Lawfulness in Music and Man

Vitruvian Man

All over the physical human form, there are proportions and numbers everywhere. For example, each section of the index finger, from the tip to the base of the wrist, is larger than the preceding one by about the Fibonacci ratio of 1.618 which also fits the Fibonacci numbers 2, 3, 5 and 8.

Fibonacci in hand

The ratio of our forearm to our hand is also 1.618.

“This is why music is so closely related to mathematics. In music too, we can express everything in numbers. With colour you cannot do this. Colour cannot be defined by mathematical formulae, but sound can be. You can count how many acoustic vibrations there are in an interval. You can express the relationship in the interval precisely, in numbers. For mathematics is, in fact, inward hearing. It is spirit”. (“Our 12 senses”, Albert Soesmann)

Pythagoras believed that music is numbers made perceptible to us. Pythagoras first identified that the pitch of a musical note is in inverse proportion to the length of the string that produces it, and that intervals between harmonious sound frequencies form simple numerical ratios.( This principle by Pythagoras is now being used to make our guitars, woodwind instruments with holes at different positions, the hammer of the piano striking strings of different lengths in order to produce the various notes.  

This concept by Pythagoras was used by Dr Armin Husemann to illustrate how the changing proportions of our head to body from conception to adulthood can be represented as musical notes. In his work, Dr Husemann used a single string and tuned it to C. Such an instrument is called a monochord. In the figure below, the lowest C indicates the size of the head as a whole because the body is not formed as yet when the ovum is fertilised by the sperm. There is just a full and whole zygote in the beginning. 

Monochord and Man

At birth the head is now 1/4 the size of the body which in terms of pitch on the monochord string is 2 octaves higher than the lower C at the point of fertilisation.  

We can see and measure our physical human forms according to the various proportions. These proportions are “heard” inaudibly as musical notes and pitches. So one can really say that the human form is constantly singing in harmony and order. 


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