On the Generation of Sounds

For the generation of sound - Grosseteste was, apparently, an accomplished harpist.
For the generation of sound – Grosseteste was, apparently, an accomplished harpist.

20140721_130603#1Our next workshop in the Ordered Universe series is just around the corner,beginning next week on Wednesday October 1st (with a meeting for the core team), and then a two-day workshop on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd, with a more relaxed Saturday morning. We are delighted that this workshop forms part of the Mahfouz Interdisciplinary Forum, generously funded by the Mahfouz Foundation, at Pembroke College Oxford. Hannah, and the team at Pembroke, have arranged everything for what will be another fascinating, and stimulating occasion. We are very grateful for the facilities provided by the college, to the Master Lynne Brindley, and the Fellows and staff of the college: this will the second workshop outside Durham, following our away-week at the FIDEM conference in Porto last year.

The subject of the workshop will break new ground for the group as well. We will turn our collective attention to one of the earliest of Grosseteste’s treatises, the De generatione sonorum  – On the Generation of Sounds. Dated to the earliest part of his career, working on Cecilia’s chronology between 1200 and 1215, and closely related to the De artibus liberalibus – On the Liberal Arts, the treatise explores human voice production as well as the question of what sound is, and how it is produced. Sigbjørn has been working on a new edition, with the help of Faith who examined the copy of the treatise in a manuscript now in Princeton library. There is already quite a bit of divergence from the edition published by Baur, and we’ll be working from Sigbjørn’s new draft translation.

There will also be public lectures as part of the workshop, from 16.30 to 18.30, followed by a drinks reception on the Isaacson Balcony, part of the Harold Lee Room in college. There will be two lectures with a short break in the middle, the first from Tom, Giles and Richard on Grosseteste’s universe, the second, from Giles, Hannah and Tom, on the work we’ve been doing on the De colore and De iride. We’d be more than delighted to see you, and, if you are around in Oxford on the 3rd October you can reserve a place in the Pichette Auditorium through the booking form.

We’ll have much more to come, but, as usual, we anticipate a wide-ranging exploration of Grosseteste’s world and context, with an exploration of the modern science of sound and phonetics alongside the historical and philosophical context.

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