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from Echoes from the Vault

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 42: Athanasius Kircher’s beautiful Musurgia Universalis (1650)

A diagram of one of Kircher’s inventions: a hydraulic organ, from his Musurgia Universalis

Athanasius Kircher, Plucked string instruments of 17th century Europe, labeled in Latin, from "Musurgia Universalis", Rome 1650, book VI, chapter II, plate 7, pp. 476-477.

Athanasius Kircher, Bowed string instruments of 17th century Europe, labeled in Latin, from "Musurgia Universalis", Rome 1650, book VI, chapter II, plate 8, pp. 486-487.

One of the most famous plates from Kircher’s Musurgia Universalis is this engraving depicting musical notation of bird songs.

Athanasius Kircher, Harmony of the birth of the world, represented by a cosmic organ, from "Musurgia Universalis", Rome 1650.

Musical instruments and musical expression take an almost infinite variety of forms in Oceania, whose more than 1,800 different peoples create an astonishing variety of musical instruments. Read this essay, Musical Instruments of Oceania, and view a slideshow of works. | Sesando, late 19th century. Javanese Culture. Bamboo, wood, palm, wire. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.1489). #MetTimeline #MetMusic

Athanasius Kircher, Wind instruments of 17th century Europe, labeled in Latin, from "Musurgia Universalis", Rome 1650, book VI, chapter II, plate 9, pp. 500-501.