In the classical Liberal Arts
, the ancients considered music the extension of mathematics in time, and geometry the extension of number in space. Observing the clockwork motions of the moon, planets, and other heavenly bodies, they synthesized mathematical notions in space and time into astronomy
, or "the music of the spheres". This colorful attribution is often credited to Pythagoras, although the first reference in literature appears near the end of Plato's Republic
. Since the classical age, physics
has informed astronomy so as to form a new field, astrophysics
Astronomy is also a song by Blue Öyster Cult, first appearing on the 1974 Secret Treaties release, and reworked (in my opinion, much improved, if shorter), for the 1988 Imaginos release. Metallica also covered BÖC's Astronomy on their 1998 Garage Inc. album. BÖC fans might wonder why Burnin' for You and Fear the Reaper get so much more airplay; Astronomy is critically acclaimed, but lacks a mainstream pop theme.