Numerology in Baroque and Classical Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

The twenty-one pieces of the work, minus the Overture, are divided into two acts, 8 pieces in the First Act, and 13 in the Second. 8 to 13 is an example of the Golden Ratio. There are also 49 entrances in The Magic Flute, divided up as 19 in Act I and 30 in Act II. This too is an example of the Golden Ratio. Furthermore, the Overture contains a division between 81 bars and 130, yet another Golden Ratio.

Golden Ratio is thus contained within Golden Ratio, an image of the endless repetition of the primordial forms. Each individual part of the Creation is complete unto itself. One can take apart the Cosmos and find perfect miniature "worlds" that can be put back together to form a coherent whole. According to the Classical canon of art, the human body is built upon the Golden Ratio. By drawing lines through the navel, the artist created a series of ideal shapes such as were reflected in the larger universe.

A dramatic, as well as a musical work, Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute, permits human beings to participate in the dynamic of creation, their movements in tune with the ageless rhythms of numerology. The music that is the world's soul inspires not just the particular work, but continues to drive new creations within the hearts and souls of the listeners and spectators. It is a complete experience, combining audience and composer, human and divine.

Thus, do the Baroque and Classical composers attain transcendence through the numerological aspect of music. Musical compositions, even highly complex ones like opera, are composed of numerous apparently separate parts. These are seamlessly fitted together by the composer who works in accordance with complex, and profound rules of numerological order. These numerological principles transcend the mere space of the work, they spread through the separate parts and unite them, linking the entire composition to the rhythms of the universe outside. The composer creates apiece in much the same way that the Creator forms the cosmos. Numbers have meaning. By themselves they stand for sacred books and figures. Added, multiplied, divided, or squared, they produce other sacred numbers. Specific mathematical formulas correspond to deeper universal truths. The Golden Ratio is an image of the endlessly repeated, and eternally perfect, proportions of the Cosmos. The Fibonacci Sequence represents a principle for adding those sacred values together, and augmenting the perfect space. Bach and Mozart worked with universal truths, at greater or lesser degrees of proximity to the Divine source. Where Bach aspired to recreate the Divine impact on the natural and human world, Mozart sought to display humankind's pivotal role in shaping that Divine Creation. Pythagoras first formulated the theory that music constituted the "sound" of the Cosmos. In their works, composers like Bach and Mozart were recreating the visible essence of Creation. But music was more than essence, it was also motive force. The Creator creates the music to continue the work of creation. The Cosmos is a complex interplay of perfect forms, that when played in the right sequence, display perfect numerological harmonies. Numerology is music reduced to its purest essentials. Music is also the expression of those essentials. The numerology of music is the reality of the Cosmos.

Works Cited

Benstock, Seymour L., ed. Johann Sebastian: A Tercentenary Celebration. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.

Boyd, Malcolm, and John Butt, eds. J.S. Bach. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Chua, Daniel K.L. Absolute Music and the Construction of Meaning. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Faulkner, Quentin. Wiser Than Despair: The Evolution of Ideas in the Relationship of Music and the Christian Church. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996..

Kahn, Charles H. Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2001.

MacQueen, John. Numerology: Theory and Outline History of a Literary Mode. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1985.

Rothstein, Edward. "Contemplating the Sublime." American Scholar Fall 1997: 513+.

Van Den Berk, M.F.M. The Magic Flute: Die Zauberflhote: An Alchemical Allegory. Boston: Brill, 2004.

Charles H. Kahn, Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2001) 13.

Charles H. Kahn, Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2001) 40.

John MacQueen, Numerology: Theory and Outline History of a Literary Mode (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1985) 66.

Daniel K.L. Chua, Absolute Music and the Construction of Meaning (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1999) 15.

Quentin Faulkner, Wiser Than Despair: The Evolution of Ideas in the Relationship of Music and the Christian Church (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996) 129.

Faulkner, 129.

Malcolm Boyd, and John Butt, eds., J.S. Bach (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) 320.

Boyd and Butt, 320.

Boyd and Butt,…

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