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Music of the Greeks and the Renaisannce

Sound: Its Influence on Civilizations - Part III

We have explored the powerful influence of the music of the Lumerians Atlanteans, Egytpians and the ancient Chinese populations. We noted that their music used intervals (and other methods) to incorporate a signature number into their music. We shall go forward in time and look into the Greek music and the early Middle Ages… and see just how music influenced these civilizations.

In the Greek epoch, tetra chords (two groups of four notes each) created modes, which resembled our scales. These modes, or sound-formulas, characterized personalities. The scales were even named after people who preferred its mood. According to Steiner, the Greek musical system enabled "spiritual energy to descend to a greater extent so mankind could see the world primarily through a physical body."

Control of music shifted to the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. Initially adopting the Greek modes, they later dropped all but two, renaming them "major" and "minor." Music in this period was a series of ongoing tones. An "amen" was added on the end of Gregorian chants, creating musical endings and the concept of a beginning and ending in a song.

Earlier writing suggests the sound of the first and third note of a scale sounded together (so harmonious today) was shrill and hard to listen to. As the Middle Ages progressed, the third interval became a staple of harmony, and chords using the 1/3/5 notes of the scale flourished. Music incorporated a large amount of third intervals.

In a more recent time, the jazz sound introduced a chord with the seventh note of the scale added (this creates a musical two Interval), and was considered to be outrageous, scandalous and "the music of the devil." Today, jazz is not considered sinful, or even racy, but is relegated to soothing elevator music. This suggests that populations get used to new sounds, and in essence harmonize with them. Esoteric writing suggests that such harmonization transitioned people's consciousness and life experiences.

Next message we will wrap up the discussions about signature numbers in music, and their changing influence on people.