KIRCHER, Athanasius.

Phonurgia nova,

sive Conjugium mechanico-physicum artis & naturae paranympha phonosophia concinnatum: quâ universa sonorum natura, proprietas, vires effectuúmq[ue] prodigiosorum causoe, novâ & multiplici experimentorum exhibitione enucleantur; instrumentorum acusticorum, machinarúmq ad naturoe prototypon adaptandarum, tum ad sonos ad remotissima spatia propagandos, tum in abditis domorum recessibus per occultioris ingenii machinamenta clam palámve sermocinandi modus & ratio traditur, tum denique in bellorum tumultibus singularis hujusmodi organorum usus, & praxis per novam phonologiam describitur.

Kempten: by Rudolph Dreherr, 1673 Stock Code: 84091

The first European book devoted entirely to acoustics

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First edition of Kircher's outstanding work on acoustics and music, the first European book devoted entirely to acoustics, which treats at length of the echo, laws of acoustics, and of instruments. It presents a remarkable compilation of knowledge, gathered from many contemporary experiments in acoustics and the advances in the construction of musical instruments. The work was, in part, Kircher's response to Sir Samuel Morland (1625-1695), a fellow of the Royal Society of London, who claimed to have invented the megaphone. Numerous testimonies from Kircher's admirers are appended to the work defending Kircher's claim as the inventor of the tuba stentorophonica, as Morland called it. As he did in the Musurgia, Kircher here describes and illustrates many bizarre and curious inventions like talking statues, an Aeolian tuba and lyre, eavesdropping devices, and hordes of odd-shaped trumpets. It was subsequently translated into German under the title Neue Hall- und Ton-Kunst (Nördlingen: Friderich Schults, 1684).

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Folio (345 x 210 mm). Contemporary blind-stamped vellum, green spine label.


Half-title, engraved additional title, engraved vignette on title and engraved portrait of Leopold I by G. A. Wolfgang, 2 engraved plates, 17 engraved text illustrations and numerous woodcut text illustrations and diagrams, with final blank. Provenance: B


Vellum somewhat soiled, front joint skilfully repaired at head, expertly relined, occasional light marginal browning, a very good copy.


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