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Pythogoras woodcut

Pythogoras woodcut

H416/0257

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pythagoras and music. Fifteenth century woodcut of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras discovering acoustics and musical theory around 550 BC. The top left image shows Pythagoras discovering the mathematical rationale of musical pitch and harmony by watching smiths at work. He noticed that the different sized hammers produced different notes. Pythagoras went on to show this held for bells, glasses filled with various liquid levels (both top right) and pipes (bottom right). However, he did not experiment with stretched strings as shown at bottom left. Pythagoras is best known for his work on geometry. Woodcut form Gaffurio's Theorica musice (1480).

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