Music, Experiment and Mathematics in England, 1653-1705

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Overview

How, in 1705, was Thomas Salmon, a parson from Bedfordshire, able to persuade the Royal Society that a musical performance could constitute a scientific experiment? Or that the judgement of a musical audience could provide evidence for a mathematically precise theory of musical tuning? This book presents answers to these questions. It constitutes a general history of quantitative music theory in the late seventeenth century as well as a detailed study of one part of that history: namely the applications of mathematical and mechanical methods of understanding to music that were produced in England between 1653 and 1705, beginning with the responses to Descartes's 1650 Compendium musicae and ending with the Philosophical Transactions' account of the appearance of Thomas Salmon at the Royal Society in 1705.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754665267
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 6.97 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations

Introduction 1

1 From Pythagoras to Kircher 5

2 Musical Pitch: Discrete or Continuous? 29

3 Faculties of Hearing 59

4 Harmony in the Mechanical World 97

5 Theories and Practices 143

Conclusion 181

Select Bibliography 187

Index 205

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