Architecture and Music

Ever since in Greek antiquity the Pythagorean philosophers linked music with a classification system based on number theory, musical composition - in the form of a theory of harmony - has also been bound to architectural design - in the form of a theory of proportion.

For centuries, the shared basis in number theory remained the constituting esthetic principle for musical composition and architectural design. The analogies between the beauty or equilibrium of a building or space, and musical harmony and euphony were elaborated in particular in the Renaissance. The affinity of music to architecture ultimately became a dictum with the Romantic thesis that architecture is petrified or frozen music. It was not until the twentieth century that the objective basis of music and architecture in number theory was relativized and finally suspended. New, shared esthetic attitudes took the place of a universal concept of harmony - such as, for example, machine esthetics, the synthesis of the arts, or utilitarianism, which bespeak direct connections between musical composition and architectural construction. In the second half of the twentieth century, the interface between architecture and music became increasingly extended by the aspects of sounding urban space and landscape in terms of a sound architecture.