Front cover image for Music, science and natural magic in seventeenth-century England

Music, science and natural magic in seventeenth-century England

"The role of natural magic in the rise of seventeenth-century experimental science has been the subject of lively controversy for several decades. Now Penelope Gouk introduces a new element into the debate: how music mediated between these two domains. Arguing that changing musical practice in sixteenth-century Europe affected seventeenth-century English thought on science and magic, she maps the various relationships among these apparently separate disciplines. Gouk explores these relationships in several ways. She adopts the methods of social geography to discuss the disciplinary, social and intellectual overlapping of music, science and natural magic. She gives a historical account of the emergence of acoustics in English science, the harmonically based physics of Robert Hooke and the position of harmonics within Newton's transformation of natural philosophy. And she provides a gallery of images in which contemporary representations of instruments, practices and concepts demonstrate the way in which musical models informed and transformed those of natural philosophy. Gouk shows that as the occult features of music became subject to the new science of experimentation, and as their causes became evident, so natural magic was pushed outside the realms of scientific discourse."--Publisher's description
Print Book, English, 1999
Yale University Press, New Haven [Connecticut], 1999
Criticism, interpretation, etc
xii, 308 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
9780300073836, 0300073836
pt. 1. Geographies. Disciplinary geographies: categories, boundaries and margins ; Social geographies: patterns of patronage, education and practice ; Intellectual geographies: music, natural magic and their relationship to experimental philosophy
pt. 2. Gallery. Instruments: music represented
pt. 3. Narratives. Musical acoustics: from Bacon to the Royal Society ; Robert Hooke: natural magician, experimental philosopher ; Isaac Newton: Pythagorean magus ; Epilogue: the making of music and the making of science: where did natural magic go?
Appendix: key sources from antiquity to c. 1700
Revision of the author's thesis (Ph. D.--Warburg Institute, University of London, 1982) originally with title: Music in the natural philosophy of the early Royal Society