Ascending and Descending

Ascending and Descending is a lithograph print by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher first printed in March 1960.

The original print measures 14 in × 11 14 in (35.6 cm × 28.6 cm). The lithograph depicts a large building roofed by a never-ending staircase. Two lines of identically dressed men appear on the staircase, one line ascending while the other descends. Two figures sit apart from the people on the endless staircase: one in a secluded courtyard, the other on a lower set of stairs. While most two-dimensional artists use relative proportions to create an illusion of depth, Escher here and elsewhere uses conflicting proportions to create the visual paradox.[1]

Ascending and Descending was influenced by, and is an artistic implementation of, the Penrose stairs, an impossible object; Lionel Penrose had first published his concept in the February 1958 issue of the British Journal of Psychology. Escher developed the theme further in his print Waterfall, which appeared in 1961.[2]

The two concentric processions on the stairs use enough people to emphasise the lack of vertical rise and fall. In addition, the shortness of the tunics worn by the people makes it clear that some are stepping up and some are stepping down.

The structure is embedded in human activity. By showing an unaccountable ritual of what Escher calls an 'unknown' sect, Escher has added an air of mystery to the people who ascend and descend the stairs. Therefore, the stairs themselves tend to become incorporated into that mysterious appearance.

There are 'free' people and Escher said of these: 'recalcitrant individuals refuse, for the time being, to take part in the exercise of treading the stairs. They have no use for it at all, but no doubt, sooner or later they will be brought to see the error of their non-conformity.'

Escher suggests that not only the labours, but the very lives of these monk-like people are carried out in an inescapable, coercive and bizarre environment. Another possible source for the people's looks is the Dutch idiom "a monk's job", which refers to a long and repetitive working activity with absolutely no practical purposes or results, and, by extension, to something completely useless.

Two earlier Escher pictures that feature stairs are House of Stairs and Relativity.

Ascending and Descending
Ascending and Descending
ArtistM. C. Escher
Dimensions35.5 cm × 28.5 cm (14 in × ​11 14 in)


  1. ^ Locher, J. L. (1971). The World of M. C. Escher. Abrams. p. 140.
  2. ^ Schattschneider, Doris (2010). "The Mathematical Side of M. C. Escher" (PDF). Notices of the AMS. American Mathematical Society. 57 (6): 706–718.

Ahiri (pronounced āhiri) is a rāgam in Carnatic music. It is a janya rāgam (derived scale), and associated with the 14th melakarta scale Vakulabharanam. It has also been associated with the 8th melakarta scale Hanumatodi. Though it has all the seven swaras (musical notes) in the ascending and descending scale, the presence of zig-zag notes (vakra swaras) makes it a janya rāgam.

Ahiri is an ancient rāgam mentioned in Sangita Makarandha and Sangita samayasara. It is a difficult rāgam but the most rewarding (karuna rasa or pathos). It is considered an early-morning scale.

Aortic arch

The aortic arch, arch of the aorta, or transverse aortic arch (English: ) is the part of the aorta between the ascending and descending aorta. The arch travels backward, so that it ultimately runs to the left of the trachea.

Ascending and descending (diving)

In underwater diving, ascending and descending is done using strict protocols to avoid problems caused by the changes in ambient pressure and the hazards of obstacles near the surface or collision with vessels. Diver certification and accreditation organisations place importance on these protocols early in their diver training programmes.The procedures vary depending on whether the diver is using scuba or surface supplied equipment. Scuba divers control their own descent and ascent rate, while surface supplied divers may control their own ascents and descents, or be lowered and lifted by the surface team, either by their umbilical, or on a diving stage or in a diving bell.

Blake's hitch

The Blake's hitch is a friction hitch commonly used by arborists and tree climbers as an ascending knot. Unlike other common climbing hitches, which often use a loop of cord, the Blake's hitch is formed using the end of a rope. Although it is a stable knot, it is often backed up with a stopper knot, such as a figure-of-eight knot, for safety. It is used for both ascending and descending, and is preferred by many arborists over other hitches, such as the taut-line hitch, as it is less prone to binding.

Common cardinal veins

During development of the veins, the first indication of a parietal system consists in the appearance of two short transverse veins, the ducts of Cuvier (or common cardinal veins), which open, one on either side, into the sinus venosus. Each of these ducts receives an ascending and descending vein. The ascending veins return the blood from the parietes of the trunk and from the Wolffian bodies, and are called cardinal veins.

