The Musical Structure of Plato's Dialogues

Acumen Publishing (2011)

Kennedy shows that Plato gave his dialogues a similar musical structure, dividing each dialogue into twelve parts and inserting symbols at each twelfth to mark a musical note. These passages are either harmonious or dissonant and traverse the ups and downs of a known musical scale. Many of Plato's early followers insisted that Plato used symbols to conceal his own views within the dialogues, but modern scholars have denied this. Kennedy, an expert in Pythagorean mathematics and music theory, is able to show that Plato's dialogues contain a system of symbols that are undetectable by those without knowledge of obsolete Greek mathematics. The book begins with a concise and accessible introduction to Plato's symbolic schemes and the role of allegory in ancient times. The author then annotates the musical symbols in two of Plato's most popular dialogues, the Symposium and Euthyphro, and shows that Plato used the musical scale as an outline for structuring his narratives.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Buy this book Find it on
ISBN(s) 9781844652662   184465267X
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,999
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Desire and Reason in Plato's Republic.Hendrik Lorenz - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 27:83-116.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Compte Rendu de J. B. Kennedy,The Musical Structure of Plato's Dialogues, Durham, Acumen, 2011, 318 P.Catherine Collobert - 2013 - Plato: The Internet Journal of the International Plato Society (Plato 12 (2012)).
The Musical Structure of Plato's Dialogues by JB Kennedy. [REVIEW]Rick Benitez - 2013 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (3):478-480.
Plato's Introduction of Forms.R. M. Dancy - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
Interpreting Plato's Dialogues.J. Angelo Corlett - 1997 - Classical Quarterly 47 (2):423-437.
The Musical Structure of Plato’s Dialogues. [REVIEW]Harold Tarrant - 2013 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 7 (2):244-245.
Platonic Questions: Dialogues with the Silent Philosopher.Diskin Clay - 2000 - Pennsylvania State University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes