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Original price £375.00 - Original price £375.00
Original price
£375.00 - £375.00
Current price £375.00

Dall’Olio, Giambattista: Sull' applicazione della matematica alla musica, memoria di Giambatista dall’Olio [Sul preteso moderno ripristinamento del genere enarmonico de’ Greci, memoria di Giambatista dall’Olio]. [Modena] [presso la Società Typographica] [c.1803].

Separate issue of two articles on music, mathematics, and the ancient Greeks, from the journal Memorie di matematica e di fisica della Società Italiana delle Scienze, the texts appeared in vols. IX (1802) (609-625), and X/2 (1803) (634-639).

In the first article the author examines a proposition of the Spanish musicologist Antonio Eximeno (1729-1808) that the Pygathorean theory of harmonic numbers is a fallacy. In the second, the author refutes a claim written in a letter by the Count Giordano Riccati to his pupil Giambattista Bortolani, that a passage in an air by the composer Niccolò Jommelli (1714-1774) could be explained by his discovery of the ancient Greek enharmonic genus.

Comparing the articles to how they were printed in the journal, the present issues are given half-titles, repaginated, given new signatures, and a headpiece added to each in place of drop-head title. The last lines of the first article are also changed. In the journal, a sheet of mathematical diagrams for a different article is found at the end of the second work, and this is omitted here and in the two other copies of this pamphlet that we have found. The settings (certainly the guide-words) are identical, as are the fold-outs in the first article, and this pamphlet clearly came from the same press in Modena, which was run by the Jewish bookseller Mosè Beniamino Foà (1729-1821). The author (1739-1823) was a Modenese music historian and accountant and later music librarian at the Biblioteca Estense.


Pamphlet, 26.4 cms. x 19.2 cms., in quarto, two articles issued together, pp. 19 [1] + 2 fold-outs (one letterpress, one etched); 8. First article with woodcut headpiece decoration to p. 3 featuring at centre a small image of Justice. Second with woodcut decoration featuring a recorder and putti, and etched musical diagram in text. Light browning, very good, in contemporary paper wrappers, wrappers foxed and slightly torn. Contemporary inscription “No. 362”, stamped number 1528, and pencil-note “a. 1811”.

OCLC (01/21) shows copies of this pamphlet at SUNY Buffalo and Newberry.