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Andreas Werckmeister's Musicalische Paradoxal-Discourse


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Series Editor’s Foreword
Part I
Introduction to the Musicalische Paradoxal-Discourse
Werckmeister Biography
Werckmeister Treatises
Contents and Sources of the Musicalische Paradoxal-Discourse

Part II Translation of the Musicalische Paradoxal-Discourse
Title page and dedicatory comments
Index and contents of the chapters
Chapter 1 An introduction to this work: the division of the musical proportions
Chapter 2 A testimonial through mathematics and Holy Scriptures themselves, that the course of the heavens are harmonic
Chapter 3 How the mortal body and soul are harmonically created, and furthermore, on the influence of the stars
Chapter 4 Why humans find such pleasure in music, and whence composers and musicians arise
Chapter 5 As the image of God, humans are to praise the Creator with music. Buildings and eras in scripture are also harmonic wonders of spiritual music.
Chapter 6 On the abuse of music, which the authorities could abolish
Chapter 7 How the inclination of a people determines its attitude towards music, and how the heathens were so scattered in their views on music
Chapter 8 On the music of the early Christians, and the subsequent changes
Chapter 9 The great difficulties arising out of solmization and the linear staff-system
Chapter 10 Proof that the linear staff system is accompanied by great difficulties
Chapter 11 Proof of how everything can be played or sung through the twelve note-names
Chapter 12 Further proof, that the linear staff system has many more variants than the twelve note-names
Chapter 13 How the temperaments can be examined, and on German tablature
Chapter 14 How the chromatic system is to be applied to the tempered keyboard
Chapter 15 On the disorder of hymn singing
Chapter 16 On the simplicity of old organs
Chapter 17 How the musical modes can be differentiated
Chapter 18 On the nature and property of the harmonic numerals
Chapter 19 On the hidden meaning of the numerals
Chapter 20 On the properties of the harmonic numerals, when they themselves are subdivided
Chapter 21 On the subdivision of the harmonic numerals
Chapter 22 On the properties of the dissonant musical numerals
Chapter 23 How the harmonic radical numerals are transformed into a tempered tuning, and of their hidden meaning
Chapter 24 A comparison of incorrect tempered tuning with false Christianity
Chapter 25 How the temperament can be perfect or imperfect, and how the same can be compared with Christianity
Chapter 26 The Lord’s Prayer in the musical proportional numerals
About the author

About the Author

Dietrich Bartel is associate professor of music at Canadian Mennonite University.


In his last writing, Musicalische Paradoxal-Discourse (1707), Andreas Werckmeister, one of the great minds of musical aesthetics and theory, confronts a series of paradoxes at the interfaces between faith and reason, mind and body, speculation and experience. The author, himself, presents us, today, with a further paradox: he was one the last exponents of an ancient cosmological understanding of music—a number-based conception in the tradition of Pythagoras and Plato—yet he was also one of the first to advocate for major-minor tonality, equal temperament, and a notation system that would treat each of the twelve pitch classes and all enharmonically equivalent intervals in a like manner. Dietrich Bartel’s translation renders Werckmeister’s notoriously difficult and often obscure German in clear and precise English, making it truly accessible to an international readership for the first time. Bartel’s magisterial introduction places this publication an illuminating context, and traces, with precision and nuance, the evolution of Werckmeister’s thinking about temperament.
*John Walter Hill, professor emeritus, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign*

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