Musimathics: the mathematical foundations of music

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MIT Press, Jun 30, 2007 - Mathematics - 562 pages
3 Reviews

"Mathematics can be as effortless as humming a tune, if you know the tune," writes Gareth Loy. In Musimathics, Loy teaches us the tune, providing a friendly and spirited tour of the mathematics of music--a commonsense, self-contained introduction for the nonspecialist reader.Volume 2 of Musimathics continues the story of music engineering begun in volume 1, focusing on the digital and computational domain. Loy goes deeper into the mathematics of music and sound, beginning with digital audio, sampling, and binary numbers, as well as complex numbers and how they simplify representation of musical signals. Chapters cover the Fourier transform, convolution, filtering, resonance, the wave equation, acoustical systems, sound synthesis, the short time Fourier transform, and the wavelet transform. These subjects provide the theoretical underpinnings of today's music technology. The material in volume 1 is all preparatory to the subjects presented in this volume, although either volume can be read independently. Cross-references to volume 1 are provided for concepts introduced in the earlier volume, and additional mathematical orientation is offered where necessary. The topics are all subjects that contemporary composers, musicians, and music engineers have found to be important. The examples given are all practical problems in music and audio. The level of scholarship and the pedagogical approach also make Musimathics ideal for classroom use. Additional material can be found at a companion web site.

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Review: Musimathics: The Mathematical Foundations of Music, Volume 1

User Review  - Carl - Goodreads

This book brought together a great number of threads that I had discovered for myself in a more cohesive way. The math and the physics behind our perception of music has allowed me to approach composition in a completely different way. Read full review

Review: Musimathics: The Mathematical Foundations of Music, Volume 1

User Review  - Brian Coupland - Goodreads

another cliche "if you love music and hate math, this is the book for you" review. it was at least good enough for me to feel guilty for not saying anything at all about it. Read full review


Digital Signals and Sampling
Musical Signals
Spectral Analysis and Synthesis

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About the author (2007)

Gareth Loy is a musician and award-winning composer. He has published widely and, during a long and successful career at the cutting edge of multimedia computing, has worked as a researcher, lecturer, programmer, software architect, and digital systems engineer. He is President of Gareth, Inc., a provider of software engineering and consulting services internationally.