Corona radiata

In neuroanatomy, the corona radiata is a white matter sheet that continues ventrally as the internal capsule and dorsally as the centrum semiovale. This sheet of both ascending and descending axons carries most of the neural traffic from and to the cerebral cortex. The corona radiata is associated with the corticopontine tract, the corticobulbar tract, and the corticospinal tract.

Dorsal longitudinal fasciculus

The dorsal longitudinal fasciculus (DLF) (not to be confused with the medial longitudinal fasciculus, nor the superior longitudinal fasciculus) is a white matter fiber tract located within the brain stem, specifically in the dorsal brainstem tegmentum. The DLF travels through the periaqueductal gray matter. The tract is composed of a diffuse brainstem pathway located in the periventricular gray matter comprising ascending visceral sensory axons and descending hypothalamic axons.

As with all white matter tracts, the DLF consists of myelinated axons carrying information between neurons. The DLF, carries both ascending and descending fibers, and conveys visceral motor and sensory signals.

Gaula (raga)

Gaula or Gowla (pronounced gauḷa) is a rāgam in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is a janya rāgam (derived scale) from the 15th melakarta scale Mayamalavagowla. It is a janya scale, as it does not have all the seven swaras (musical notes) in the ascending and descending scale.

Gaula is an ancient rāgam mentioned in Sangita Ratnakara, Sangita Makarandha and Sangita samayasara. It is an auspicious rāgam, which is mostly sung in the early part of the concert. It is a popular rāgam and also a ghana rāgam.


Hindōḷaṃ is a rāgam in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is an audava rāgam (or owdava rāgam, meaning pentatonic scale). It is a janya rāgam (derived scale), as it does not have all the seven swaras (musical notes). Hindolam is not the same as the Hindustani Hindol. The equivalent of Hindolam in Hindustani music is Malkauns (or Malkosh ).

It is known to be a rāgam that is generally beautiful and soothing to listen to. Being symmetrical in its ascending and descending scales, it lends itself very well to improvisation and is therefore popular at concerts.

Medial longitudinal fasciculus

The medial longitudinal fasciculus (MLF) is one of a pair of crossed over tracts, on each side of the brainstem. These bundles of axons are situated near the midline of the brainstem and are made up of both ascending and descending fibers that arise from a number of sources and terminate in different areas. The MLF is the main central connection for the oculomotor nerve, trochlear nerve, and abducens nerve. The vertical gaze center is at the rostral interstitial nucleus (riMLF).

The MLF ascends to the interstitial nucleus of Cajal, which lies in the lateral wall of the third ventricle, just above the cerebral aqueduct.

Normal route

A normal route or normal way (French: Voie Normale; German: Normalweg) is the most frequently used route for ascending and descending a mountain peak. It is usually the simplest route.In the Alps, routes are classed in the following ways, based on their waymarking, construction and upkeep:

Footpaths (Fußwege)

Hiking trails (Wanderwege)

Mountain trails (Bergwege)

Alpine routes (Alpine Routen)

Climbing routes (Kletterrouten) and High Alpine routes (Hochalpine Routen) in combined rock and ice terrain, (UIAA) graded by difficultySometimes the normal route is not the easiest ascent to the summit, but just the one that is most used. There may be technically easier variations. This is especially the case on the Watzmannfrau, the Hochkalter and also Mount Everest. There may be many reasons these easier options are less well-used:

the simplest route is less well known than the normal route (Watzmannfrau).

the technically easiest route is more arduous than another (e.g. due to rubble) and is therefore mainly used on the descent (Hochkalter).

the technically easiest route carries a much higher risk of e.g. rockfalls or avalanche and is therefore avoided in favour of a more difficult route (Watzespitze).

the technically easier route requires a complicated or long approach march, or all access may be banned via one country (Mount Everest).The term tourist route may sometimes be applied (irrespective of the level of difficulty of ascent) by those wishing to suggest that other routes up a mountain are somehow more "worthy". This belittling of the "normal route" therefore maintains a distinction between those perceiving themselves as serious mountaineers who disparage the incursion of tourist climbers into their domain (hence the term the "Yak Route" on Mount Everest).

