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Translation and introductory study of the treatise on harmony of Claudius Ptolemy, books II e III

Grant number: 20/08483-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2020
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Classical Languages
Principal Investigator:Paula da Cunha Corrêa
Grantee:Luís Alberto Goulart Firmino
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Claudius Ptolemy's musical treatise is highly relevant among the theoretical texts about music that have been produced in Classical Antiquity. That is because Ptolemy takes into consideration different theoretical conceptions proposed before his time, makes articulations between them, and elaborates his own notions about consonances between sounds, tetrachords, scales and the different genera. Besides that, in developing his treatise, this scientist from Alexandria apports in his text testimonies of the different tunings of musical instruments and describes instruments that are used for theoretical and speculative reasons, such as the monochord, the octachord canon and the helicon. In its third book, Ptolemy relates the propositions he presented in the previous books about the sounds with the structures of both the soul and the celestial movements. In considering the importance of music in Ancient Greek society - and that is recognizable through the countless iconographic and literary representations of the practice of music, and through the philosophical texts that underscore the influence of music in human behavior - the fact that Ptolemy's treatise testifies on the philosophical approaches as well as on the practical ones, of music and harmony, is one of major relevance for both the Classical and the Musicological Study fields. Having already translated the first book, the candidate presents this project for the translation of the second and third books in order to complete the treatise and to complement the introductory study with commentaries that pertain to the books II and III.

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