Skip to content
Open global navigation

Cambridge University Press

AcademicLocation selectorSearch toggleMain navigation toggle

Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside The Monochord in Ancient Greek Harmonic Science

The Monochord in Ancient Greek Harmonic Science

$124.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Date Published: July 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521843249

$124.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Among the many instruments devised by students of mathematical sciences in ancient Greece, the monochord provides one of the best opportunities to examine the methodologies of those who employed it in their investigations. Consisting of a single string which could be divided at measured points by means of movable bridges, it was used to demonstrate theorems about the arithmetical relationships between pitched sounds in music. This book traces the history of the monochord and its multiple uses down to Ptolemy, bringing together all the relevant evidence in one comprehensive study. By comparing the monochord with a number of other ancient scientific instruments and their uses, David Creese shows how the investigation of music in ancient Greece not only shares in the patterns of demonstrative and argumentative instrument use common to other sciences, but also goes beyond them in offering the possibility of a rigorous empiricism unparalleled in Greek science.

    • Up-to-date and comprehensive account of our knowledge of the monochord
    • Demonstrates the value of studying ancient Greek music for our understanding of ancient Greek science in general
    • Includes many diagrams and tables to help the reader follow the mathematical and harmonic arguments
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The results achieved by this book go well beyond those suggested by the title... . Despite the complexity of the topic, the text is well written. It makes an important contribution not only to current scholarship on Greek musical theory...but also to the study of ancient Greek science in general." --BMCR

    All this is not to detract from the fact that David Creese has filled an important gap in the studies of ancient Greek music in a masterful way, in a book that enriches the libraries of everybody interested in this particular field of study, philologist or music historian, as well as in the development of scientific though in general."
    -- Stefan Hagel, Institute for Research in Classical Philosophy and Science

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521843249
    • length: 426 pages
    • dimensions: 224 x 145 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: The geometry of sound
    1. Hearing numbers, seeing sounds: the role of instruments and diagrams in Greek harmonic science
    2. Mathematical harmonics before the monochord
    3. The monochord in context
    4. Eratosthenes
    5. Canonic theory
    6. Ptolemy's canonics

  • Author

    David Creese, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
    David Creese is Assistant Professor of Greek and Latin Literature at the University of British Columbia.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website, your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Back to top

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel Delete

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.