Musica Nova


Oil on Belgian linen, 122 x 183 cm

The music

Composer: Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)
Works: Wind Septet, Clarinet Quintet Op. 30, Octet
Suggested performance: (recording label: MDG)

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Around 1322 the French composer, poet and mathematician Philippe de Vitry published his treatise "A New Art", in which he outlined the way for a new musical style. This treatise contained many musical innovations, including what Philippe de Vitry called "harmonic numbers". Number, of course, is the foundation of all music - music is built on the harmony of numbers, and indeed this is how the Greek philosopher Pythagoras of the 6th century B.C. discovered it. For Pythagoras this harmony of numbers and their interrelationships was found in "the Music of the Spheres" - a Universal Music. The painting attempts to speak about this principle of the Universal Music, the new Music [musica nova], which comes from the Cosmos, changing and revitalising everything. The painting was completed some years ago, but kept in my Studio, as it was one of my most favourite works.