Scientific Method in Ptolemy's Harmonics

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Juli 2006



This book examines, for the first time, the scientific procedures devised by Ptolemy (second century AD) for investigating the structures underlying musical melody, a project that he conceived as closely related to astronomy. Ptolemy's account of his methods is unusually explicit, and he pursues them faithfully. By providing an analysis of Ptolemy's sophisticated theoretical apparatus, his strategies for integrating theory with observation, and his meticulous instructions for the design and conduct of experimental tests, the book offers historians of science a new starting-point for wider studies of ancient scientific method.


Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Reason and perception; 3. Pitch and quantity; 4. The ratios of the concords: (1) the Pythagoreans; 5. The ratios of the concords: (2) Ptolemy's hupotheseis; 6. Critique of Aristoxenian principles and conclusions; 7. Ptolemy on the harmonic divisions of his predecessors; 8. Melodic intervals: hupotheseis, derivations and adjustments; 9. Larger systems: modulations in music and in method; 10. The instruments; 11. The tests; 12. Harmonics in a wider perspective; Bibliography; Indexes.


'Barker has produced an engaging and richly nuanced account of the Harmonics as an argument for understanding Ptolemy as a scientist with a 'method', a method which demands reliance on both perception and reason. Scientific Method in Ptolemy's Harmonics will interest a wide range of readers, particularly those concerned with ancient science, the role of experimentation and the philosophy of mathematics.' British Journal of Philosophy of Science
EAN: 9780521028646
ISBN: 0521028647
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Juli 2006
Seitenanzahl: 292 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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