies work, what don't. Not many musicians could express it numerically (I certainly can't very deep into it), but there is very definitely a numerical logic to music.

Nicomachus' philosophy on the parallels between music and life is fascinating, and you can actually own a translation of it -- http://www.phanes.com/manhar.html

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