Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel:
Cod. Guelf. 90 Aug. 8°.
33 × 104,5 cm, framed
Edition 5 + 2 AP
The Arca Musurgica was described in a publication Musurgia Universalis by Jesuit Father Athanasius Kircher, published in Rome in 1650. The book is one of the seminal works of musicology and was hugely influential in the development of Western music. The arca musarythmica is a device by which a nonmusician could compose a piece of four-part music using prearranged musical fragments inscribed in wands arranged in columns inside the box. Each type of wand corresponded to a particular metrical unit e.g. 4, 5, or 6 syllables, and on each wand there were examples of florid counterpoint on one side and more simple note-against-note settings on the other.