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Quadrivium: The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology (Wooden Books) [Hardcover]

Miranda Lundy , Anthony Ashton , Dr. Jason Martineau , Daud Sutton , John Martineau
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 26, 2010 0802778135 978-0802778130 0
The quadrivium—the classical curriculum—comprises the four liberal arts of number, geometry, music, and cosmology. It was studied from antiquity to the Renaissance as a way of glimpsing the nature of reality. Geometry is number in space; music is number in time; and comology expresses number in space and time. Number, music, and geometry are metaphysical truths: life across the universe investigates them; they foreshadow the physical sciences.


Quadrivium is the first volume to bring together these four subjects in many hundreds of years. Composed of six successful titles in the Wooden Books series—Sacred Geometry, Sacred Number, Harmonograph, The Elements of Music, Platonic & Archimedean Solids, and A Little Book of Coincidence—it makes ancient wisdom and its astonishing interconnectedness accessible to us today.


Beautifully produced in six different colors of ink, Quadrivium will appeal to anyone interested in mathematics, music, astronomy, and how the universe works.


Frequently Bought Together

Quadrivium: The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology (Wooden Books) + Sciencia: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Astronomy for All (Wooden Books) + The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric
Price for all three: $46.55

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The five authors whose books comprise QUADRIVIUM are Miranda Lundy, Anthony Ashton,, Jason Martineau, Daud Sutton, and John Martineau.

Product Details

  • Series: Wooden Books
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Walker & Company (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802778135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802778130
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't be happier December 14, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am thrilled with this edition. I own The Golden Section and Ruler and Compass, which I love. They don't delve deeply into their subjects, but they cover an incredible breadth of topics. You can read them cover to cover, or you can just open up to any page and find all sorts of treasures in the text and illustrations. Quadrivium is a collection of 6 books from Wooden Press, Sacred Geometry, Sacred Number, Harmonograph, The Elements of Music, Platonic & Archimedean Solids, and A Little Book of Coincidence... the value alone is unbelievable, as each of these books retails $12... Quadrivium retails $20 and Amazon sells it for $12, so its basically a 6 for 1 deal. I've quoted Quadrivium in school papers, found inspiration in it for art class, and I pick it up in my spare time because it is so interesting. I highly recommend this to people of all ages, it makes a wonderful addition to any library.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Quadrivium January 23, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a compilation of ideas and coincidences to be found in our amazing world. We walk dumbly around without noticing the simplest of things, things that, on closer scrutiny, seem utterly miraculous. Even more amazing is that some of the concepts described in the Quadrivium were discovered and described thousands of years ago by ancient cultures that no longer exist (others mere centuries). Nevertheless, to understand the Quadrivium is to gain insight on our universe, our humanity and our relationship with our divinity.
Quadrivium: The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology (Wooden Books)
SF
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing and easy to absorb. July 20, 2011
By Chris
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has amazing art on every other page, has a beautiful hardcover and helped me make connections that I probably never would have. This book is amazing if you have 5 minutes or 5 hours, each concept is done on a single page followed by a visual representation of the material on the other page.

Plus, its a great price, may buy another and donate it to the local library.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Coffee Table Book July 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a scholarly book on the Quadrivium, don't look here.

What's good about this book is that it is physically very beautiful. Each lovely page has a beautiful graphic and an elegant little essay to go with it. What's bad about it is that (1) the elegant little essays have been chopped by some editorial hand to fit on the lovely little pages, and (2) it's a hodgepodge of anachronisms, with essays on quite a bit of material that is totally modern and has nothing whatever to do with the Quadrivium historically, such as the page listing "all" the possible jazz chords (all that some person could think of, anyway, wracking his little brain), and (3) that the unaware reader can have no way of evaluating which pieces of info are historically relevant and which are a bunch of wow-gee-whiz cocktail party factoids. There are plenty of the latter. Some of the material on music (which I know more about than the math and geometry material) is mildly misleading... not wrong, exactly, but not presented in a helpful context. Here's a sentence for you, taken admittedly out of context: "The fourth cannot be diminished, because then it would be a third..." Oh? Somebody forgot to tell Bach and Chopin. Yes, the author is actually talking about the fourth scale degree... but it's a little vague. There is no way for me to tell what, among the factoids and gee-whizzes about astronomy, geometry and arithmetic, what has been chopped out by the editorial hand leaving half-information; one suspects many omissions.

