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Music of the Squares: David Ramsay Hay and the Reinvention of Pythagorean Aesthetics

- May 16, 2019 in aesthetics, architecture, Art & Illustrations, David Ramsay Hay, Music, parthenon, Philosophy

Understanding the same laws to apply to both visual and aural beauty, David Ramsay Hay thought it possible not only to analyse such visual wonders as the Parthenon in terms of music theory, but also to identify their corresponding musical harmonies and melodies. Carmel Raz on the Scottish artist's original, idiosyncratic, and at times bewildering aesthetics.

Chladni Figures (1787)

- August 19, 2017 in acoustics, chladni figures, Music, patterns, sound, vibration

Wonderful diagrams of nodal lines formed by vibrating plates, found in a late 18th-century work by German physicist and musician Ernst Chladni.

Chladni Figures (1787)

- August 19, 2017 in acoustics, chladni figures, Music, patterns, sound, vibration

Wonderful diagrams of nodal lines formed by vibrating plates, found in a late 18th-century work by German physicist and musician Ernst Chladni.

Chladni Figures (1787)

- August 19, 2017 in acoustics, chladni figures, Music, patterns, sound, vibration

Wonderful diagrams of nodal lines formed by vibrating plates, found in a late 18th-century work by German physicist and musician Ernst Chladni.

Inventing the Recording

- July 12, 2017 in early recording, edison, Florencio Constantino, gabinetes fonográficos, Music, music of spain, phonography, recording

Eva Moreda Rodríguez on the formative years of the recording, focusing on the culture surrounding the gabinetes fonográficos of fin-de-siècle Spain.

Inventing the Recording

- July 12, 2017 in early recording, edison, Florencio Constantino, gabinetes fonográficos, Music, music of spain, phonography, recording

Eva Moreda Rodríguez on the formative years of the recording, focusing on the culture surrounding the gabinetes fonográficos of fin-de-siècle Spain.

Cat Pianos, Sound-Houses, and Other Imaginary Musical Instruments

- July 15, 2015 in athanasius kircher, cat piano, cats, Culture & History, Featured Articles, francis bacon, imaginary instruments, J.J. Grandville, Music, new atlantis, Science & Medicine, utopias

Deirdre Loughridge and Thomas Patteson, curators of the Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments, explore the wonderful history of made-up musical contraptions, including a piano comprised of yelping cats and Francis Bacon's 17th-century vision of experimental sound manipulation.

Music manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries in the British Library

- December 3, 2013 in beethoven, British Library, CC, classical, classical music, collections, Curator's Choice, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, handel, haydn, Images, Music, purcell, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

CURATOR’S CHOICE #6: SANDRA TUPPEN FROM THE BRITISH LIBRARY Sandra Tuppen, curator of Music Manuscripts at the British Library, explores some highlights from their digitised collection of music manuscripts, including those penned by the hand of Haydn, Handel, Purcell, and a very messy Beethoven. Ever since the earliest methods of notating music were devised, composers and scribes have written out music by hand – on vellum in the medieval period and subsequently on paper. (Only now is this beginning to change, with the advent of computer programs for music notation.) Even after the perfecting of music printing techniques in the 16th century, when music was printed using moveable type and later by engraving, and the burgeoning of a trade in music publishing, much music continued to be written out by hand and circulated in manuscript. Printing music was expensive, time-consuming and complex; copying out music by hand could be done relatively cheaply and quickly, especially when a few copies only of a particular composition were needed. In the 17th and 18th centuries, music was written out in manuscript for several purposes. These included the creation of ‘master copies’ from which further handwritten copies could be made when required, the provision […]

A Pamphlet on Verdi (1901)

- October 10, 2013 in California Digital Library, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Internet Archive, Music, opera, texts, Texts: 20th, Texts: Non-fiction, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, verdi

A small pamphlet (in the series "Little journeys to the homes of great musicians") on the life of the Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi, beginning with a fictionalised account of his childhood meeting with his early patron Signior Barezzi and his eldest daughter Margherita, with whom Verdi ended up falling in love.

A Closer Look at Richard Wagner’s Manuscripts

- May 22, 2013 in classical music, collections, composer, Images, Images-19th, Images-Illumination, manuscripts, Music, richard wagner, score, wagner, zoomology

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner, one of the most influential and controversial composers ever to have lived. With his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”) – by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts – he revolutionised opera and gave birth to such masterpieces as Tristan und Isolde and the epic four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. If his music was sublime, his political views regarding “race” were far from it – in his writings he frequently expressed anti-semitic views (particularly in his racist tract Judaism in Music). The beauty of his music and the vileness of some of his political opinions (complicated by the fact that he was reported to have had life-long Jewish friends), make him a continuing source of intrigue and debate for scholars the world over. To mark the anniversary the British Library have made available online its collection of Wagner manuscripts, mostly from early on in his career. The manuscripts come from the huge music-related manuscript collection of the great Austrian writer and music obsessive Stefan Zweig (whose writings, incidentally, passed into the public domain this year). Zweig acquired the Wagner manuscripts [...]