William Herschel is famous for science. What about his music? – New York times

However, Herschel was not prepared to entertain the move to crowded and competitive London musically. So, after a brief stint as an organist at Halifax Parish Church in West Yorkshire—according to Miller, he told the committee in his audition that he had already accepted a better offer elsewhere—he moved to Bath in 1776, and entered a nascent upper town. Class sophistication, with an emerging intellectual scene and the newly built Octagon Chapel, from which Herschel built a small musical empire built around public speaking performances and subscription parties.

Several years ago, William’s sister Caroline followed her two brothers to England. Her storytelling also obscures her early interest in music. The first woman to be awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the first to publish scientific research and the first to earn a salary, Caroline moved to England after the intervention of her brother—to rid her of a life of domestic drudgery after their father’s death—and began taking singing lessons, eventually becoming sopranos. Resident at William’s Public Speaking shows, at a time when families were giving fashion shows.

Herschel believed that music belonged as one of the four liberal arts of the Quartet, along with arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. With the help of two 18th-century books by scholar Robert Smith of Cambridge University – “Harmonics” and “A Compleat System of Opticks” – he began to treat astronomy with the same subjective zeal used when learning English through the dense texts of John Locke. And one of Newton’s home-made reflecting telescopes made a change that would turn Herschel into an overnight celebrity: the discovery in March of 1781 of Uranus, which was initially thought to be another comet. Herschel named the planet Georgium Sidus to the delight of King George III, who later offered him a stipend called “The King’s Astronomer”.

The position involved a significant pay cut from his lucrative music business, but Herschel nonetheless gave up music to focus his eyes on the sky. When Herschels moved to Slough to be closer to the King, telescopes got bigger, surveys more ambitious and fame more intense.

Although Herschel’s musical compositions ceased with this move, there is a mystery surrounding his relationship with Haydn, who visited the observatory in June 1792. In “Essays in Musical Analysis,” classic volumes from the 1930s, Sir Donald Tovey concludes that research from During Herschel’s famous 40-foot telescope, he provided the cosmic inspiration for the famous opening of Haydn’s “Creation” speech. Problem: Records show that Herschel was out of town at the time. But perhaps Caroline, his trusted aide at this point, could have steered Hayden toward his own moment of clarity?

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