THE FUNCTION OF MUSIC IN MICHAEL MAIER'S ALCHEMIC TREATISE 'ATALANTA FUGIENS' (Funkcja muzyki w traktacie alchemicznym 'Atalanta fugiens' Michael Maiera)
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Michael Maier's alchemic treatise Atalanta fugiens (1617) is an emblematic book containing 50 three-part musical compositions. Each of them has a form of a two-part canon based on a fixed cantus firmus. These compositions constitute a musical equivalent of the content of particular engravings and of both poetic and prose texts. The originality of these compositions consists in a conceptual union of the word and the image with its musical notation, and particularly with the elements of notation and compositional techniques which are used in polyphony. From the artistic and aesthetic perspective, Maier's works are lacking in originality and are of little value, but they are an important example of an hermetic way of thinking and of philosophy of life.
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