Harmonious Triads by Myles W. Jackson
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Harmonious Triads
By Myles W. Jackson

Harmonious Triads

Physicists, Musicians, and Instrument Makers in Nineteenth-Century Germany

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Format: Paperback

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Harmonious Triads by Myles W. Jackson

Book Description

Historically, music was long classified as both art and science. Aspects of music--from the mathematics of tuning to the music of the celestial spheres--were primarily studied as science until the seventeenth century. In the nineteenth century, although scientists were less interested in the music of the spheres than the natural philosophers of earlier centuries, they remained committed to understanding the world of performing musicians and their instruments. In Harmonious Triads, Myles Jackson analyzes the relationship of physicists, musicians, and instrument makers in nineteenth-century Germany. Musical instruments provided physicists with experimental systems, and physicists' research led directly to improvements in musical-instrument manufacture and assisted musicians in their performances. Music also provided scientists with a cultural resource, which forged acquaintances and future collaborations.Jackson discusses experiments in acoustical vibrations that led to the invention of musical instruments and describes work with adiabatic phenomena that resulted in the improvement of the reed pipe, used by organ builders. He examines the collaborations of physicists and mechanicians aimed at standardizing beat and pitch and considers debates stirred by the standardization of aesthetic qualities. He describes the importance for scientists of choral societies as a vehicle for social life and cultural unity. Finally, he discusses a subject that occupied both physicists and musicians of the era: Could physicists, using the universal principles of mechanics, explain musical skill? Was the virtuosity of a Paganini or a Liszt somehow quantifiable? Jackson's historical consideration of questions at the intersection of music and physics shows us how each discipline helped shape the other.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262600750
ISBN-10: 0262600757
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 408
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 5-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Myles W. Jackson

Osiris by Myles W. Jackson Osiris, Paperback (December 2013)

The understanding of sound underwent profound changes with the advent of laboratory science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This volume explores the manifold transformations of sound ranging from soundproof rooms to psychoacoustics of seismology to galvanic music to pedaling technique.

Spectrum of Belief by Myles W. Jackson Spectrum of Belief, Hardback (November 2000)

In the nineteenth century, scientific practice underwent a dramatic transformation from personal endeavor to business enterprise. In Spectrum of Belief, Myles Jackson explores this transformation through a sociocultural history of the rise of precision optics in Germany.

» View all books by Myles W. Jackson


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Author Biography - Myles W. Jackson

Myles W. Jackson is Albert Gallatin Research Excellence Professor of the History of Science at NYU-Gallatin and Professor of History at NYU. He is the author of Spectrum of Belief: Joseph von Fraunhofer and the Craft of Precision Optics and Harmonious Triads: Physicists, Musicians, and Instrument Makers in Nineteenth-Century Germany, both published by the MIT Press.

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