Music and the Making of Modern Science

ISBN-10: 0262027275

ISBN-13: 9780262027274

Edition: 2014

Authors: Peter Pesic
List price: $42.00
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Description: In the natural science of ancient Greece, music formed the meeting place betweennumbers and perception; for the next two millennia, Pesic tells us in Music and the Makingof Modern Science, "liberal education" connected music with arithmetic,geometry, and astronomy within a fourfold study, the quadrivium. Peter Pesic argues provocativelythat music has had a formative effect on the development of modern science -- that music has beennot just a charming accompaniment to thought but a conceptual force in its own right.Pesic explores a series of episodes in which music influenced science, moments inwhich prior developments in music arguably affected subsequent aspects of natural science. Hedescribes encounters between harmony and fifteenth-century cosmological controversies, betweenmusical initiatives and irrational numbers, between vibrating bodies and the emergentelectromagnetism. He offers lively accounts of how Newton applied the musical scale to define thecolors in the spectrum; how Euler and others applied musical ideas to develop the wave theory oflight; and how a harmonium prepared Max Planck to find a quantum theory that reengaged themathematics of vibration. Taken together, these cases document the peculiar power of music -- itsautonomous force as a stream of experience, capable of stimulating insights different from thosemediated by the verbal and the visual. An innovative e-book edition available for iOS devices willallow sound examples to be played by a touch and shows the score in a moving line.

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Book details

List price: $42.00
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 7/3/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 360
Size: 8.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Peter Pesic is Tutor and Musician-in-Residence at St. John's College, Santa Fe. He is the author of Labyrinth: A Search for the Hidden Meaning of Science; Seeing Double: Shared Identities in Physics, Philosophy, and Literature; Abel's Proof: An Essay on the Sources and Meaning of Mathematical Unsolvability; and Sky in a Bottle, all published by the MIT Press.

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