Harmonie universelle

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Harmonie universelle, contenant la théorie et la pratique de la musique
Title page of Harmonie universelle
Title page
Author Marin Mersenne
Country Kingdom of France
Language French
Published 1636
Pages 800

Harmonie universelle (Complete title: Harmonie universelle, contenant la théorie et la pratique de la musique) is the work of Marin Mersenne, published in Paris in 1636. It represented the sum of musical knowledge during his lifetime.

This was a major work since it represented the most complete description of music theory near the middle of the 17th century in France. It covers all aspects including theoretical, practical, stylistic, organological, mathematics, acoustics, and theological.


The title page specifies the scope of the topics covered by the book including the nature of sounds, movements, consonance, dissonance, genres, modes of composition, voice, singing, and all kinds of harmonic instruments. This monumental treatise is abundant in illustrations (including musical engravings), and in systematic tables. It also remains the only source of certain musical works from Jacques Mauduit, Eustache Du Caurroy, Antoine de Sewn, or Pierre de La Barre in particular.