Sir John Herschel

Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet KH FRS (/ˈhɜːrʃəl, ˈhɛər-/; 7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English polymath, mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, and did botanical work.

Herschel originated the use of the Julian day system in astronomy. He named seven moons of Saturn and four moons of Uranus – the seventh planet, discovered by his father Sir William Herschel. He made many contributions to the science of photography, and investigated colour blindness and the chemical power of ultraviolet rays. His Preliminary Discourse (1831), which advocated an inductive approach to scientific experiment and theory-building, was an important contribution to the philosophy of science. Wikipedia, Sir John Frederick William Herschel

General remarks on the method of harmonies developing on all kinds of instruments, including the human voice
—Much paradox, but yet the scheme will admit of clear demonstration
—A musical note compared to a machine, the motive power not of our creation
—The imperfection of keyed instruments, from some notes acting two parts, attuned to the ideal of harmony within us
Macfarren quoted on the echoing power of a cathedral attuning the Amen
—Why music as an art precedes painting
—Philosophers and mathematicians have only studied music to a certain point
—Every key-note a nucleus, including the past, the present, and the future; no finality in any ultimate
—The late Sir John Herschel's views on the musical gamut alluded to
—The imperfection of keyed instruments adapts them to our present powers
—The laws will be seen to develope the twelve major and the twelve minor keys in unbroken sequence and in harmonious ratio; to gain them in geometric order [as] keyed instrument should be circular, the seven octaves interlacing in tones a lower and a higher series, . 15 [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents1 - Harmonies]

Of course, true Art cannot be opposed to Nature, although all the rules of the musician are not the facts of Nature. Music, pure, natural, and harmonical, in the true and evident sense of the term, is the division of any key-note, or starting-point, into its integral and ultimate parts, and the descending divisions will always answer to the ascending, having reference to a general whole. The essence and mystery in the development of harmonies consist in the fact that every key-note, or unit, is a nucleus including the past, the present, and the future, having in itself an inherent power, with a tendency to expand and contract. In the natural system, as each series rises, its contents expand and fall back to the original limit from any point ascending or descending; we cannot perceive finality in any ultimate; every tone is related to higher and lower tones, and must be a part of an organised whole. It is well known how deeply the late Sir John Herschel studied this subject; and it was his opinion that there was some principle in the science of music which had yet to be discovered.[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, The Method of Development or Creation of Harmonies2, page 16]

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Friday February 12, 2021 03:28:23 MST by Dale Pond.