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How Music and Mathematics Relate
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  • Title How Music and Mathematics Relate
  • Author(s) David Kung
  • Publisher: The Teaching Company Great Courses
  • Hardcover/Paperback N/A
  • eBook PDF (118 pages, 1.1 MB)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821848739
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821848739
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Book Description

Gain new perspective on two of the greatest achievements of human culture—music and math—and the fascinating connections that will help you more fully appreciate the intricacies of both.

Great minds have long sought to understand the relationship between music and mathematics. On the surface, they seem very different. Music delights the senses and can express the most profound emotions, while mathematics appeals to the intellect and is the model of pure reasoning.

Yet music and mathematics are connected in fundamental ways. Both involve patterns, structures, and relationships. Both generate ideas of great beauty and elegance. Music is a fertile testing ground for mathematical principles, while mathematics explains the sounds instruments make and how composers put those sounds together. Moreover, the practitioners of both share many qualities, including abstract thinking, creativity, and intense focus.

Understanding the connections between music and mathematics helps you appreciate both, even if you have no special ability in either field—from knowing the mathematics behind tuning an instrument to understanding the features that define your favorite pieces. By exploring the mathematics of music, you also learn why non-Western music sounds so different, gain insight into the technology of modern sound reproduction, and start to hear the world around you in exciting new ways.

About the Authors
  • David Kung is a Professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland
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