Godwin Joscelyn - Harmonies of Heaven and Earth


Author : Godwin Joscelyn
Title : Harmonies of Heaven and Earth Mysticism in music from antiquity to the avant-garde
Year : 1994

Link download : Godwin_Joscelyn_-_Harmonies_of_Heaven_and_Earth.zip

Preface and acknowledgments. This book was first written in the early 1980s as part of a project to assemble the materials for a study of ‘speculative music’. Its companion works are a pair of sourcebooks, Music, Mysticism and Magic (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986) and The Harmony of the Spheres (Inner Traditions International, 1993); two specialized studies, The Mystery of the Seven Vowels (Phanes Press, 1991) and Music and the Occult: French Musical Philosophies, 1750–1950 (University of Rochester Press, 1995, first published in French, Albin Michel, 1991); an anthology of German writers, Cosmic Music (Inner Traditions International, 1989); and two editions of older works, Fabre d’Olivet’s Music Explained as Science and Art (Inner Traditions International, 1988) and Michael Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens (Phanes Press, 1987). Harmonies of Heaven and Earth is the key work of this project, as it does not merely present the thoughts of others but attempts to make its own contribution to the tradition of speculative music. Rather than proceeding chronologically, it moves through successive layers of a universe which may broadly be called Hermetic. The book is organized in three parts. Part I discusses the theory and nature of music and its effects over the different levels of a “great chain of being” which stretches from the stones beneath our feet to the Empyrean Heaven. Part II returns to earth to treat the human dimension of music as it concerns the composer and listener, its moral and religious implications, and its relation to the hidden currents of history. Part III follows, in a chain of linked sections, with the speculative attempts to integrate music with mystical and esoteric theories of the universe: the shifting harmonies of the planets in their courses, and the correspondences of the seven notes of the diatonic scale, the twelve of the chromatic scale, and the unlimited range of harmonics. Part III contains material difficult to find elsewhere, but it is at times rather technical, and not all readers will want to attempt it, nor need they. Harmonies of Heaven and Earth has been published in Japanese, German, French, and (partial) Spanish translations, and has brought me many letters from readers. I welcome the opportunity to incorporate some of their suggestions and all of their corrections. In particular, my friend Nicolas Tereshchenko has enabled me to improve the chapter on Gurdjieff ’s Law of Octaves, and Todd Pratum and David Fideler (unintentionally) have made me reconsider my censure of popular music. I hope that the book will continue to be useful to people working with the esoteric aspects of music, both in theory and in practice. Earlville, New York, April 1994. ...

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