Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Architecture and Music, Goethe and Augustine

"Architecture is frozen music" -Goethe

Ever since I first saw that quote I started to look at both in terms of the other. Over Christmas break when I was listening to the instrumental intro to Handel's Messiah, I could not help but draw a gothic church window, the repetition and variation and final aim of both seemed so similar. Today I was reading the Gothic Cathedral by Otto von Simson, which goes into detail in studying the aesthetics and theology behind gothic architecture.

He refers to an aesthetic treatise by Augustine that I didn't know still existed!

"Augustine was nearly as sensitive to architecture as he was to music. They are the only arts he seems to have fully enjoyed; and he recognized them even after his conversion, since he experienced the same transcendental element in both. For him, music and architecture are sisters, since both are children of number; they have equal dignity, inasmuch as architecture mirrors eternal harmony, as music echoes it."
-Simson in The Gothic Cathedral (you can get the version I have for a mere 0.15$ here, or a later one here)


Blogger taiwo said...

Thanks for your commment. You got to my post before my professor did.
An Interesting post on the subject you have, I nicked your last quote by Simson in The Gothic Cathedral.
Also your photos are great.

1/29/2006 1:57 PM  

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