From the 5th century BC, when Pythagoras first composed his laws of Western music and science, until the flowering of Romanticism over 2000 years later, scientists and philosophers perceived the cosmos musically, as an ordered mechanism whose smooth operation created a celestial harmony - the music of the spheres. The separation of science and music began with the scientific revolution during the Renaissance, and reached a peak with Romanticism, which celebrated what was human, individual and local. 20th-century science and music, argues Jamie James in this book, have rejected the Romantic ideal and placed the ultimate focus outside the reach of human reason once again. The book provides a survey of the history of science and music, a reassessment of Romanticism and the modernist reaction to it, and a radical intellectual journey.
Jamie James was born in Houston Texas and is now the New York Correspondant for The Times and frequently contributes to the New York Times. He is a founding member of Discover and a contributing editor of Archeology.