2010 年 61 巻 1 号 p. 37-48
Denis Diderot examined the notation of the cylinders that were used in barrel organs and explored the possibilities of these instruments in his 'Quatrieme Memoire-Projet d'un nouvel orgue' <<Memoires sur differents sujets de mathematiques>> (1748). His Projet was not regarded as being particularly important at the time and his suggestions were probably never put into practice; they might be dismissed as just another technical proposal in the long history of automatic musical instruments. However, the Projet is important as a documentation of Diderot's attitude towards music and musicians. Diderot criticized those musicians who were satisfied with the status quo and pointed out the advantages of developing automatic instruments which they might have perceived as a threat. On the other hand, he insisted that musicians should not be required to keep rigidly accurate time like a machine or chronometre. Although we see that an analogy is being drawn between musicians and machines, it is clear that he did not believe that one was a substitute for the other. Studying his text, we see that he neither rejected machines nor regarded them with blind admiration.