The Poetics of Mathematics in Music

Pozzi Escot
Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science (1998)
Pages 69–72


"In the same way that Plato conceived the Great Ordering One ... As arranging the Cosmos Harmoniously according to the pre-existing ... , so the ... , neo-Platonic ... view of Art conceived the Artist as planning (the) work of Art according to a pre-existing system of proportions (mathematics), as a symphonic composition, ruled by a dynamic symmetry corresponding in space to musical eurhythm time. This technique of correlated proportions was in fact transposed from the Pythagorean (-Theano) conception of musical harmony." So does the Introduction of Matila Ghyka's book, The Geometry of Art and Life, state on the very first page. Jacob Bronowski writes that, "discoveries of science and the works of art are both explorations and explosions of a hidden likeness". Hermann Weyl refers to "the loveliness hidden under the surface beauty of nature, that the mathematics is not to be revealed in its skin". The biologist Gregory Bateson mentions in his book, Mind and Nature that, "being responsive to the pattern which connects means developing the critical aspect and the esthetic experience."