Document Type


Publication Date



In the first century BCE the Roman author, architect, and civil engineer, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio came up with an ingenious plan to build sound-amplification systems into theatres. The essence of the plan was to install, in the midst of the audience seating, empty bronze vases that would resonate with the various notes of the musical scale. The plan relied closely on the harmonic theory of Aristoxenus, a pupil of Aristotle, who had composed his treatise Elements of Harmonytwo centuries earlier. Although there is scant evidence that this plan was ever commonly put into effect, nonetheless the details of the design allow us to infer certain interesting facts about the practiceof music in the time of Vitruvius.


Poster presented at Arts & Humanities Research Day, Western University, 2018

Included in

Philosophy Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.