GALILEI, Vincenzio

(1520-1591)
Vincenzio Galilei was a professional musician and merchant who advanced musical theory of the mid-sixteenth century; credited with devising the formula for tuning lutes and viols to a tempered scale, he played an important role in the move from musical polyphony to harmony. He also helped revolutionize natural philosophy because of his profound influence upon the thinking of his famous son, Galileo Galilei.*
Vincenzio Galilei studied under Gioseffe Zarlino, a musical theorist of the old school, in which mathematics strictly governed musical theory, and theory controlled contemporary practice. The introduction of new instruments in the sixteenth century revealed some contradictions in contemporary theory, which had long been based upon ancient notions of arithmetic proportion; conse­quently, the mismatch between the discontinuous integers of arithmetic and the continuum of musical sounds needed to be resolved. In 1558 Zarlino attempted to resolve the growing crisis with his Harmonical Institutions, a treatise that revised the ancient theories, but persisted in privileging mathematical theory over the perception of sound. In 1578 Vincenzio Galilei wrote a defense of tuning practices that departed from those recommended by Zarlino, thereby ar­guing for the primacy of sound over the rule of mathematics. Zarlino discour­aged the printing of Galilei's book, but an expanded version was published in 1581. Zarlino countered in 1588 with Sopplimenti musicali (Musical supple­ments). Galilei fought back in 1589 with a treatise based not simply upon theory and observed practice, but upon actual experiments that he conducted to produce consonance and dissonance by varying lengths of strings and columns of air. This and some subsequent unpublished treatises he passed on to his son, Galileo Galilei, who incorporated his father's experimental method into his own ex­aminations of the physics of sound, thereby revolutionizing contemporary sci­ence.
Bibliography
S. Drake, Galileo Studies, 1970.
Tim McGee

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • GALILEI, Galileo — (1564 1642) Renowned for his astronomical observations with a telescope, Galileo Galilei also defined the central tenets of a new scientific method followed by others in succeeding centuries. Condemned for heresy in 1633 because of his defense of …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Galileo Galilei —   Wenige Wissenschaftler haben solche Faszination wie Galileo Galilei ausgeübt: Er beobachtete als Erster den Himmel mithilfe des Fernrohrs, machte dabei sensationelle Entdeckungen und leitete die moderne Astronomie ein. Er legte die Fundamente… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Galileo Galilei — – Porträt von Justus Sustermans, 1636 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Galileo Galilei — Galilée (savant) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Galilée. Galileo Galilei …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Affaire Galilée — Galilée (savant) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Galilée. Galileo Galilei …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Galileo Galilée — Galilée (savant) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Galilée. Galileo Galilei …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Galilée (physicien) — Galilée (savant) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Galilée. Galileo Galilei …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Procès de Galilée — Galilée (savant) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Galilée. Galileo Galilei …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Galilée (savant) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Galilei et Galilée. Galileo Galilei Portrait de Galileo Galilei par Giusto Sustermans en 1636 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ostilio Ricci — (1540–1603) Born 1540 Fermo …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.