Architecture and Music, as arts, share many and important reference points. Because of my own involvement with music and as an architecture student, I was wondering to what extent these two arts relate to each other, whether they can be combined and, ultimately, whether one can influence the other at a design level. A Romanian architect said once, "If music is the architecture of sound, then architecture is the music of space." This was one of the first motive-notes that prompted me to start this research.
The connection between Architecture and Music first became known when Pythagoras invented the theory of "harmonic proportions" and conveyed the pleasing sounds in symmetrical proportions. Plato, subsequently, enriched Pythagoras' theory and made it possible to associate Music with Geometry, which is a constituent term of Architecture. In the following centuries the same issue seems to have occupied many architects, philosophers, artists and musicians. Thus, during the age of Renaissance, we see a strong tendency on the part of Leon Battista Alberti and Andrea Palladio to merge these two arts. On the other hand, Francois Blondel and Claude Perrault argue whether the harmonious sounds are the ones that create the perfect, visually appealing proportions. And later, to this day, the same concern is followed by architects such as Ianis Xenakis, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Steven Holl, etc., who give us a variety of perspectives and they finally manage to combine Architecture and Music with, in renowned architectural works.
There are various ways for Architecture and Music to be connected and the question arises as to whether there are any common mechanisms of synthesis in these two arts. The purpose of this work is to identify some of these common mechanisms such as Harmony, Rhythm, Measure, and Counterpoint and to analyze how they are transferred from Music to Architecture and from Architecture to Music.
Music encompasses many expressive means as well as Architecture does. A melody may produce a variety of emotions to the person who hears it, and the same may happen when one is rotating from space to space. Moving through space is a melody itself and the openings of a building are a distinct timbre. The repetition and rhythm of a pattern in a music track “forms” a series of columns of an ancient temple. Τhe harmony and the sense of measure emerging by impressive and non-impressive buildings recall in memory the Symphonies of Bach and Beethoven. Then, in the following pages, we will try to present how a form of a building can give us a memory of a piece of music, or how a piece of music can be “translated” into an architectural work. By doing so, we hope that we offer a creative stimulus for both architects and musicians.