Math and MusicDate: 4/10/96 at 11:48:40 From: Anonymous Subject: Math in music Dear Dr.Math, I'm doing a project for math class and I need info. on how math is involved in music. I've looked through all of the Internet sites and things come up for music and math individually but not together. Can you help? Date: 4/10/96 at 14:6:50 From: Melissa Dershewitz Subject: Re: Math in music Hi - First off, I suggest that you get your hands on this book: _Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics_, by Edward Rothstein. It is full of interesting information, is fairly easy to understand without assuming too much math knowledge, and (if I recall correctly) has a nice bibliography that you could use to track down more info. As for material on the web, I did a search of the Math Forum site and came up with several items. This one looks the most promising: ------------------------- Fractal Music Project http://www-ks.rus.uni-stuttgart.de:80/people/schulz/fmusic/ New field of music research. "Fractal music is a result of a recursive process where an algorithm is applied multiple times to process its previous output. In wider perspective all musical forms, both in micro and macro level can be modelled with this process. Fractals provide extremely interesting musical results." Mailing list; Fractal Jazz; papers on fractal music and related topics; software; short examples of fractal music. ------------------------- You might also find something useful in "Leonardo," a journal published by the International Society of the Arts, Sciences and Technology. It's on the Web at: http://mitpress.mit.edu/Leonardo/home.html Hope this helps you out, and good luck with your project! Dr. Melissa, The Math Forum Date: 4/17/96 at 14:19:26 From: Doctor Patrick Subject: Re: math in music Hi! Musical tones are also determined by ratios. If you take a vibrating string, like the string from a guitar, it is possible to divide it up so as to make a musical scale by changing where you cut off the string. For example, the octave will have the ratio of 2:1 over the next note of the same name - i.e. if one "c" is one meter long, then the next "c" would be either two meters or one half meter, depending on whether you want a higher or lower tone. Longer strings produce lower tones, and shorter strings make higher tones. Some other ratios are 3:2 for a perfect fith, and 4:3 for a perfect fourth. I hope that this can be of some use to you. -Doctor Patrick, The Math Forum |
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