Abstract: This essay provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis of a cluster of Heraclitus’ fragments that revolve around an image of ‘musical’ harmony (B 8, 10, and 51 Diels-Kranz). The aim is to demonstrate that more numerous as well as more specific references to contemporary musical practice can be found in these fragments than is usually thought. In particular, it is argued that in his talk of cosmic harmonia Heraclitus might well know and exploit a musical sense of this word, namely, that of ‘attunement’, which was already developing at his time from the primary meaning of ‘connection’ and ‘agreement’. Furthermore, it is shown that the investigation of musical patterns with which Heraclitus was clearly acquainted offered him a significant analogical ground for his reflection on the order and rationality of kosmos. He was not apparently interested in the numerical definition of musical patterns, and thus there is no need to assume any influence of earlier Pythagorean research on his theory of cosmic harmony: the other way round, this theory was likely food for thought for Philolaus.

How musical was Heraclitus' harmony? A reassessment of 22 B 8, 10, 51 DK

SASSI, MARIA MICHELA
2015

Abstract

Abstract: This essay provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis of a cluster of Heraclitus’ fragments that revolve around an image of ‘musical’ harmony (B 8, 10, and 51 Diels-Kranz). The aim is to demonstrate that more numerous as well as more specific references to contemporary musical practice can be found in these fragments than is usually thought. In particular, it is argued that in his talk of cosmic harmonia Heraclitus might well know and exploit a musical sense of this word, namely, that of ‘attunement’, which was already developing at his time from the primary meaning of ‘connection’ and ‘agreement’. Furthermore, it is shown that the investigation of musical patterns with which Heraclitus was clearly acquainted offered him a significant analogical ground for his reflection on the order and rationality of kosmos. He was not apparently interested in the numerical definition of musical patterns, and thus there is no need to assume any influence of earlier Pythagorean research on his theory of cosmic harmony: the other way round, this theory was likely food for thought for Philolaus.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/751024
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