Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Plato Code, Pythagorean 729 and Vincenzo Galilei

A Musical Message Discovered In Plato's Works by NPR Staff

If you're interested in Dr. Jay Kennedy's discovery of Plato Code, check this article out, and scroll down to comments where a professor mentioned that The Republic had Pythagorean references. He talks about one of the passages Plato wrote about tyranny, in which he uses the number 729 as a metaphor to say that a tyrant is 180 degrees from being a good man. The number 729 is apparently a Pythagorean number which was calculated by using the 3:2 ratio, the same ratio as the one Pythagoras used for the circle of fifths in music. Please visit the article and find the comments because I don't want to copy what he wrote here. I will share that he recommended a book by Ernest McClain called Pythagorean Plato.

Upon further investigation, I found out that 729 is also an esoteric number symbolizing the sun, which eventually led me to numerous sites discussing 729 and pyramids, A440Hz and NWO. Here is one interesting site: Pythagoras: All is Number - carnaval.com In this article, an explanation of the Tetraktys can be found.

All of this is fascinating, but I still can't find the reason for the numbers in Dr. Jay Kennedy's Plato Code: 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 9. Here's an article of interest at this site: Intervals in the Greater Perfect System (Ancient Greek Origins of the Western Musical Scale, midicode.com) in which it states, "The number series 4 : 6 : 8 : 9 :12 :16 is often associated with the greater perfect system and the theory of proportion." Close enough, but that still doesn't explain Plato Code in full. (Edited to add: I rechecked the Above Top Secret thread on A440Hz & NWO, and found that their table of harmonic numbers under 1000 correlated to Plato Code - the only number missing is 1 - so, there may be something to this). For all I know, the Plato Code was a set of musical, theatrical liner notes that told you which mode to play at which passage in the script. Then again, there could be a secret code embedded within a pentatonic scale. What I do find riveting is the history behind Pythagoras' work and Pythagorean followers, how passionate they can be about their beliefs in sacred music.

Slightly Out of Tune: The Story of Musical Temperament (pdf) by John Favaro - Viareggio, 12 April 2003

I stumbled upon this fascinating article during my quest for an explanation of Dr. Jay Kennedy's Plato Code. Upon reading this article (among many others on the topic of music theory, particularly Pythagorean tuning and Just Intonation), I find myself wondering if all that we are taught about idealism is natural, and if what's considered natural is in fact an unnatural, controlled idealism, whereas we desire mirror images of qualities, even in the material world, which we deem divine. I've learned that some people feel we need to return to just intonation for esoteric reasons, desiring to return to roots and authenticity. You can see in my writings that for me, returning to simpler music to preserve just intonation sounds like a prison sentence.

Today, jazz musicians have figured out that you can freely improvise in altered chromatic scales over a dominant 7th chord which, by the way, can be altered with the base note played up a devil-invoking tritone. Music has made quantum leaps; for me, it's a little late to go back to playing only on a pentatonic scale for pleasure (unless they don't want us to experience pleasure, especially the physical, sensual kind), or old style tuning just because some people think it's divine, immutable truth. Just intonation is good for certain kinds of music, but it's not my focus, musically speaking.

Kircher, Arithmologia (BibliOdyssey)

In the same article, I learned about Vincenzo Galilei, the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei's father, a musician with progressive ideas. If Pythagoras was an idealist, Vincenzo Galilei saw limitations in those ideals. Here is an excerpt in the piece addressing the problem with assigning the role of divinity to math and music:

"Gioseffo Zarlino wrote one of the milestone musical treatises in history in 1558, called le istitutioni harmoniche. Isacoff: "Zarlino believed that music is a force that can balance body and soul, and bind together the parts of the world; it can do all this because it is a system built on harmonic proportion--the ratios discovered by Pythagoras," And in fact Zarlino developed a scale based on Just Intonation--one that preserved the Pythagorean fifths and perfect thirds.

"Vincenzo Galilei wrote Diagolo della musica antica et della moderna in 1580, and refuted all of this. He said that pure thirds and fifths may be an ideal, but in practice it is a fantasy. For example, singers continually adjust their singing together to produce exactly the intervals needed to be harmonious--they are never exactly thirds or fifths. In other words, there was nothing sacred about the ratios of thirds and fifths."

It seems clear in Vincenzo's words, that he was an accomplished enough musician to understand that good music is created by ear, perceived dynamically, not by calculations. According to Wikipedia: "Vincenzo Galilei (c. 1520 – 2 July 1591) was an Italian lutenist, composer, and music theorist, and the father of the famous astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei and of the composer Michelagnolo Galilei. He was a seminal figure in the musical life of the late Renaissance, and contributed significantly to the musical revolution which demarcates the beginning of the Baroque era. (My interjection here: and along came J.S. Bach and the Well-Tempered Clavier)

"Vincenzo, in his study of pitch and string tension, produced perhaps the first non-linear mathematical description of a natural phenomenon known to history.[1] This was an extension of a Pythagorean tradition, but went beyond it. Many scholars credit him with directing the activity of his son away from pure, abstract mathematics and towards experimentation using mathematical quantitative description of the results – a direction which was of utmost importance for the history of physics, and natural science in general."

Although Vincenzo Galilei is honored as the precursor to Bach and well-tempered tuning; he clearly isn't loved by those who want to preserve, or return to, the Pythagorean tradition (and as you will see, such a debate can go beyond music, into a heated feud): Galileo by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., 1983

I think that by the time we get through deciphering the Plato Code and seeing how it connects numerologically to the ancient Babylonian sun god, the Egyptian pyramids, Indian ragas and all, we'll have to ponder if Pythagoras and Plato's esoteric interdisciplinary works combining music, math, science and morality were somehow incorporated into early Christianity of the Roman Catholic church.

Related links:

Added on July 10, 2010: Plato Code, Pythagoras and Harmonic Science - Pink Manhattan

Science Historian Cracks the 'Plato Code' - Pink Manhattan July 01, 2010

Plato Code: Just Intonation and Fibonacci Code? - Pink Manhattan July 02, 2010

I - Allegro

Elissa Lee Koljonen playing Violin Concerto in E major (BWV 1042) Allegro by Johann Sebastian Bach. Accompanied by Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra). Conducted by James Judd. Visit You Tube