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title SUMMARY /title

The long and bitter dispute between Gioseffo Zarlino, the foremost musical theorist of the sixteenth century, and Vincenzo Galilei, practical musician and Galileo's father, raises important issues as it concerns the methodological approach towards musical phenomena. In particular, the present work shows that the true overthrowing of Zarlino's a priori approach (besides the relationship between music and words and other aspects of content) can be found in a new conception of numbers, namely the passage from numerical and theoretical mysticism (dating back to the Pythagorean approach) to an empirical methodology. The description of this new way to treat numbers (as instruments) is shown through an analysis of two of Vincenzo Galilei's manuscript essays: the Discorso particolare intorno alle forme del Diapason and the Discorso particolare intorno all'Unisono. The originality of these works lies in their presentation of factual experiments.

Affiliations: 1: Macerata


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