KIRCHER, ATHANASIUS. 1602-1680.
Musurgia universalis sive ars magna consoni et dissoni: in X libros digesta. Rome: Heirs of Francesco Corbelletti, 1650.
2 volumes in 1. Folio (315 x 220 mm). , 690; , 462,  pp. Errata. Engraved title (bound before A1), engraved frontispiece portrait of Archduke Leopold William of Austria in volume 1, 21 copper engraved plates (numbered to XIII with IV/V and XI/XII on one sheet each) including 2 folding, profuse woodcut illustrations, diagrams, and musical notations in text. Period stamped pigskin, titles in manuscript and on label to spine. Dampstaining to a very few leaves touching the edges of two illustrations, occasional toning, frontispiece and a few other plates starting, tiny tear to fold of one plate, restoration to margins of 2 or 3 leaves, ties missing, wear to spine ends, overall internally clean.
Provenance: Bernardine Murphy (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of Kircher's vast and profusely illustrated musical encyclopedia, "a book known to virtually all German music theorists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries" (Yearsley p 21). Dealing with the philosophy, mathematics, cosmology, history, and speculative theory of music; the construction of instruments; the anatomy of the ear and the physiology of hearing; the relation of polyphony to cosmic harmony, etc, and illustrated with diagrams of instruments, notations of birdsong, harmonic tables, allegorical and mechanical engravings. "A compendium of musical facts and speculation that is still essential to an understanding of 17th-century music and music theory" (New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians). Brunet III 668; Caillet 5785.