You may well be wondering what “Musical Principles” are. About 10 years ago (appr 2001/2) I was working on a paper entitled “The mathematical and scientific principles of music and sound”. This paper was an exploration of musical roots from its original concept Circa 3000BC to present day as seen from a mathematical point of view, showing how music is linked in physics, math and architecture The following excerpt is from that paper.


Imagine a world created by music!

Imagine that within this world, music, art, mathematics, science, religion and poetry are fused as a single subject. Now imagine that this world is Earth.

If you find that hard to believe consider that over the years, music has been known to occur in the most unusual places. Some of the most beautiful structures are built from musical principles; poetry has rhythm and melody in its construct, and we strive for harmonic perfection in our science and mathematics.

It has often been said that people who listened to, and studied music from an early age did much better at school, usually achieving the highest grades and subsequently going on to become very successful in later life. It is my understanding that through music, children unknowingly develop a greater comprehension of Mathematics.

Music is perhaps the highest form of language known to man. Based on a combination of mathematical principles and human emotion, music has existed in the world since before man learned to utter a single word. It can be traced back to Mesopotamia in 3000 BC, what is now southern Iraq, and even further back to China in 5000 B.C. where simple pieces of bone and wood have been discovered with small holes cut into them resembling flutes and whistles. However, it was the Sumerians’, an ancient culture heralding from Mesopotamia, who fused together music, art, mathematics, religion, science and poetry into a single subject from which all musical principles were developed.

Although music is still coherently linked to many of these subjects in today’s society, they are regularly seen as individual subjects rather than as a single construct. For example music, religion and poetry often go together as one subject, yet, with today’s understanding science now has no room within that structure. Likewise, it is possible to fuse music, science and mathematics as one.

Due to the complex mixture of mathematics within music, we tend to either forget such a mix exists, or choose to ignore it, seeing only what is obvious to ourselves. The Sumerians’, on the other hand, upon discovering the link between mathematics and music, used it to build up a civilization easily comparable with the Greek society, which would not evolve for some two and a half thousand years.

It was in the southern regions of modern Iraq where the ancient Sumerians’ developed a highly civilized nation and, about the same time, developed a base sixty numbering system which became so integrated into society it became the backbone of their culture. This numbering system was used to represent their gods; it was the basis of their mathematical principles, their music and art. This system is the only surviving development of that period which is still in constant use in today’s society.

It is this numbering system, which Pythagoras later re-developed in his speech on harmony in the 6th century B.C. and Plato utilized in describing the composition of the soul in the 3rd century BC, that linked music with the Gods through Mythology. It is a system which has worked for thousands of years, linking music to the cosmos, architecture, philosophy, science and even medicine.

Today, music stands as the single most powerful language in the world. Over the century’s it has been used to fuel revolutions. It can bring grown men to the brink of tears with its beauty, and is the cause of much joy and sorrow. It can be used to relax people or to excite them. Music invokes many levels of emotion, and to this extent, is utilised at weddings, funerals and births all around the globe.

Music exists in many forms. From ballet to techno, plainsong to praise, sonata’s to choral symphonies, the fugue, to heavy metal. It is enjoyed by every race and culture. No other language known to man is able to cover so many different genres’. No other language is so complete and perfect that nature herself is satisfied. Music literally knows no boundaries.

A single melody can create many images, from the ferocity of an ocean to the calm of a mountain brook. No drug is more powerful and no sugars sweeter. If ambrosia ever existed then it is my belief that it wasn’t a food, but music. It is here that art is in its element.

The purpose of this work is to introduce to you how music is reflected, not only in its own field, but also from within the structure of other subjects. I will attempt to show how even today music still maintains deep links within mathematics and science. How we can utilize music in our art through the implementation of colour and how poetry maintains melodic construct. I aim to cover how it can be used in medicine to heal; how the Chinese even today still treat people using certain sounds. I will also show how music is linked to the cosmos, how the ancients incorporated it into their myths, laying the foundations of the very same music we know and love today. How they described the base 60 numbering system in their Gods, the same numbering system which provides the key to many doors and intricately links all the subjects I will discuss here.

Further to this, as I write more on the matter, I will offer information on the understanding of Musica Mundana, and how that its self is only a tiny part of a much larger symphony of sound, which I will refer to as Musica Universalis, described by, as the name suggests, the very universe we live in.

The music of the universe offers several scientific theories about sound and creation which lead to conclusions about the universe around us, and how that it’s self is only a tiny fragment of the overall tapestry of life.

Above all, I wish to prove to you how, despite our common beliefs, all of these subjects are still coherently linked as a whole, and you cannot read one subject without some understanding of the others.

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