Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 18 August 2019

Lagrange, Joseph Louis, Comtelocked

  • Clive Greated


(b Turin, Jan 25, 1736; d Paris, April 10, 1813). French mathematician and physicist. He was largely self-trained and was encouraged by Euler and d'Alembert, whose protégé he became. He held positions in Berlin (from 1766) and Paris (from 1787). He is remembered as an acoustician for his work in 1759 on the transverse vibrations of the taut, massless cord loaded by n weights, equally spaced. He is credited with being the first to represent the string in this way and to calculate its normal mode patterns and frequencies, and for having established Euler's solution for the continuous monochord as being the result of taking the limit as n tends to infinity. In fact the discrete model was a very old one, and Lagrange's work on it is a straightforward extension of Euler's; further, as d'Alembert pointed out, Lagrange's passage to the limit is fallacious. In ...

Access to the complete content on Grove Music Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.