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German version[edit]

You can find an actual scientific version on the german page .

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as stub, and the rating on other projects was brought up to Stub class. BetacommandBot 03:46, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Elementa harmonica[edit]

Is the long critique of Plato relevant for this page? It was added by User:Roaryk on the 26 May 2008. He/she added a similar critique of Plato's metaphysics to Simplicius of Cilicia on the the same day ([1]) but I removed it shortly afterwards, because it was of no value on a page devoted to Simplicius (whose surviving writings run to thousands of pages devoted to all sorts of subjects). Admittedly, far less survives of Aristoxenus' works, but I still can't help thinking a discussion of Plato belongs on a page about Plato. Singinglemon (talk) 21:31, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Compare the discussion here. There is a lot to say about Elementa harmonica, and this incidental light on Plato's lecture On the Good is a relatively insignificant part of it. It would be more logical for the full quotation and discussion to occur in an article discussing On the Good, but the current encyclopedic treatment of that topic resides in the 87kb article Plato itself. Of course if this got moved to Plato where it (currently, with no separate article) belongs, then maybe the folks editing the Plato article could have the job of figuring out how to break things up. I would opine that quoting the passage in Greek in its entirety is utterly gratuitous. (By the way, concerning the eventual treatment of Aristoxenus' theories, I note the existence of Musical_system_of_ancient_greece#Classification_of_Aristoxenos.) Wareh (talk) 14:43, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I've gone ahead and simply removed the Plato passage. This sort of thing seems to happen quote a lot on Wikipedia pages without any active editors - someone adds big and complex (and sometimes even with references), and it just gets left on the page, a kind of elephant in the room everyone tries to ignore. :) I've added a couple of paragraphs on the contents of the Elementa harmonica - it's been pulled out of a book dating from 1868, so if anyone wants to replace it with something more modern, they have my best wishes. I also add one bit from Musical system of ancient greece. Singinglemon (talk) 21:45, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Eccellentissimo! I've only just glanced over your work, but it looks like a very good start, indeed. It may take some time to comb through the details, but at least we have a broad outline to work from, at last. I freely confess to being one of those editors who has been steadfastly ignoring this "elephant in the room", waiting for some brave soul like yourself to take the first step. Thank you. I'll see what I can do to critique the content, working from Barker's translation (which I have on hand) and some other, more recent scholarship. Thanks for being up-front about the comparative antiquity of your (modern) source!—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:55, 21 April 2010 (UTC)


There are quite a few problems with this entry. While aristoxenus is often pointed to as a defender of the approach to pitching by ear, decrying the use of mathematical ratios, I find that this is in no ways indicated by his writings, at least those translations available in Macran and more recently in Barker's handbook on Greek acoustic science. While he does ascribe final verdict to the agreeability to the ear, he uses quite a technical mathematical vocabulary, heavily reliant on arithmetic division, to define many fine gradations of interval, from two thirds of a tone to the variuos pyknoi. These seem to be at odds with the vague descriptions usually associated to aristoxenus by his various interpreters, Macran and Barker included, who seem to be more concerned with affirming their various culturally rooted intonation biases than taking Aristoxenus at his word. He is by far the most astute and practical of the ancient theorists, and I do believe we might do him better justice by looking at his work without view to fulfilling our own confirmation biases. Daniel Z. Franks (talk) 08:44, 29 February 2016 (UTC)