Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Am I a Pythagorean?

A few interesting threads have come together for me lately, and they all seem to have something to do with music.  I don't play an instrument, but I've made no secret of my love of the interesting aspects of musical harmonies (especially as related to the Glass Bead Game).  My long-time devotion to math-rock gods Rush is also on record.  :-)

I also have an on-again, off-again fascination with astrology and its metaphorical links both with psychology and with numbers and harmonies.

Then, just over the past few days, I've heard random songs on the radio that all seem to be telling me that music is Something Important...  There's been Frank Turner telling me that something as simple as rock and roll will save us all.  Then Triumph saying that music has the magic power to bring us closer to our dreams.  Then, my man, Stevie, cluing us in how music is a world within itself; a language we all understand.

Then!  Fellow blogger Suze chimes in, weaving a musical creation myth to explain the trichotomy of body, soul, and spirit.  (I couldn't resist commenting on the similarity to Tolkien's Music of the Ainur...)

There's definitely something in sound that strums us where we live.  Is it such a leap to connect it with spirituality?

Of course, music has always played a big part in communal worship.  True prog geeks (like ol' Johann Sebastian) have known how to make the most uplifting use of harmonies for a long time!  But for some reason I'm thinking further than just the "use" of music.  The actual worship OF music?  No, that's not quite it.  The deification of Harmony as an abstract concept?  Not really that, either.  I'm not actually sure where it's pointing me, but I will be reading more about the Pythagoreans, who seem to have trod this path before.

I thought for a while about whether or not to write this up on the blog.  I haven't made any concrete breakthroughs, nor had any truly NEW insights (yet?).  And, I worried, how relevant will it be to my true-blue D&D gamer readership out there?

Then I remembered that the Pythagoreans had quite the affinity for the Platonic solids...

These ARE the gods... of the player characters, anyway!
Relevant enough for me! 

And I still believe (I still believe) in the sound, 
That has the power to raise a temple and tear it down.
And I still believe (I still believe) in the need,
For guitars and drums and desperate poetry.
And I still believe (I still believe) that everyone,
Can find a song for every time they've lost and every time they've won.
So just remember folks we not just saving lives, we're saving souls,
And we're having fun.


  1. I see several false gods (D10s) in that pile. Surely you will purge them in your newfound faith.

  2. Cyg, this was very nicely put together. Have you heard the Jeff Buckley version of 'Hallelujah?' That was how I first heard it, too. Needless to say, it resonated with me.

    Hey, how about that word 'resonate?' Telling, methinks.

    1. I first heard it via the Rufus Wainwright version in Shrek, then found Cohen's gravelly original. ("Gravelly" doesn't do it justice... subterranean! chthonic!) Then tried to erase the version in the Watchmen movie from my memory.

      Respond -- vibrate -- feed back -- resonate!