Copernicus
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The Music of the Spheres

Music, Science, and the Natural Order of the Universe

Authors: James, Jamie

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  • ISBN 978-0-387-94474-6
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About this book

The parallel histories of music and science - from celestial harmony to cosmic dissonance. For centuries, scientists and philosophers believed that the universe was a stately, ordered mechanism, mathematical and musical. The perceived distances between objects in the sky mirrored (and were mirrored by) the spaces between notes that formed chords and scales. The smooth operation of the cosmos created a divine harmony that composers sought to capture. With The Music of the Spheres, readers will see how this scientific philosophy emerged, how it was shattered by changing views of the universe and the rise of Romanticism, and to what extent it survives today. From Pythagoras to Newton, Bach to Beethoven, and on into the twentieth century of Einstein, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Cage, and Glass, this is a spellbinding examination of the interwoven fates of science and music throughout history.

Reviews

"Wide ranging and elegantly written. By the end of it you can almost hear the cosmic music yourself." Wall St. Journal "A provocative, engaging reassessment of the Western musical tradition and its relation to science." Publishers Weekly
"...a graceful and entertaining account of matters seldom presented to the general reader." The New Yorker

Buy this book

Softcover $34.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-387-94474-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Music of the Spheres
Book Subtitle
Music, Science, and the Natural Order of the Universe
Authors
Copyright
1995
Publisher
Copernicus
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag New York
Softcover ISBN
978-0-387-94474-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 264
Number of Illustrations
18 b/w illustrations
Additional Information
Originally published by Grove/Atlantic Press, New York 1993
Topics