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Fig 3.9 – Numbers as Divine

Text: Page 98

Pythagoras worshipped numbers because they were stable and permanent, the perfect arche, the divine origin and the determinant of all things. Numbers cannot be touched or sensed, but numbers can be understood through reason. For example, three can never be two, and vice versa. This is symbolized by musical intervals that explained the nature of the world in mathematical terms. Music represented an ordered and harmonious world. Musical numbers created beauty by utilizing musical intervals based on a 3:2 ratio known as the “pure fifth.” This was considered the musical interval most beautiful to the ear, an example of combining his religious and scientific beliefs.

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