"The object of the present treatise is to show what the science of Physiological Acoustics has done, and can do, for the theory of music; to prove that musicians cannot get on without Acoustics; and to supply them with the necessary knowledge. This is accomplished by an experimental determination of the nature of the material with which musicians have to work, its constitution and its laws. The two first parts of this work are indispensable to all who would understand the nature of sound, how its various qualities of tone are distinguished by the ear, and how they react on each other when combined. While, therefore, they convey information which is of special importance to the physicist, the phonetist, and the musician, they are as well adapted for the purposes of general education. The third part is more strictly musical. It enters upon the history of the different kinds of music, and then, taking up the harmonies dependent on Octaves, Fifths, and Thirds, and their inversions and extensions, determines the proper method of tuning for producing their best results, that is, just intonation, and traces the effect of altering the positions of notes in a chord, the introduction and resolution of discords, the laws of progression of parts, and all those troublesome points on which ordinary treatises are prolific in rules, and, when not absolutely silent, scanty or inaccurate in explanation. This part is as necessary to musicians as grammar is to writers"--Book. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved).
"The favour with which the first series of Professor Helmholtz's Lectures has been received would justify, if a justification were needed, the publication of the present volume. I have to express my acknowledgments to Professor G. Croome Robertson, the editor, and to Messrs. Macmillan, the publishers of 'Mind, ' for permission to use a translation of the paper on the 'Axioms of Modern Geometry' which appeared in that journal. The article on 'Academic Freedom in German Universities' contains some statements respecting the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge to which exception has been taken. These statements were a fair representation of the impression produced on the mind of a foreigner by a state of things which no longer exists in those Universities, at least to the same extent. The reform in the University system, which may be said to date from the year 1854, has brought about so many alterations both in the form and in the spirit of the regulations, that older members of the University have been known to speak of the place as so changed that they could scarcely recognise it. Hence, in respect of this article, I have availed myself of the liberty granted by Professor Helmholtz, and have altogether omitted some passages, and have slightly modified others, which would convey an erroneous impression of the present state of things. I have also on these points consulted members of the University on whose judgment I think I can rely. In other articles, where the matter is of prime importance, I have been anxious faithfully to reproduce the original; nor have I in any such cases allowed a regard for form to interfere with the plain duty of exactly rendering the author's meaning"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).