HARMONY OF THE SPHERES.

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TANUJ BANSAL.

Music is a very important part of life, as I have said before it is unimaginable when you think of life without music as you can never imagine a world without colors. We express ourselves and feelings through music but today we are not going know about music but today a Pythagorean Theory on music is what you’re going to read about.

It is a philosophical concept that regards proportion in the movements of celestial bodies – the Sun, Moon and the Planets – as form of music. As a tenet of Phythagoreanism, this theory originated in Ancient Greece but the later development was done by Johannes Kepler, a 16th century Astronomer. Kepler never believed that it can be audible to human ears but he always felt that nevertheless it can only be heard by soul. Until the end of Renaissance, it continued to appeal scholars and influenced many schools of thought and Humanism. This theory is also known as Musica Universalis and music of the spheres. Although, William Shakespeare once said “Earth has music only for those who listen” but as you can see this is something about the world outside the earth, it is about the music, the harmony the music yields and how it was one of the parts of creation of universe after the big bang.

The metaphysical principle that mathematical relationships express qualities or tones of energy which manifest in shapes, sounds, numbers and visual angles that all of these are connected within a pattern of proportion is what incorporated by the theory of “harmony of the spheres”. The pitch of a musical note is in inverse proportion in the length of the string that produces it, and that intervals between harmonious sound frequencies form simple numerical ratios. For e.g., Mars take twice as long to orbit as Earth and when turned into a musical chord, it means Mars and Earth play an octave (interval between one musical pitch and another with double its frequency) and just like this if talk about Venus, Venus orbits as fast as three times than Mars that means they play a fifth plus one octave. Pythagoras proposed that the Sun, Moon and planets all emit their own unique hum based on their orbital revolution, that the quality of life on earth reflects the tenor of celestial sounds which are imperceptible to the human ear. As well as Plato described astronomy and music as “twinned” studies of sensual recognition: astronomy for the eyes, music for the ears, and both requiring knowledge of numerical proportions.

In 1619, Kepler published Harmoncies Mundi (Harmony of the World), expanding on the concepts he introduced in Mysterium Cosmographicum (Mystery of the Cosmos) and positing that musical intervals and harmonies describe the motion of six known planets of the time. He believed that this harmony while inaudible, could be heard by the soul that it gave a very agreeable feeling of bliss, afforded him by this music in imitation of God”.

The question “why, all planets……in harmony, like really?” may come up in your mind and the answer Modern Astrophysics revealed is that if the planets took badly organized orbits, they would occasionally be aligned as such to bump each out of their smooth orbit. During the formation of solar systems, when it was shuffling knocked out any orbits that didn’t work in harmony with each other so now we have this symphony of planets. Waves turn up in all areas of life from the behavior of simple particles to the pattern of galaxies in the universe. One remarkable result of Modern Astrophysics is sound waves appears in the pattern of galaxies but as you know the sound does not travel in space but you if look back at the time of big bang the sound could travel anywhere as the universe was hot and dense but as it expanded the distance between particles became larger and larger and that became the reason of sound not being able to travel as the gas was so dilute and this occurred 380,000 years after big bang and whatever remnants of sound waves were still there got frozen in their places. As we know sound waves are just compression waves, they consist of alternating dense spots and these dense spots were still there when sound waves were frozen and as they were denser the gravity there was stronger, thus this is where galaxies were finally formed. To see if this is true then astrophysicist will be able to see this periodic pattern in the distribution of galaxies, so they went out far a walk among the universe or basically on research in their labs. After the research the prediction was confirmed by multiple teams and yes, there really is a sound wave pattern in distribution of galaxies. The Harmony of Spheres extends far beyond our solar system as we are talking about the distribution of galaxies here thus proving Pythagoras theory to be true which was founded around 2500 years ago.

Musica Mundana, the one of the three categories of Boethius influential work De Musica was sometimes also referred as Musica Universalis. He believed that it can only be discovered through the intellect but the order found within it was same as the audible music and both these reflect the beauty of God.      

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