Boethian Rhapsody – An English Translation of Boethius’s De Institutione Musica Made Available

I have been frustrated by the fact that it is difficult to get hold of an English translation of the only extant part of Boethius’s influential book on music. It had been stored on my laptop, but it crashed last month and I lost all stored files. Finally I found an old email, from about 10 years ago in which somebody sent me a copy. So, to make sure this never happens again, I am going to publish it on my blog so that it is freely available. Here we have 30 odd chapter of Book 1.

So here it is!

Five Books of Music (1)

We will be studying this in an upcoming class at www.Pontifex.University which will be on Sacred Geometry and Sacred Number – the Traditional Mathematics of Beauty and Cultural Transformation which I will be offering in the Fall. By the way, h/t to a fellow blogger Baroque Pearls for the snappy headline. I’d like to take credit but modesty forbids. Incidentally in his article, I am flattered that he took the diagram for the musical harmony from my blog – I know because I drew it. I guess what goes around comes around.

Below are some pictures of diagrams of musical harmony from medieval manuscripts of the book, form. Plus Raphael’s painting of Pythagoras with a chalk board with the musical harmony diagram on it! 

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boethian-scale

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