Music, Mathematics and the Harmony of the Spheres

18:00 - 19:00, 29 November 2017

At Bronte Lecture Theatres

The development of the scientific world view, occurring in very broad terms between 1550 and 1750, is generally regarded as leading to the replacement of ‘magical thinking’ by the ‘scientific method’. This can however be seen as a much more ambivalent process, in which beliefs fluctuated and co-existed with each other, even in the minds of major scientists such as Newton and Hooke. Both these thinkers were profoundly influenced by the traditions of alchemy, astrology and the idea of sympathetic resonances throughout nature.

While mathematics certainly came to the fore in this period as the ‘language’ of science, this happened partly because of the ‘mystical’ belief persisting from the time of Pythagoras that numbers underlay the structure of everything in the cosmos.

Further, music, in the form of ‘harmonic theory’, was a major factor in both practical investigations of and in theorising about matter and material phenomena.

In this entertaining and non-technical talk, Hugh Peters explores 16th and 17th century thought, drawing on the work of Newton, Hooke and others and addresses the subjects of the ‘music of the spheres’ and the origins of Newton’s Principia. The speaker is an accomplished musician and will illustrate some of the concepts on the classical guitar.


This event is being held at the Bronte Lecture theatre on campus. Maps of the campus and directions to the University can be found HERE


This is a free event but please note that places are limites so please register for your place HERE

Go here to pre-register for this event

For further information contact Sybilla Daley:
Tel: 01484471568

Cost for students: £0.0

Cost for seniors: £0.0

Cost for adults: £0.0

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