Now the ancient Greeks too... The name Pythagoras is a familiar one to high school students, but what relatively few people know is that he was responsible for more than simply one of the theorems of Euclidian geometry. His contemporaries referred to the great pre-Socratic thinker as the "father of numbers", for in his view mathematics were the most important science. His ideas enjoyed a millenium-long career. On this occasion, following his teachings, our experts will talk about the numerical connections found in medieval vocal and instrumental music and illustrate them by playing them as well.
Pythagoras founded a school of philosophy in the Greek city of Kroton in southern Italy and was surrounded by adulation of nearly religious fervour. A classic story relates how music and numbers came to occupy such a central role in his life. It was supposedly with the mathematician's dramatic involvement that Kroton defeated the city of Sybaris in 510 BC: when the appropriate music was played to them, the enemy's horses began to prance as if dancing, making it impossible to defend the city. The... Pythagoreans, the philosopher's followers, considered the phenomena of the world to be comprehensible on the basis of arithmetic and geometric regularities. Pythagoras became the first person in the history of science to mathematise his practical experiences when he expressed the intervals of chords in terms of the ratios of string lengths. Numbers and ratios are our entire world, and they also constitute the foundation stone of the arts and science. Speaking of the numerical nature of notes, intervals, tones and harmonies, conductor János Bali, who holds qualifications both as a mathematician and a recorder-player, serves as the artistic director of the A:N:S Chorus and is a specialist in Renaissance vocal polyphony. He and his colleagues, along with Szilveszter Szélpál, who will present items of musical and historical interest, will be sharing fascinating information with the audience.
Age: 10-14 year
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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