Galileo’s Instruments

“It was the summer of 1609 when on one of my trips to Venice, some startling news reached my ears. A spectacle maker in Holland had presented to Count Maurice of Nassau a glass, manufactured in such a way as to make distant objects appear very near, so that a man at the distance of two miles could be clearly seen. This seemed to me so marvellous an invention that I began to think about it. What if I could make such a device—only more powerful? It appeared to me to have a foundation in the science of perspective. Once again I turned to my lute for inspiration as I contemplated such an instrument.”

—Galileo Galilei, Sidereus Nuncius (via Galileo and His Lute)

Here is some lute music composed by Galileo’s brother, Michelangelo Galilei:


4 comments on “Galileo’s Instruments

  1. somanybooks says:

    I had no idea there was a talented brother!

  2. Sylvia says:

    I think his whole family was talented. Their father Vincenzo was a prominent musician and musical theorist as well.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Glad you enjoyed it, Jonathan!

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