Harmony of the Spheres

Many ancient thinkers seeking to find order in the Universe, starting with the Greek philosopher Pythagoras and continuing for about 2,000 years, believed that celestial objects such as the sun, moon, visible planets, and stars moved above and around the Earth in a series of rotating celestial spheres. The movement of these spheres created a sort of celestial music as each sphere rotated in harmonious relationship with the others. This music of the spheres as they revolved about the earth in sublime harmony could also influence Earth-bound aspects such as music, processes from nature, and even the human soul.

The quest to understand the sublime motion of the heavens above was seen as the key to unlocking the mysteries of life on Earth, and the study of music was essential to this. Understanding of music and harmony could lead to understanding of cosmic motion, and attempts to explore the relationship between the two were in many ways the beginning of modern music theory as well as the fundamental idea of scientific inquiry.

Even the realization by early scientists such as Copernicus and Kepler that the Earth was not the center of the Universe did not shake a belief in the music of the spheres, but instead resulted in modification of the idea to place the Sun in its rightful place. Kepler also tried to use his greater understanding of the movement of the celestial bodies than his predecessors to synthesize music, astronomy, astrology, epistemology, in spite of data suggesting that they could not be reconciled, all in an attempt to find a celestial order.

My Harmony of the Spheres project is driven by this same desire to find order in the movement of the stars and planets, and how this quest throughout millennia relates to myriad other fields of study, ranging from music, to numerology, to representation of music and the cosmos in art, and to modern cosmology and beyond.