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Musical logarithms in the seventeenth century: Descartes, Mercator, Newton

Abstract:

This paper describes three previously little-studied sources from the 17th century, which reveal early uses of logarithms in the mathematical study of music. It describes the problem, which had existed since antiquity, of providing quantitative measures for the relationships between musical intervals when the latter were defined by identification with mathematical ratios; and it shows how this problem was solved by Descartes, Newton, and Nicolaus Mercator in the mid-17th century by using loga...

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Publication status:
Published

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Publisher copy:
10.1016/j.hm.2007.05.002

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Publication date:
2008-02-05
DOI:
EISSN:
1090-249X
ISSN:
0315-0860
URN:
uuid:7da17bf4-a88a-4366-b66c-690db9914486
Source identifiers:
9610
Local pid:
pubs:9610

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