On the bright side, there are some interesting and useful tables of information in the back of the book on various subjects, making it a potentially useful reference. On the other hand, it's not a book that you can safely quote as a reference without having some other source to back it up, fine for cocktail party "did you know blah blah blah? how fascinating" - but I was looking for something a little more serious.
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40 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs more detachment and less New Age woo June 6, 2011
Format:Hardcover
I picked up this book because I am fascinated by the Classical and Medieval world, and especially by things like the Quadrivium which represent survivals of Classicism in the Medieval period. On the other hand, I realize that much of their world view was based on things which we now know to be false, and the appropriate way to frame discussion of these subjects would be be say things like "It was thought that..." or "It was believed...". Instead, the book is written as if things like the supposed mystical nature of the number ten were literally true. I could understand this if the book was written "in character" as if a Medieval person was writing it, but things like the ten steps of the DNA helix are mentioned, which obviously nobody knew about when the Quadrivium was taught. Presumably the reason for including such modern coincidences is to suggest that the mystical view of number has real validity. But that turns an interesting historical book into a New Age tract.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More New Age fluff with lots of drawings October 18, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I picked up the book hoping was actually about Quadrivium and instead got a New Age woo woo reformulation of it with lots of nice drawings. And you won't learn much from it, the sections are all pretty superficial in the treatment of the subjects they cover - usually one page and a drawing. A serious drawback is that it suffers from a lack of reference material for people who want to go deeper into these subjects and there are no exercises to help a reader explore items of interest.

The part I liked best was the Appendices & Index. There is a lot of interesting information back there.

Overall the book is well put together and polished. Hats off to the publisher.

Whose the book for? Someone curious about the subjects presented in this book who doesn't want too much information up front, you will like it. It's also a neat coffee table book.

Anyone else looking for a thorough examination of the subjects covered in the book need to look else where.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice
The book met my expectations. It is a job that is worth getting and is valid knowledge to have. Thank you.
Published 1 month ago by Adriel
4.0 out of 5 stars Quadrivian
Miranda Lundy has given her profession and her work a must have contribution to the world of Liberal Arts. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Daniel Roman
5.0 out of 5 stars Wooden Books for inquiring minds, YES!
Wooden Books are a bibliophiles delight: thought provoking, beautifully illustrated and bound, and yet sized for "companionship" . . . each an aesthetic delight! Read more
Published 3 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Great teaching tool...
This book is a good way to get started in learning about the classical liberal arts. This book is really an intro and it doesn't go into excessive detail. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mark Khusid
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
Assuming all of the information is correct, being that NONE of it is cited or resourced, I would imagine that this is an astounding book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by TONY
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting book
It's the kind of book you want to have sitting on your coffee table so guest can crack it and ask you about it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book in Wooden Collection
There is so much to discover in the collection of Wooden Books. This book brings it all together in seeing the Sacred Geometry in all things.
Published 5 months ago by Gail S. Franke
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold
If you are interested in sacred geometry, numerology, the elements of music, or astrology, and especially if you are interested in the harmonic relationship between all these... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stephen Ross
2.0 out of 5 stars Peculiar
This is a beautiful rendition of very strange content. The book is beautifully printed and nicely bound. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tom
3.0 out of 5 stars cool picture book
good book but i wish they had more information in there about the subject of music! i was hoping it wold teach me the basics of music but instead its just a bunch of drawings. Read more
Published 7 months ago by GEOMANCER
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