Greek Reflections on the Nature of Music by Flora R. LevinGreek Reflections on the Nature of Music by Flora R. Levin

Greek Reflections on the Nature of Music

byFlora R. Levin

Hardcover | April 27, 2009

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 671 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


In this book, Flora Levin explores how and why music was so important to the ancient Greeks. She examines the distinctions that they drew between the theory of music as an art ruled by number and the theory wherein number is held to be ruled by the art of music. These perspectives generated more expansive theories, particularly the idea that the cosmos is a mirror-image of music's structural elements and, conversely, that music by virtue of its cosmic elements - time, motion, and the continuum - is itself a mirror-image of the cosmos. These opposing perspectives gave rise to two opposing schools of thought, the Pythagorean and the Aristoxenian. Levin argues that the clash between these two schools could never be reconciled because the inherent conflict arises from two different worlds of mathematics. Her book shows how the Greeks' appreciation of the profundity of music's interconnections with philosophy, mathematics, and logic led to groundbreaking intellectual achievements that no civilization has ever matched.
Title:Greek Reflections on the Nature of MusicFormat:HardcoverDimensions:364 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 1.02 inPublished:April 27, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521518903

ISBN - 13:9780521518901

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

1. All deep things are song; 2. We are all Aristoxenians; 3. The discrete and the continuous; 4. Magnitudes and multitudes; 5. The topology of melody; 6. Aristoxenus of Tarentum and Ptolemaïs of Cyrene; 7. Aisthēsis and Logos: a single continent; 8. The infinite and the infinitesimal.

Editorial Reviews

"Sadly, Flora Levin passed away; her death deprives the field of ancient music and music theory of an original and deep thinker. This volume offers provocative interpretations of Aristoxenian music theory while providing a context in modern mathematics, philosophy, and musicology for the Aristoxenian and other schools of ancient music theory. Levin had the ability to make intellectual history seem an adventure and wrote this book to be both accessible and of interest to non-specialists." --BMCR