Del numero e delle misure delle corde musiche e loro corrispondenze. Dissertazione del P. D. Giovenale Sacchi Bernabita.

Milan, [Giuseppe Mazzucchelli (colophon)], 1761.

8vo, pp. 126; one or two small spots, very mild foxing to final leaf; a very good copy, in contemporary boards, lightly soiled.

£2250

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First edition of Sacchi’s first work: a theoretical study of music and acoustic from a mathematical and physical perspective built upon the most innovative eighteenth-century physics. Galilei, Kapler, Newton, Mersenne, and contemporary works on the nature of air form the basis of Sacchi’s study of strings and their number, ratio, length and correspondence, as the basis for the solution of the problem of temperament. Sacchi’s innovation takes the cue from Newton’s parallel treatment of optics and acoustics and his matching of the seven musical tones with seven light bands obtained from a prism. Sacchi suggests matching the seven colours with eleven strings (the twelfth corresponding to the first) instead of seven, to outline a major and minor mode, and provides for each of them a fractional formula.

Sacchi went on to publish other tracts on musical theory, and to become the first biographer of Farinelli.

Riccardi I/2, p. 406.

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