The Music of the Universe
What is the Music of the Spheres?
Is music a key to understanding our universe?
Underlines an emerging and exciting sensibility in the sciences and the sonic arts: the idea that sound can effectively illustrate aspects of phenomena under study.
Since both our ears and eyes guide us in everyday life, shouldn’t both senses also be useful for studying data sets?
The idea of Music of the Spheres dates back to the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras. Today, he is probably most familiar to us because of the right triangle theorem we learned about in middle school.
But for Pythagoras, principles of triangles were just a single note in the grand musical work that was the cosmos, wherein ratios, harmony, and the heavenly bodies were united voices of the cosmic song.
Today, we may think of Music of the Spheres as being more fanciful than scientific. Yet musical language appears frequently in astronomers’ descriptions of space.
The more we learn about the universe, the more we seem to rely on musical terminology to describe it. If the universe is, at some level, music, then it seems only natural that we should study it with musical tools of thinking.