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The Music of the Heavens
Author: Bruce Stephenson

ISBN: 9780691634821
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 274
Published: 19 March 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.6
Description:



Valued today for its development of the third law of planetary motion, Harmonice mundi (1619) was intended by Kepler to expand on ancient efforts to discern a Creator's plan for the planetary system--an arrangement thought to be based on harmonic relationships. Challenging critics who characterize Kepler's theories of harmonic astronomy as "mystical," Bruce Stephenson offers the first thorough technical analysis of the music the astronomer thought the heavens made, and the logic that led him to find musical patterns in his data. In so doing, Stephenson illuminates crucial aspects of Kepler's intellectual development, particularly his ways of classifying and drawing inferences.


Beginning with a survey of similar theories associating music with the cyclic motions of planets, from Plato to Boethius, the author highlights Ptolemy'sHarmonics, a source of inspiration for Kepler's later work. Turning to Kepler himself, Stephenson gives an account of his polyhedral theory, which explains the number and sizes of the planetary orbits in terms of the five regular poly-hedral. He then e...

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