How did the ancient Greek concept of tetrachords evolve into the whole- and half-step model familiar today?

  • Do you mean the enharmonic, diatonic and chromatic tetrachord described by Aristoxenos? Or Pythagoras' idea of stacking pure fifths on each other to deduce the 'white keys'-diatonic scales, consisting of two tetrachords per octave
    – Michel
    Sep 9, 2023 at 8:28
  • @Michel Wait, aren’t they part of the same history. I.e., Pythagoras had his discoveries and Aristoxenus built on those later?
    – Lecifer
    Sep 9, 2023 at 11:28
  • 1
    yes but Aristoxenos talked more about the 'microtuning', with the enharmonic being the most complex tetrachord, containing dieses. And I think Pythagoras did non care about the microtuning, he used the 'bare' tuning which later was named after him (Pythagorean tuning) en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genus_(music)#Enharmonic
    – Michel
    Sep 9, 2023 at 12:44
  • Throughout history, scales kept getting larger in range (ie. notes were added). Today, each diatonic scale can be thought of as consisting of 2 tetrachords, but the term simply denotes 4 consecutive notes, while I think in ancient Greece, they thought of them as modes. If you think of scales in terms of tetrachords, you can quickly classify them into minor-major, major-minor, minor-harmonic, major-harmonic, minor-melodic, major-melodic, etc. Dec 22, 2023 at 17:13


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