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Please help me come up with a project name that's in Ancient Greek!
July 23, 2014 2:01 PM   Subscribe

I have this super-secret yet super-awesome Super-Quantizer program thingie that does cool things to music. For various reasons the words "Platonic score" are always used in my mind and in the code so I was hoping to carry that tradition on in naming that aspect of the project with something in Ancient Greek.

I'm working on this big, big, super-big, music project that is in too early of a stage to announce here. At the heart of it is some software that takes an initial music file, the "Platonic score" and does things to it.

That part of the project, what I call the "Platonic Music Engine", is coming along very nicely (especially given that I am a composer and not a programmer).

When the project goes live I will release the Platonic Music Engine (GPL) as I think it might be useful and/or interesting to others. But I need to come with a cool name, which is where y'all come in.

"Platonic score" has always been part of the project (1.5 years in pre-production) and so I really want something about Plato to remain in the final Ancient Greek title. Either his name or "Ideal" or both. And then something about music and maybe even engine.

At it's simplist if anyone could translate "Platonic music engine" or "Ideal music engine" into grammatically correct Ancient Greek that would be awesome.

If someone can come up with a more clever name, in Ancient Greek, then that would be awesomer.

And if you can supply a pronunciation guide for it (IPA or whatever) that would be very helpful (I know that it would be speculative but something ballparky would be nice.)

If I use your suggestion then you (your real name, Metafilter name, or just "anonymous Metafilter user") will be mentioned in the Acknowledgments (I'm a very poor starving artist so that's the best I can do.)

Thanks one'n'all!
posted by bfootdav to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm missing something -- is there a reason why you don't want to stick with Platonic Music Engine? I think that's a pretty damn cool name, and a lot more accessible than anything in a foreign language, which might be difficult for people to read and pronounce.
posted by mekily at 2:19 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]

Here's a stab:

μηχάνημα ἀοιδῆς Πλατωνικῆς

Mechanism/Engine of Platonic music
posted by Maecenas at 2:26 PM on July 23

μηχάνημα μουσικῆς Πλατωνικῆς works as well, and has the advantage of using a cognate of the English "music"
posted by Bromius at 2:34 PM on July 23

Pied Piper?

Mousiki is the transliteration of μουσική. That's kind of cool sounding all on it's own, but web searches will bring up Greek DJ forums.

Just some thoughts.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:52 PM on July 23

Mêchanêma mousikês Platônikês (the circumflexes should be macrons but you get the idea) is the transliteration of Bromius's translation. IMO that and any direct translation will be awkward and cumbersome as a product name. As an alternative, how about one of the technical words/phrases Plato uses? For example (in transliteration because I don't have GreekKeys on this computer) "kosmos noetos" (the transcendental world of forms) or "eidos" (the word Plato used for form)?
posted by oinopaponton at 3:02 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]

Divided Line!
posted by 8603 at 3:29 PM on July 23

mekily, "Platonic Music Engine" doesn't have a particularly handy acronym. I should have mentioned in my original question that a name that has a handy English acronym with those same ideas would work as well. As for "why Greek?" the first three pieces that use the engine (and will be tied together as one mega-project) all just happen (and it really was a coincidence) to have names with clear Greek or Latin etymologies(like "et cetera", though that's not actually one of them!). It only seemed fitting that one of the most important things that ties them together have a similar type of name.

Ruthless Bunny. I haven't watched Silicon Valley but I'm pretty sure what whatever relationship Pied Piper has to music it is different than what my program does. That said, the Wiki article didn't have much detail about the program, would you mind sharing what it does?

Thanks Bromius and Maecenas for your translations. The "μουσικῆς/mousikes" connecton is especially nice. "Mousikes Platonikes" is doable.

For now I like oinopaponton's suggestion of "kosmos noetos" which definitely fits in the "more clever name" category I mentioned and is the frontrunner for now. The words themselves are suggestive of multiple meanings in English that I think are fitting. I think "eidos" is the name of a game developer or something, also?
posted by bfootdav at 3:32 PM on July 23

posted by 8603 at 3:33 PM on July 23

"Eidolon," for at least a handful of nerds out there, will also resonate with Whitman's poem Eidolons:
Thy very songs not in thy songs,
No special strains to sing, none for itself,
But from the whole resulting, rising at last and floating,
A round full-orb'd eidolon.
posted by mbrock at 5:04 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]

(Classics MA / Greek teacher here.) I think mekhanê is better than mekhanêma: it's a much more common word, and means the same thing.

How about mekhanê mousôn, "Engine of the Muses"?
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 12:10 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]

Hey everybody, thanks for the great suggestions! "Divided Line" and "mekhane mouson" are both terrific ideas but perhaps do not get quite close enough to what I was looking for (the alliteration of "mousikês mekhanê mousôn" is especially alluring (if the grammar is correct on that one.)) And if I were a bigger fan of Whitman then I'm sure "Eidolon" would be a shoe-in. In the end I still like "Kosmos noetos" and have marked that as the best answer.

Thanks again (and if anyone has any further ideas be sure to memail me).
posted by bfootdav at 1:05 PM on July 25

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