Aristoxenus Elements of rhythm rhythmic feet as musical functions, analogous to the theory of melodic functions he had presented in his Elements of Harmony. and these form the elements of every musical system. Not indeed that all .. the characteristic of this Harmony is exemplifiedin the .. of what Aristoxenus calls a. Aristoxenus: Aristoxenus, Greek Peripatetic philosopher, the first authority for musical His theory that the soul is related to the body as harmony is to the parts of a His remaining musical treatises include parts of his Elements of Harmonics .

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The Aristoxenians

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Description Title Aristoxenus Elements of rhythm. Name Marchetti, Christopher C.


Aristoxenus – Wikipedia

Other Date degree. Subject ClassicsAristoxenus. Elements of rhythm–Criticism and interpretation. Extent vi, p. Description Aristoxenus of Tarentum makes productive use of Aristotelian concepts and methods in developing his theory of musical rhythm in his treatise Elements of Rhythm.

He applies the Aristotelian distinction between form and material and the concept of hypothetical necessity to provide an explanation aristoxenue why musical rhythm is manifested in the syllables of song, the notes of melody, and the steps of dance. He applies the method of formulating differentiae, as described in Aristotle’s Parts of Animals, to codify the formal properties of rhythm.

Aristoxenus’ description of the rhythmic foot presents several interpretive challenges. Our text is fragmentary, and we lack Aristoxenus’ definitions of several key terms. This study seeks to establish the meanings of these terms on the basis of aritsoxenus close examination of the structure of Aristoxenus’ argument. Parallel arisotxenus in Aristides Quintilianus’ On Music are considered in detail for their consistency or lack thereof with Aristoxenian usage.

Parallel passages in POxy are cited as illustrations for several rhythmic constructions and principles Aristoxenus mentions; because these involve original interpretations of some points in POxythey are supported by a thorough presentation of POxy in a separate chapter.


One central conclusion of this study is that Aristoxenus viewed rhythmic feet as musical functions, analogous to the theory of melodic functions he had presented in his Elements of Harmony.

Only limited conclusions about the applicability of Aristoxenus’ theory to the history of ancient Greek music can be justified. While some of the extant remains of Greek music are in accord with Aristoxenian theory, others contradict it. Much of ancient poetry is more rhythmically complex than what is presented in our text of E. Note Includes bibliographical references Note by Christopher C.

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