Ordered Universe at Berkeley

ann the generation of sound

Ordered Universe team members Giles Gasper (History, Durham) and Joshua Harvey (Psychology and Engineering, Oxford) will be giving a talk, open to the public, at University of California, Berkeley, on January 16th. We’re delighted to have been invited by Dr Henrike Lange, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Art History and Italian, and will be talking about Ordered Universe work on Robert Grosseteste’s treatise On the Generation of Sounds. In particular Continue reading

Ordered Universe – First Volume

The Ordered Universe team has been hard at work over the summer, putting together the first volume for a seven-volume series on Robert Grosseteste’s shorter scientific works to be published by Oxford University Press. The first volume incorporates the Continue reading

Generating sounds: help us write our next paper!

IMG_0190IMG_0168At the last Ordered Universe symposium the group made its third, and final, collaborative reading of Grosseteste’s treatise De generatione sonorumOn the Generation of Sounds’. An intriguing, characteristically dense piece of writing, with the usual editorial conundrums, and a strange beauty to its construction, the DGS also sparked a series of reflections from a modern scientific perspective. The treatise deals with the notion of what sound is, showing Grosseteste’s familiarity with Aristotle’s De anima (probably in the translation by Gerard of Cremona), and human vocal production, showing his knowledge of Augustine (354-430) and Boethius (c.480-524) on music, Priscian (flourished around 500) and Isidore of Seville (c.560-636)on grammar and phonetics. However, as always with these works, the question of Grosseteste’s own interests and observations need to be considered, and not merely from the perspective of how he constructs his treatise and orders his thoughts. Continue reading

Robert Grosseteste’s Early Treatises and their Reception

IMG_0125OU logo large text 2015The next in the Ordered Universe symposia series starts today. The research group will be taking its final look, at least in session, at the treatises On the Liberal Arts and On the Generation of Sounds (De artibus liberalibus and De generatione sonorum). So, vowel shapes, musical measure, the powers (or not) of astrology, and Grosseteste’s rising familiarity with the De anima of Aristotle. Continue reading

Liberal Arts

20140719_090058IMG_1323The next Ordered Universe symposium will take place at Bishop Grosseteste University, in Lincoln, 8th-10th April, 2015. Jack Cunningham and his team at BGU will be taking the helm for the symposium, dedicated to the two earliest of Grosseteste’s works, a second series of sessions on the De generatione sonorumOn the Generation of Sounds, and a first outing for the mysterious and rather beautiful De artibus liberalibusOn the Liberal Arts. Continue reading

Sound Medieval and Sound Modern: Acoustics and How to Use and Astrolabe

IMG_2834IMG_2833The final day of the workshop saw the team complete the read-through of the treatise, and the substantial progress on the question of the seven, and five motions. David Howard led off the day with a discussion of acoustic theory, including models of the human vocal tract, and the intriguing vocal tract organ – finally making the vox humana stop on an organ make sense and sound nice! A combination of palaeographical, historical and mathematical insights and observations enabled us to get through the most challenging part of the text, and with the sense of ‘Ah-hah’ to which Ulrike and Tom referred, and which we have almost come to expect. Nader el-Bisri and John Coleman were key to getting us started, but the final sections were a real vindication of the collaborative reading process. Continue reading

Sound Medieval and Sound Modern: Reflections on the Mahfouz Forum

It is two weeks since our workshop meeting in Oxford, as part of the Pembroke College Mahfouz Forum, and, as Tom and Ulrike’s posts demonstrate, it has inspired a great deal of thinking and reflection. The Ordered Universe team were extremely grateful to the Mahfouz Forum for funding the workshop, and allowing us to invite new participants as well as familiar faces. 20 or so of us, and from a wonderful array of disciplines, and all to bring focus to one of Grosseteste’s earliest texts. Continue reading

On the Generation of Sounds – tomorrow

 

IMG_5592The workshop participants are gathering, and the Ordered Universe research project starts its next treatise formally on Thursday, but with a series of project meetings tomorrow. Continue reading