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Headword: Harmonian
Adler number: alpha,3977
Translated headword: harmony
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the string being well and skilfully [positioned] in the melodies of songs.[1]
Harmony follows upon things which are fitted together [h(rmosme/nois], for it is necessary that there be strings, and then that they be stretched in such a way, and thus harmony ensue. [Harmony] does not fight with things that are fitted together, but holding thus it follows so that it might hold the things which are fitted together.[2] Harmony is a sounding-together [sumphonia] of the strings. Discord [anarmostia] is the sickness and weakness and ugliness of a living body, of which the sickness is the asymmetry of the elements, the weakness [is the asymmetry] of the more similar [parts], and the ugliness [is the asymmetry] of the organs.[3] Harmony is an order or composition of things which have been combined. It is spoken of in two ways. According to the one meaning [it is] the composition of bodies, whenever it is set up in such a way that it is not able to be infused with another thing, whether a rock or some one of the related heavy bodies. And from these things we transfer the word "harmony" to the ratio of combined things, such as in mixtures or in things concerning music. For we say that the ratio of combined things is one and one half to one, or one and a third to one, or some other [fraction] of the composites according to the metaphor of harmony. According to the other meaning,[4] harmony is said for juxtaposition, since these things are more familiar to us. Neither composition nor well-ordered admixture, then, create the soul.[5] So it is necessary [to use this word] for the efficient causes and the sort of substance, that is to say, its property. For bronze resonates in one way and iron in another and lead in another, and wood [in another]. Therefore "harmonicas"[6] are accustomed to be furnished from different substance[s], so that they might perfect harmony by the difference of their resonances. For harmony of very mixed things is the union of people with divergent opinions. Therefore [it is] impossible for a sound to happen when there is only one [entity].[7]
Harmonies are also said [to be] the nailed-together parts of furniture. "With the harmonies gaping." But these [are] figurative expressions. Aristophanes [sc. writes this].[8]
Greek Original:
Harmonian: to eu kai epistamenôs einai tên neuran en tois kroumasi tôn aismatôn. hoti hê harmonia epiginetai tois hêrmosmenois: dei gar einai tas chordas, eita toiôsde epitathênai, kai houtôs epigenesthai tên harmonian. ou machetai de tois hêrmosmenois, all' hepetai houtôs echousa, hôs an echêi ta hêrmosmena. esti de harmonia sumphônia tôn chordôn. anarmostia de esti tou empsuchou sômatos nosos kai astheneia kai aischos, hôn to men asummetria esti tôn stoicheiôn hê nosos, to de tôn homoioterôn hê astheneia, to de tôn organikôn to aischos. harmonia de esti logos tôn michthentôn ê sunthesis. legetai de dichôs. kata a# men logon hê sunthesis tôn sômatôn, hotan houtôs paratethêi, hôs mê dunasthai allon emblêthênai metaxu lithon ê ti tôn sungenôn bareôn sômatôn. ek de toutôn metapheromen to tês harmonias onoma kai epi ton logon tôn memigmenôn, hoion en te tois kekramenois kai en tois kata mousikên. ton gar logon tôn michthentôn ton hêmiolion ê ton epitriton ê tina allon legomen ek tôn sunthetôn kata metaphoran harmonian. kata a# de logon hê harmonia epi tês paratheseôs legetai, epeidê gnôrimôtera hêmin estin. oute sunthesin oun oute mixin eulogon poiein tên psuchên. epi oun tôn poiêtikôn dei kai poias hulês, êgoun ousias. allôs gar chalkos êchei kai allôs sidêros kai allôs molubdos kai xulon. dio kai ta opsobapha eiôthasin ek diaphorou kataskeuazein hulês, hina têi diaphorai tôn apêchêseôn tên harmonian apotelesôsin. hê gar harmonia polumigeôn esti kai dicha phroneontôn henôsis. dio kai adunaton henos ontos genesthai psophon. harmoniai de legontai kai ta sumpêssomena tôn krabbatôn merê. tôn harmoniôn diachaskousôn. tropikôs de ta poiêmata. Aristophanês.
[1] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Knights 994, where the headword appears (in the accusative case, as again here).
[2] John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de Anima 142.6-16.
[3] John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de Anima 145.1-4.
[4] The transmitted text actually says "first" again.
[5] John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de Anima 148.4-18, 25-31.
[6] opsobapha (omicron 1085), also oxubapha, were chimes constructed from saucers made of different materials which were hit with a small wooden hammer; cf. delta 1155, and see generally M.L. West, Ancient Greek Music (Oxford 1992) 128.
[7] John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de Anima 358.10-16.
[8] Aristophanes, Knights 533 (web address 1 below); cf. eta 199. The line which follows the quoted passage is from the scholia there.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; imagery; meter and music; philosophy; science and technology; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 9 June 2002@18:18:48.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added keyword; cosmetics) on 10 June 2002@03:29:21.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 October 2005@05:57:05.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 12 April 2012@09:12:26.
David Whitehead on 31 August 2015@07:14:21.
Catharine Roth (tweaked link) on 5 November 2015@23:41:46.


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