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Music and the Making of Modern Science$
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Peter Pesic

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027274

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027274.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Music and the Making of Modern Science

Peter Pesic

The MIT Press

This book questions the common presupposition that music is conceptually derivative or secondary compared to other modes of thought. This chapter outlines eighteen case studies in which developments in music preceded and arguably influenced subsequent developments in mathematics and physical science. Attempts to make such broad-reaching connections should be circumspect, as should apply to sweeping claims advanced by Erwin Panofsky (about styles in visual art influencing Galileo Galilei) and Stillman Drake (about music as the “mother” of modern science). With that caution in mind, this book argues that, in whatever direction its interventions tended, music so deeply and persistently affected the development of science over so many historical vicissitudes that we should tell their stories jointly. Throughout the book where various sound examples are referenced, please see http://mitpress.mit.edu/musicandmodernscience (please note that the sound examples should be viewed in Chrome or Safari Web browsers).

Keywords:   History of music, History of science, Relation of music to science, Erwin Panofsky, Stillman Drake, Galileo Galilei

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