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The primordial system: an inquiry concerning the origins and the evolution of systems concept in reference to music and their dependence on the mythical-philosophical idea of harmony

Grant number: 12/05649-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): July 04, 2012
Effective date (End): March 03, 2013
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Music
Principal researcher:Rubens Russomanno Ricciardi
Grantee:Alexandre da Silva Costa
Supervisor abroad: Akademischer Lebenslauf
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Humboldt University, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:10/15080-1 - The primordial system: A research about the origins and the evolution of the systems concept referents to the music and their dependence of the mythical-philosophical idea of harmony., BP.PD


The fundamental proposition of this research project consists in an accurate analysis about the early texts of the tradition of ancient Greek thought that might (1) show the origins of the concepts of harmony and Systema and (2) clarify under what conditions originally flourishes the alliance between those two concepts. This alliance is of the utmost importance for the understanding of music history, since it will remain as an orientation and a conformation of the primary identity of any future possibility of theory and music composition in the West. Furthermore, the immersion in this originary tradition enables one to show that the idea of harmony, a crucial element for music, initially has mythical and religious roots, having acquired only later, already in philosophical realm, a clearly conceptual character. It is through this philosophical reception of an originally poetic idea that the concept of poetic harmony will finally be mature to the first theories of music. It is therefore a philosophical conception of harmony that will set its roots in a soil that wouldn´t not survive without it. On the other hand, this same immersion should ensure the demonstration that the system’s concept makes a precisely opposite way, having its origin already in the restricted field of music theory, developed from the conception of the System teleion in the work of Aristoxenus, and only later will play roles of equal importance both in philosophy and in the sciences. If the philosophy of music provides the concept of harmony, the music provides the philosophy and science the concept of system. (AU)

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