Article ID: CBB001320393

Toward a New Organology: Instruments of Music and Science (2013)


The Renaissance genre of organological treatises inventoried the forms and functions of musical instruments. This article proposes an update and expansion of the organological tradition, examining the discourses and practices surrounding both musical and scientific instruments. Drawing on examples from many periods and genres, we aim to capture instruments' diverse ways of life. To that end we propose and describe a comparative ethics of instruments: an analysis of instruments' material configurations, social and institutional locations, degrees of freedom, and teleologies. This perspective makes it possible to trace the intersecting and at times divergent histories of science and music: their shared material practices, aesthetic commitments, and attitudes toward technology, as well as their impact on understandings of human agency and the order of nature.

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Authors & Contributors
Klein, Ursula
Spary, E. C.
Werrett, Simon
Prodger, Phillip
Schmidt, Michael J.
Vega, Jesusa
German History
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
Studi dellaportiani
University of Chicago Press
Ediciones Polifemo
Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
Oxford University Press
University of Washington Press
Taylor & Francis
Science and culture
Science and technology, relationships
Science and art
Scientific apparatus and instruments
Darwin, Charles Robert
Ruskin, John
Reichenbach, Georg von
Zach, Franz Xaver von
Bulkeley, John
Harriot, Thomas
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
16th century
20th century
17th century
Great Britain
United States
California Institute of Technology

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