The idea that the universe is created out of sound or music (and therefore is music) is a very ancient one. In this book, Joscelyn Godwin brings together three contemporary German thinkers who exemplify this tradition in its modern variants: Marius Schneider, Rudolf Haase, and Hans Erhard Lauer. The selections draw on ancient Indian sources and mythology; Kepler's Platonic vision of a musical, geometric universe; and the evolution of the tone systems of music.
While every music lover senses the power and truth that reside in music, very few actually approach music as a path to cosmic knowledge. Godwin takes literally Beethoven's assertion that "Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom or philosophy." Godwin writes, ". . .to penetrate the mysteries of music is to prepare for initiation into those fathomless mysteries of man and cosmos."