'Secret Science' and Piano Experiments: The Discovery of Harmonics
Audio recording of a lecture given by tutor Peter Pesic, (with performances by Consuelo Sanudo and David Forrest) on March 29, 2023 as part of the Dean's Lecture & Concert Series. The Dean's Office has provided this description of the event: "Harmonics are “little sounds” made by lightly touching a vibrating string at special points. Long used by string players, harmonics had a bad reputation until scientists discussed and named them. This lecture considers this story of science interacting with music as composers began using piano harmonics in the wake of experiments by Hermann Helmholtz. Arnold Schoenberg thought about these experiments in the midst of a profound personal crisis, then used harmonics in pioneering compositions as part of what he called a “secret science” within music. To illustrate this lecture, Consuelo Sanudo (SF92, GILA00) will perform Schoenberg’s song “Am Strande” and David Forrest will join in a performance of a rarely heard piano work by Jules Burgmein (Giulio Ricordi)."
Santa Fe, NM
Meem Library has been given permission to make this item available online.