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6236Re: [neoplatonism] RE: Moderatus

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  • Tzvi Langermann
    Feb 4, 2014
      Sebastian, I meant of course to write "many" of us; and the link you gave does not work. Perhpas your thesis is on Ethos?


      ----- Original Message -----

      From: Sebastian Moro

      Sent: 02/02/14 02:53 AM

      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com

      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] RE: Moderatus



      My thesis on Proclus and music (Royal Holloway, 2010) can be downloaded from here: 
      I'm trying to turn it into a book and I thought I should organize the material in a different way and update several sections. 
      Many thanks for your interest, Tzvi!  I was not sure about mentioning my own thesis, because I didn't want to sound like self-promoting. I'm very interested in any comments, and would appreciate it very much.
      On Saturday, February 1, 2014 8:53 PM, Tzvi Langermann <langermann@...> wrote:
      I think that any of us--me for sure--would appreciate the download link to your thesis!
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Sebastian Moro
      Sent: 02/01/14 12:04 AM
      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] RE: Moderatus
      I'm glad these quotations are useful. Yes, the analogy of the musical string (or the monochord), is very important for this tradition of musical thought (see D.Creese, The monochord in Ancient Greek Harmonic Science). I think the light metaphor and the sound metaphor are complementary; Apollo is in Neoplatonism both the source of harmony and the source of intelligible light. Cf. the representation of Apollo with the cosmic musical string (as a serpent) at his feet in Gafori's, Practica Musicae (1496), frontispiece or R.Fludd's cosmic monochord, etc.
      As Marilynn mentioned the context of Aristides is apollonian. (Andrew Barker's, collection of Greek Musical Writings, also contains also a translation of Aristides Quintilianus).
      Also,this notion of logos as source of sound and light can be found in Clement of Alexandria's use of the metaphors, for him also the Logos is light and song. In this sense, it is possible that he is following a tradition where the heniaios logos is a mediator between the transcendent One and the cosmos that receives harmony and light. (On Clement, I found this book, Clement of Alexandria,  By Eric Osborn, p.115, where the author quotes Moderatus and the heniaios logos). 
      Proclus mentions the monad as first portion or musical note in different passages of the In Timaeum. (In Tim. II.207.32 – 208.20 also at II.215.5-29 ff; cf. I.202.30-203.6), according to Porphyry and Iamblichus. There is also the famous Hymn to Number, that includes a procesion of number from the Monad I.316.17 and Syrianus, In Met.106.4)
      Proclus says:
      "And just as the Monad is the cause of the Tetrad, and the Tetrad in turn is the cause of the 
      Decad, in the same manner the intellectual harmony is the source of the psychic harmony, 
      which in turn conveys it to the harmony of the sensible realm. This is why Timaeus took 
      the  range  of  four  octaves  to  be  proper  to  the  harmony  of  the  soul:  because  it  is  a  close 
      paradigm of the harmony in the sensible realm. (In Timaeum II.207.28-32)" 
      The tetrad contains all the intervals (1+2+3+4 = because the main musical ratios are 2/1 3/2 and 4/3) and at the same time the tetrad is contained causally in the Monad, the diagram of the tetraktys, mentioned by  also shows the Monad on top, like the Lambda diagram of the Timaeus' interpreters. The Monad on top of the Lambda represents how the other intervals are included in the source.
      I wrote my PhD thesis about these musical passages in Proclus. I can send you the link to download it as pdf. from my University profile. 
      The notion of a vibrating sring containing the other sounds of the modal scale can be found not only in Greece but also in Indian music, where the Tanpura is an instrument used as "drone", also included among representation of various musician gods. In Western music there is also a "drone" string in many instruments (or even the bagpipe can be used for that role).
      On Friday, January 31, 2014 9:52 PM, "vaeringjar@..." <vaeringjar@...> wrote:
      That is most interesting, Sebastian. Do you recall the exact reference for the Proclus? In his Comm on the Timaeus? Thanks for the other references to Syrianus and Iamblichus.

      I realize I may be rehashing the known here, and I hope not the obvious. But I find this all very appealing, and hope it's not uninteresting to others.

      That notion of the one containing all others, the single string. What a great analogy for the action of the One.  It has them implicitly yet they can be singled out as well. May be a better metaphor than those of light, actually, and it's so perfectly easy to experience in reality - just pluck the string! :)

      Dennis Clark




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