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The concept of systema in musical literature: an epistemological and philosophical study in Latin sources, from Martianus Capella to Franciscus Blanchinus Veronensis

Grant number: 18/01418-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Science
Principal Investigator:Rubens Russomanno Ricciardi
Grantee:Paulo Eduardo de Barros Veiga
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/21357-0 - The concept of system (Systema) in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance: an epistemological-philosophical perspective on Latin music literature, from Martianus capella to Sethus Calvisius, BE.EP.PD


This research project proposes an investigation of the primarily musical concept of system (sýstema in Greek, or systema, in Latin), originated in Ancient Greek, aiming texts about musical literature in Latin. Through a semantic sweep of the term, one tries to understand the historical unfoldings of how a concept passes from one area to another of the knowledge, in view of the medieval and renaissance bibliographic production - in Latin language, about music - heirs of the Greek sources, the early predecessors of the sixteenth-century Italian sources of musical theory, which will influence the thinking of Kepler (1609) and Galileo (1610), who transposed the concept of systema of music into science. Therefore, based on this textual production in Latin, the research proposes to study the concept of system from the fourth century, with Martianus Capella, at the end of the sixteenth century, with Sethus Calvisius. Initially, it is proposed a data collection, based on the repository of Latin texts entitled Thesaurus musicarum latinarum, hosted in a virtual environment by the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, in comparison with Les Belles Lettres and Teubner editions. Then, readings are made of the already identified corpus, proposing an analytical approach of these texts, to guarantee a more coherent epistemic view on human knowledge, with emphasis on the systematas.

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