Penrose stairs

The Penrose stairs or Penrose steps, also dubbed the impossible staircase, is an impossible object created by Lionel Penrose and his son Roger Penrose. A variation on the Penrose triangle, it is a two-dimensional depiction of a staircase in which the stairs make four 90-degree turns as they ascend or descend yet form a continuous loop, so that a person could climb them forever and never get any higher. This is clearly impossible in three dimensions.

The "continuous staircase" was first presented in an article that the Penroses wrote in 1959, based on the so-called "triangle of Penrose" published by Roger Penrose in the British Journal of Psychology in 1958. M.C. Escher then discovered the Penrose stairs in the following year and made his now famous lithograph Klimmen en dalen (Ascending and Descending) in March 1960. Penrose and Escher were informed of each other's work that same year. Escher developed the theme further in his print Waterval (Waterfall), which appeared in 1961.

In their original article the Penroses noted that "each part of the structure is acceptable as representing a flight of steps but the connexions are such that the picture, as a whole, is inconsistent: the steps continually descend in a clockwise direction."

Proper fasciculi

The proper fasciculi, or spinospinal fasciculi, or propriospinal tracts, are groups of short fibres, ascending and descending, and crossed and uncrossed, within the spinal cord. These fibres are grouped into anterior, posterior, and lateral regions and make up a spinal pathway. Descending dorsal root collaterals are often included in the pathway.


The retroperitoneum or retroperitnium is an anatomical region that includes the peritoneum-covered organs and tissues that make up the posterior wall of the abdominal cavity and the pelvic space - which extends behind to the abdominal cavity. Definitions vary and can also can include the region of the wall of the pelvic basin.

The portion of the retroperitoneum that is posterior wall of the abdomen and superior to the iliac vessels is of importance in gynecological oncology. This is the region where para-aortic and paracaval lymphadenectomies are done. The lateral boundary of the retroperitoneum is defined by the ascending and descending colon. The retroperitoneum can be approached from above by moving the duodenum aside as far as the major renal blood vessels.

Sahana (raga)

Sahana (pronounced sahānā) is a popular rāgam (musical scale) in Carnatic music. It is a janya rāgam (derived scale) associated with the 28th Melakarta rāgam Harikambhoji.

The Hindustani music ragam Sahana is an upper-tetrachord-dominant Kanada-anga raga, from the Kafi thaat, also allied with Bageshree and Bhimpalasi. The shuddha Dhaivat is an important rest note (nyaas swara).

Sampurna raga

In Indian classical music, 'Sampūrṇa rāgas (संपूर्ण, Sanskrit for 'complete', also spelt as sampoorna) have all seven swaras in their scale. In general, the swaras in the Arohana and Avarohana strictly follow the ascending and descending scale as well. That is, they do not have vakra swara phrases (वक्र, meaning 'crooked').

In Carnatic music, the Melakarta ragas are all sampurna ragas, but the converse is not true, i.e., all sampurna ragas are not Melakarta ragas. An example is Bhairavi raga in Carnatic music (different from the Bhairavi of Hindustani music). Some examples of Melakarta ragas are Mayamalavagowla, Todi, Sankarabharanam and Kharaharapriya.

Shree (Carnatic raga)

Shri ragam is an ancient ragam in the Carnatic tradition. It is also written as Sri or Shree. This scale does not have all the seven swaras (musical notes) in the ascending scale. Shree is the asampurna melakartha of Kharaharapriya, the 22nd Melakarta rāgam. It is the last of the 5 Ghana rāgams of Carnatic music. It is a popular rāgam that is considered to be highly auspicious.Notably, Carnatic Shree takes the lower madhyamam being the asampurna scale of Kharaharapriya. It is not related to the Hindustani raga, Shree.

Slide whistle

A slide whistle (variously known as a swanee or swannee whistle, lotos flute piston flute, or jazz flute) is a wind instrument consisting of a fipple like a recorder's and a tube with a piston in it. Thus it has an air reed like some woodwinds, but varies the pitch with a slide. The construction is rather like a bicycle pump. Because the air column is cylindrical and open at one end and closed at the other, it overblows the third harmonic. "A whistle made out of a long tube with a slide at one end. An ascending and descending glissando is produced by moving the slide back and forth while blowing into the mouthpiece." "Tubular whistle with a plunger unit in its column, approximately 12 inches long. The pitch is changed by moving the slide plunger in and out, producing ascending and descending glisses." Hornbostel–Sachs number: 421.221.312.


Tilang is a raga in Indian classical music, that belongs to the Khamaj Thaat.

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