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A Multi-Discipline Web Page
(Music, Philosophy, Mathematics, History, Physics)


(A one string musical instrument)

view of monochord

The monochord was the first musical instrument used to develop scales.

Click here to see and hear a demonstration

Musical scales were first developed by Pythagoras

Pythagoras (585-497 BCE)

Legendary presocratic philosopher whose followers studied mathematics, astronomy, and music in their pursuit of lives of harmony with the natural world. The work of the Pythagoreans is known to us only through fragmentary reports in the writings of other philosophers. According to Aristotle, for example, the Pythagoreans held that the ultimate constituents of all material objects are numbers, perhaps understood as geometrical points. Apparently they also held with religious devotion that souls are naturally immortal and therefore transmigrate at death to other human or animal bodies.

Recommended Reading: Edouard Schure, Pythagoras and the Delphic Mysteries (Kessinger, 1997) {at}; The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, ed. by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie (Phanes, 1991) {at}; Dominic J. O'Meara, Pythagoras Revived: Mathematics and Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Oxford, 1991) {at}; and John Strohmeier and Peter Westbrook, Divine Harmony: The Life and Teachings of Pythagoras (Berkeley Hills, 1999) {at}.

Also see IEP, John Burnet, Anthony F. Beavers, ColE, Charles Ess, ISM, ELC, TTSB, BIO, noesis, and MMT.

Above excerpt is from

The Octave

The Fifth  (Listen)

The Fourth

Pythagoras Overview
The Monochord

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