The volume under review developed out of a conference on “Music and Esotericism. Art and Science of Sounds Facing the Occult Knowledge”, which was held at the Academia Belgica in Rome in April 2008 (two of the volume contributors, Charles Burnett and David Juste, also served as members of the conference scientific board). As the editor states in her introduction, ‘the concept for the conference was to bring together scholars working on magic, astrology, alchemy, divination and cabbala in order to study the relationship of these to music. Its aim was to understand and break down the barriers between the history of art, music, science and ideas’ (p. 1). To exemplify the issues and develop a multidisciplinary dialogue from both sides, ‘each paper focused on either the use of music within cultural and occult scientific traditions, or on the presence of these traditions in music’ (ibid.).
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