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Department News

Andrew Hicks Publishes “Composing the World”

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Assistant Professor Andrew Hicks announces the publication of his book Composing the World: Harmony in the Medieval Platonic Cosmos, the first release in Oxford University Press’ series Critical Conjunctures in Music and Sound.

In it, Professor Hicks illuminates how a cosmological aesthetics based on the “music of the spheres” both governed the moral, physical, and psychic equilibrium of the human, and assured the coherence of the universe as a whole. With a rare convergence of musicological, philosophical, and philological rigor, Hicks presents a narrative tour through medieval cosmology with reflections on important philosophical movements along the way, raising connections to Cartesian dualism, Uexküll’s theoretical biology, and Deleuze and Guattari’s musically inspired language of milieus and (de)territorialization. Hicks ultimately suggests that the models of musical cosmology popular in late antiquity and the twelfth century are relevant to our modern philosophical and scientific undertakings. Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Composing the World will resonate with a variety of readers, and it encourages us to rethink the role of music and sound within our greater understanding of the universe.

Composing the World can be ordered from the Oxford University Press website.

Cornell Chronicle article