Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Philosophy - Philosophy, Science and the Sciences

Conference: Harmonic Theory in Ancient Greece

  • When Apr 26, 2018 12:00 to Apr 27, 2018 11:59
  • Where Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Hannoversche Straße 6, room 1.03
  • iCal

Ancient Greek Music can be studied from a twofold perspective: on the one hand, there is the musical practise, the so-called mousiké, which played an important role in the polis; on the other hand, there is the theoretical part, harmoniké, the study of music as a physical quantitative phenomenon, which, as a consequence, could be described using the language of mathematics, in particular, arithmetic.

The aim of this conference is to focus on this second aspect of ancient Greek Music. Within this framework, we will take into particular consideration the following fact: the ancient scholars who gave contributions to the field of Harmonics treated it as a scientific discipline and they were often authors of mathematical and philosophical texts as well. Therefore, some of the questions that will be addressed to during this conference are: how could a scientific method be applied to music? How were arithmetical concepts and procedures used in order to describe musical patterns? To what extent did musical experience influence the theoretical description we find in the treatises? Since Harmonics is part of the education of the philosopher, which are the philosophical implications behind particular theoretical musical structures?

For more details go to the conference website.

Organizers: Sinem Kılıç (FU), Sara Panteri (HU)

Please find the program here.