Tonhalle Zurich

Concert service

Preparatory work in front of empty chairs. The tuning of the organ and the grand piano. Order creates synergy in the chaos of frequencies.

The music bows to Ἁρμονία Harmonia, the Greek goddess of harmony, to whom it owes its existence.

To unite different characters in a compatible way - to pull them together - is the core competence of Harmonia. The image above left shows her driving a chariot drawn by a tiger, a griffin and a bull.* In an analogous way, she puts consonances and dissonances at the service of music. 

If you take a closer look at the natural conditions, the intervals octave, fifth, fourth, third and sixth do not at all fit together. For example, the Pythagorean comma shows the difference between 12 fifths and 7 octaves. Without orderly intervention, an acoustic understanding could not be achieved.

For both Damon of Athens and Plato (* around 428 BC - † around 347 BC), music was an essential element in the ethical education of man and the concern has lost none of its topicality to this day. There is no doubt that character formation depends on good examples, because simply imparting knowledge is not enough.

Assuming that Yehudi Menuhin's observation is correct, that music schools do not usually produce criminals, he should have asked himself at the same time how many people with criminal tendencies would develop an interest in a training center for listening to each other, for mutual consideration and for sensibility. Family and social environment are of particular importance. Concerts provide evidence that harmonious interaction can work under certain conditions. Good examples provide orientation for society. The commitment of Yehudi Menuhin, Daniel Barenboim and so many others to international understanding and human rights is of extraordinary benefit.

© Aurelius Belz 2022

*o n the fig.: Greek vase, 400-390 BC, Musée du Louvre, Paris, NMB 1038. In the older literature (J.D.Beazley) the charioteer is described as Dionysus, while a more recent interpretation recognizes the goddess Harmonia in him , see Mail dated April 11, 2023 to the author.