Musimathics: The Mathematical Foundations of Music

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MIT Press, Aug 19, 2011 - Music - 504 pages
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A commonsense, self-contained introduction to the mathematics and physics of music; essential reading for musicians, music engineers, and anyone interested in the intersection of art and science.

“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. It is designed for musicians who find their art increasingly mediated by technology, and for anyone who is interested in the intersection of art and science.

In Volume 1, Loy presents the materials of music (notes, intervals, and scales); the physical properties of music (frequency, amplitude, duration, and timbre); the perception of music and sound (how we hear); and music composition. Calling himself “a composer seduced into mathematics,” Loy provides answers to foundational questions about the mathematics of music accessibly yet rigorously. The examples given are all practical problems in music and audio.

Additional material can be found at http://www.musimathics.com.

 

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This book changed the way I think about music, programming, mathematics, and acoustics.
Cannot suggest it enough.

Contents

1 Music and Sound
1
2 Representing Music
11
3 Musical Scales Tuning and Intonation
39
4 Physical Basis of Sound
97
5 Geometrical Basis of Sound
129
6 Psychophysical Basis of Sound
149
7 Introduction to Acoustics
199
8 Vibrating Systems
239
Appendix A
409
Appendix B
421
Glossary
453
Notes
459
References
465
Equation Index
473
Subject Index
475
Copyright

9 Composition and Methodology
285

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About the author (2011)

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.

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