Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 155–170 | Cite as

Three Musical Interpretations of Le Corbusier’s Modulor



The frequent evocative comparisons between music and architecture in the text of the Modulor may explain why Le Corbusier, in this constant search for ordering principles, considered his proportional sequence to be equivalent to a musical scale. Yet, since the dimensional ratios of Le Corbusier’s ‘scale’ are much larger than the pitch ratios of the latter, the Modulor comes much closer to another structural element of music, that of harmony. By adjusting the Modulor ratios to the corresponding ratios of musical chords, three variants of a “musical” Modulor can be generated – Chromatic, Major and Minor. If, in addition, the two sets of the malebased Modulor dimensions are replaced with a universal female-male set, the inherently complex Modulor numbers become simpler and clear. The Master’s intention of producing a rational and practical system of proportions, which is related to both the scale of the human being, and to the order inherent in the physical nature of sound, can thus be realized.


architecture music proportions Le Corbusier Modulor 


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Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ArchitectureMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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