“A Brief History of Cosmic Harmony”

The Department of Music will host a talk by Aviva Rothman, associate professor of history at Case Western Reserve University, titled “A Brief History of Cosmic Harmony” today (Sept. 22) from 4 to 5 p.m. in Harkness Chapel.

Cosmic harmony for centuries signified an order that linked microcosm and macrocosm and shaped conceptions of music, the universe, human health, art, architecture and politics (and much more besides). This talk will chart understandings of cosmic harmony from antiquity through the Renaissance, and will consider some of the reasons for the waning of its influence by the end of the 17th century.

Rothman is a historian of science whose work focuses on the early modern period, and is the author of The Pursuit of Harmony: Kepler on Cosmos, Confession and Community (University of Chicago Press, 2017) and The Dawn of Modern Cosmology: Copernicus to Newton (Penguin/Random House, 2023)