Musurgia universalis sive ars magna consoni et dissoni in. X. libros digesta. Romae: Ex typographia Haeredum Francisci. Corbelletti, Kircher, Athanasius. Athanasius Kircher, S.J. was a German Jesuit scholar and polymath who published around 40 .. The Musurgia Universalis () sets out Kircher’s views on music: he believed that the harmony of music reflected the proportions of the. We have selected the printing of Athanasius Kircher’s Musurgia Universalis, printed in two volumes and illustrated with over 30 leaves of.

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Kircher stressed that exhibitors should universallis great care to inform spectators that such images were purely naturalistic, and not magical in origin. Other machines designed by Kircher include an aeolian harpautomatons such as a statue which spoke and listened via a speaking tubea perpetual motion machineand a Katzenklavier “cat piano”.

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Highlight from the stacks: The Marvellous sound world of 17th century”. His works, illustrated to his orders, were extremely popular, and he was the first scientist to be able to support himself through the sale of his books.

The panel below bears a legend which translates as: The youngest of nine children, Kircher studied volcanoes owing to his passion for rocks and eruptions. The arca musarythmica is a device by which a non-musician could compose a piece of four-part music using prearranged musical fragments inscribed in wands arranged in columns inside the box.

Schmidt, referred to Kircher as “the last Renaissance man “. Arca Noe, in tres libros digesta See the Athanasius Kircher on the web site for further biographical details and other links of interest.

Linus of Liegeand was described by an acquaintance of Line’s in One writer attributes his rediscovery to the similarities between his eclectic approach and postmodernism. The Musurgia Universalis sets out Kircher’s views on music: Learn how your comment data is processed.


Kircher Musurgia Universalis

The Musurgia Universalis then is hugely famous and has been since it appeared in The middle section is dominated by a globe of the World, on which is seated Musica, holding the lyre of Apollo and the panpipes of Marsyas. Kircher was also fascinated with Sinology and wrote an encyclopedia of Chinain which he noted the early presence there of Nestorian Christians while also attempting to establish links with Egypt and Christianity.

His near exact contemporary, the English philosopher-physician, Sir Thomas Browne —82 collected his books avidly while his eldest son Edward Browne in visited the Jesuit priest resident at Rome. He also experimented with the acoustic resonance of various elements of nature: Other devices created the illusion of talking statuary, hydraulically powered mechanical music-playing automata, the aeolian harp which was revived and venerated by the English romantic poets as a model of divine inspirationthe hearing aid, and the arca musarithmica: Email required Address never made public.

St Andrews copy r17f ML Kircher took a notably modern approach to the study of diseasesas early as using a microscope to investigate the blood of plague victims.

Wurzburg was shortly afterwards attacked and captured, leading to Kircher being accorded respect for predicting the disaster via astrology, though Kircher himself privately insisted that he had not relied on that art.

On the intervention of Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peirescthe order was rescinded, and he was sent instead to Rome to continue with his scholarly work, but he had already embarked for Vienna. The triangle at the top is the symbol of the Holy Trinity and sheds musugria rays over the whole of the top of the picture.

Latin edition pages with illustrations only ; La ChineFrench, ; Modern English translation. One illustration shows the differences between the ears of humans and other animals.

His books, written in Latinwere widely circulated in the 17th century, and they contributed to the dissemination of scientific information to a broader circle of readers. This page was last edited on 7 Decemberat The plate shown above to the left depicts ‘The Harmony of the Birth of the World’ Harmonia Nascentis Mundirepresented by a cosmic organ with six registers corresponding to the days of creation. Towards the end of Kircher’s life however, his stock fell, as the rationalist Cartesian approach began to universaliz Descartes himself described Kircher as “more quacksalver than savant”.


Kircher claimed to have deciphered the hieroglyphic writing of the ancient Egyptian languagebut most of his assumptions and translations in this field were later found to be incorrect.

This seminal works of musicology in two volumes seem to have been hugely influential on the works of J. This type of sound and space theory was of keen interest to him, and led to his Phonurgia nova published in China Illustrata emphasized the Christian elements of Chinese history, both real and imagined: Jusurgia in a transition point between sacred renaissance polyphony and secular Baroque music, this survey fosters the idealization of music as a human emotion.


University of Chicago Library. Kircher described the construction of a “catotrophic lamp” that used reflection to project images on the wall of a darkened room. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here This is a wonderful illustration of the hydraulic organ’s mechanism; it is shown driving several automata simultaneously, like the Pythagorean blacksmiths on the left and the creatures dancing round the skeleton on the right.

The lowest part of the picture shows blacksmiths in a cave: