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date: 26 January 2021

Boethius, Musical writingslocked

  • Andrew Barker

Extract

Boethius' Institutio musica, mainly paraphrased from Greek sources, deploys Pythagorean harmonics (see pythagoras), within the quadrivium, to promote understanding of music's extraordinary powers. Books 1–3 (introduction and mathematical demonstrations) and possibly book 4 (divisions of the monochord, modes) derive from a lost work by *Nicomachus (3). Book 5 (incomplete) renders *Ptolemy (4)Harmonica 1, very selectively: perhaps Harmonica 2–3 were intended to follow.

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