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Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: Mysticism in Music from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde Paperback – November 1, 1987
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From the Back Cover
What lies beneath the surface of music and what gives it its transcendent power? For many people, music is the primary catalyst for experiences of expanded consciousness. Musicians and lovers of music--all those who have ever reflected on its inner reality--feel that a true philosophy of music cannot deal with physics and psychology alone. It must include the universal and mystical aspect of which Plato, Kepler, Rameau, and Novalis wrote, and of which Wagner said: “I feel that I am one with this vibrating Force, that it is omniscient, and that I can draw upon it to an extent that is limited only by my own capacity.” The spiritual power of music surfaces in folklore, myth, and mystical experience, embracing heaven and earth, heard as well as unheard harmonies.
Joscelyn Godwin explores music’s perceived effects on matter, living things, and human behavior. He then turns to metaphysical accounts of the higher worlds that are the birthplace of Harmony, following the path of musical inspiration on its descent to Earth, and illuminating the archetypal currents that lie beneath Western musical history. A final section gives the fullest account ever published of theories of celestial harmony, from Pythagoras to Rudolf Steiner and Marius Schneider.
JOSCELYN GODWIN, Professor of Music at Colgate University, is the author of The Harmony of the Spheres, Arktos: The Polar Myth, The Theosophical Enlightenment, and many other books on music and esoteric traditions.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyway, this book is brilliant. Vast amounts of information are thrown at the reader in a manageable and coherent fashion, and all the chapters follow a logical course of thought which supports the ultimate thesis that the universe we live in is a musical one, dominated by harmonies and melodies of untold beauty, not equations of mind-boggling complexity. His own 4 chapters are excellent forays into speculative music, presenting scientific evidence of the effects of music in the universe, as well as anecdotal/mythological excerpts to support the idea. At times, it seems as though fact and fiction are indistinct, and this would be an accurate view. But even Godwin himself notes this in Chapter 2. The ultimate relevance is that, whether fact or fiction, Godwin has touched upon some kind of truth (in my opinion), which his scientific evidence backs up, and his anecdotal/mythological evidence presents to us.
The final section is the clearest description of complex musical philosophies I have yet found.Read more ›
Its analysis starts from the very Pythagorean theory of the Harmony of the Spheres and extends to the beginning of last century.
Analysing each theory, the book provides the opportunity to people without any profound knowledge of music of philosophy, to understand some of the theories that shaped western music through the ages.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Harmonies of Heaven and Earth is an intriguing read if you are musically inclined and have a background knowledge of both music and medieval metaphysics. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Trevor Neal
The only successful goal of this book is extracting money from your pocket! This books contains a very large list of anecdotes, folk tales and similar matters intepreted from a... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Juan G.