Aristoxenus of Tarentum: Discussion

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Carl A. Huffman
Transaction Publishers, Dec 31, 2011 - Literary Collections - 400 pages
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Aristoxenus of Tarentum was reported to have been bitterly disappointed when Theophrastus was chosen instead of him to succeed Aristotle as the head of the Peripatetic School. He had a truly phenomenal output of some 453 volumes, most of which survive only in fragments. He was the most famous music theorist in antiquity and came to be referred to simply as “the musician.” In addition, he was a founder of Greek biography and wrote the life histories of Pythagoras, Archytas, Socrates, and Plato among others.

This volume includes eleven selections, which are almost evenly divided between his work in music theory and biography. There is a chapter on his general biographical method as well as chapters on his specific treatments of the Pythagoreans, Socrates, and Plato. There are chapters evaluating the extent to which Aristoxenus was a historian of music, his account of music therapy, his views on musical “character,” the use of instruments and empiricism in his harmonic theory, and his relation to the “Neoclassical” Greek composers of the fourth century.

This volume includes: “Did Aristoxenus Write Musical History?,” Andrew Barker; “Instruments and Empiricism in Aristoxenus’ Elementa harmonica,” David Creese; “Aristoxenus and Musical Ethos,” Eleonora Rocconi; “Aristoxenus and Music Therapy: Fr. 26 Wehrli Within the Tradition on Music and Catharsis,” Antonella Provenza; “Aristoxenus and the “Neoclassicists,” Timothy Power; “Apollonius on Theophrastus on Aristoxenus,” William W. Fortenbaugh; “Aristoxenus’ Biographical Method,” Stefan Schorn; “Aristoxenus and the Pythagoreans,” Leonid Zhmud; “Aristoxenus’ Life of Socrates,” Carl A. Huffman; “Aristoxenus’ Life of Plato,” John Dillon; and “Aristoxenus and the Early Academy,” Andrew Barker. Spanning close to three full decades, Transaction’s Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities Series continues to pioneer in the field of classical studies.


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Did Aristoxenus Write Musical History?
Instruments and Empiricism in Aristoxenus Elementa Harmonica
Aristoxenus and Musical Ēthos
Aristoxenus and Music Therapy
Aristoxenus and the Neoclassicists
Apollonius on Theophrastus on Aristoxenus
Aristoxenus Biographical Method
Aristoxenus and the Pythagoreans
Aristoxenus Life of Socrates
Aristoxenus Life of Plato
Aristoxenus and the Early Academy
Frequently Used Abbreviations
Works Cited
Index of Ancient Sources
General Index

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About the author (2011)

Carl A. Huffman is Edwin L. Minar Professor of Classical Studies and Robert Stockwell Professor of Greek Language and Literature at DePauw University. His work has appeared in Classical Quarterly and Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy. In addition, he is the author of Archytas of Tarentum: Pythagorean, Philosopher, and Mathematician King and Philolaus of Croton: Pythgorean and Presocratic.

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