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The Myth of the Harmony of the Spheres in the 20th Century Music

February 28, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

The assumption that the motion of stars and planets creates music is among fundamental myths of the Western culture. At least since Pythagoras and Plato it kept fascinating philosophers and artists. Until the 17th century (for instance, in the work of Johannes Kepler and Athanasius Kircher), theoreticians obviously dealt with the “musica mundana” (“music of the world.”) Later, after the Copernican revolution, this idea was seemingly repressed. The myth survived mostly in poetry. It was revived in the 20th century, when the starry sky became once again a great inspiration for numerous composers (like Josef Matthias Hauer, Gustav Holst, Charles Ives, Paul Hindemith, Olivier Messiaen, George Crumb, Gérard Grisey, George Cacioppo, Iannis Xenakis, Hermann Nitsch, Karlheinz Stockhausen, François Bayle, Friedrich Jaecker, Iancu Dumitrescu, etc.)
This lecture is aimed at revealing musical archetypes composers used in order to evoke the harmony of the spheres in their works.

Leopoldo Siano
After studying musicology in Rome and in Cremona, Leopoldo Siano is living in Germany since 2009. In 2012 he earned his PhD at the University of Cologne with a doctoral dissertation on the last and unfinished cycle of Karlheinz Stockhausen “Klang. Die 24 Stunden des Tages,” published in 2013. Since 2012, he is teaching at the Musicological Institue of the University of Cologne. He is internationally active as lecturer and writer on music.
He wrote on several contemporary composers, such as Jean-Claude Eloy, Giacinto Scelsi, John Cage, François Bayle, Gerard Pape, Prasqual, Michael Ranta and Hermann Nitsch.
Some of his actual fields of research are: music and cosmogony, the “harmony of the spheres”, acousmatic music, sound archetypes, overtone singing, music and visual arts.
In 2015 he founded the Centre for Phonosophy in Kürten (phonosophia: “knowledge through the sound”) with a focus on deep listening and sound ecology.


February 28, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


College of Humanities & Social Sciences
+374 60 69 40 40


Small Auditorium, 5th Floor, 516M , AUA Main Building
40 Marshal Baghramyan Ave
Yerevan, Armenia
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