Book VIII. Wondrous Music-Making.




On the diverse methatheses, or transpositions, of moveable musarithmic columns.


E C H A N I C A L music-making is nothing more than a particular system invented by us whereby anyone, even the ἄμουσος [unmusical] may, through various applications of compositional instruments compose melodies according to a desired style. We shall briefly relate how this mechanical music-making is done and, lest we waste time with prefatory remarks, we shall begin with the construction of the Musarithmic Ark.


Construction of the Musarithmic Ark.

See Fig. XIV. placed at the front of this book.1Note, however, that Ark depicted in Fig. XIV does not match the description given here.

We call a receptacle for musarithmic columns a ‘Musarithmic Ark'; we call the columns ‘musarithmic’ from the tablets' musarithms which are written down separately on wooden or paper strips. You will prepare the ark in the following manner: Let there be a receptacle whose length is equal to its height, with both extending for an entire palm, but let the breadth extend 1⁄2 a palm. This breadth you will again divide into three partial receptacles by means of individual slats. Let the length of the ark, AD in the cited figure, be one palm, to which the height AI or DV corresponds; but let the breadth AB or DC be 1⁄2 a palm. And let the empty space inside of AB & CD be divided again into 3 equal compartments by means of slats GE & FH inserted through the middle. Furthermore, let the first receptacle HBFC be divided again into 12 equal parts with small slats inserted transversely through the hollow interior, as the 12 cells marked with their numbers clearly indicate. Let the second receptacle GHEF be divided into 6 receptacles by slats inserted transversely through the middle, as the figure instructs. And let the 3rd receptacle AGDE be divided into the same number of receptacles, or parts, as shown in ‘iconism’, or figure, XIV prefixed to front of this book2Note, however, that Ark depicted in Fig. XIV does not match the description given here.. And upon the face of the Ark, draw the phonotactic system, together with the tonographic table, in the order which we related in the beginning of this section and as it appears here. And from side DC, see to it that other compartments are made, as LM shows, and into these you will place musarithmic columns of tones in the order described by the tonographic table as indicated by the figure.


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