Math and Music

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Math and Music
Math Course
Course CodeMMUS
Years Of Operation1996-2005
Sites OfferedBRI, BTH, FRS, PSD, TOW
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Course Description

From the CTY Summer Catalog (2004):

The connections between math and music cross cultural and historical boundaries. Early mathematicians, including the Pythagoreans, understood mathematics as rooted in the rhythms and patterns of the natural world. Throughout the ages, musicians have used the structure of mathematics to conceptualize their work, and mathematicians have applied their tools to explain musical intervals, design instruments, and understand harmonies.

In this course, students consider the close relationship between math and music. Introductory topics range from mathematical and musical notation to tuning systems of world cultures. Students employ mathematics in a range of musical applications, from using equations and numerical principles to write music, to using principles of vibration and amplification in order to understand why different instruments sound the way they do.

In a class designed for those who do not necessarily have specific backgrounds in mathematics and/or music, students gain not only a thorough background in complicated applications of math to real-world situations, but also a strong appreciation for the complexity of the sounds of the world they inhabit.