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G. Rybintseva

The art of music as the image of Universe: from Antiquity to Modern Times

The tradition of understanding music to be the generalized image of universe has been existed for many centuries. However, the specific way of reproduction of world order conceptions in art requires further study. The comparison of the theoretical fundamentals of the music of Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Modern Era, along with the images of the world prevailing in the public mind in these eras, allows you to find the following matches. The structure of full perfect system of modes, prevailing in Antiquity, consists of five basic diatonic tetrachords and corresponds to the ancient image of a unified multi-level Cosmos generated by the five natural elements. Various diatonic modes in medieval music do not form a single modal system, and therefore they are associated with the image of hierarchically arranged multi-level medieval universe. Theoretical fundamentals of Modern Era music are: an equal temperament, major–minor system and the doctrine of harmonic vertical line. They are similar to the scientific image of the boundless Universe filled with an infinite variety of star systems. The compliance of the theoretical fundamentals of musical art with the prevalent in the public mind specific historical images of the universe testifies to the generality of philosophy and music. Each of them solves the problem of preservation and transmission of information about the worldview of the era to future generations. And each of them does this with its own means.

Key words

image of universe, music theory, system of modes, equal temperament.