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Musimathics: The Mathematical Foundations of Music, Volume 1

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"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 a "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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"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 a "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.

30 review for Musimathics: The Mathematical Foundations of Music, Volume 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Banksean

    This book is so good. If you're like me, science/math-inclined and musically inspired, but kind of frustrated by arbitrary and seemingly unprincipled rules of music theory, this book is sooo for you. Get it. You'll get it. This book is so good. If you're like me, science/math-inclined and musically inspired, but kind of frustrated by arbitrary and seemingly unprincipled rules of music theory, this book is sooo for you. Get it. You'll get it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Wes Devauld

    I started reading this book because I was hoping that I could leverage my mathematics background to learn some music theory. The author does a decent job bringing together information on a very large topic. The writing is casual, and the author builds up both music theory and mathematical theory so that the writing is accessible to most. Being that I have a fairly deep understanding of mathematics, I found most of explanations of mathematics to be a waste of time but if you are reading this book I started reading this book because I was hoping that I could leverage my mathematics background to learn some music theory. The author does a decent job bringing together information on a very large topic. The writing is casual, and the author builds up both music theory and mathematical theory so that the writing is accessible to most. Being that I have a fairly deep understanding of mathematics, I found most of explanations of mathematics to be a waste of time but if you are reading this book coming from a music background these explanations would probably be very useful. My main problem with the book is that the flow of the book is not consistent. Numerous times the author uses terms to explain them later in the book, and often the jumps between chapters leave one wondering where the book is going. This book is a very dense read. It is probably closer to a textbook than a casual exploration of the marriage of mathematics and music.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Octavian Neamtu

    Picked this up and then got sidetracked. Picked it up a couple years later and went through it quickly - very interesting read. Music making dissected from a bunch of different angles. Highlights - the history of tuning (and its parallels with science) and alternate tunings/microtunings - quantifications of human perception - we identify the direction of sound by the way our ear EQs things - a lot of how an instrument makes sound is the way it transfers energy - open pipes have different nodes Picked this up and then got sidetracked. Picked it up a couple years later and went through it quickly - very interesting read. Music making dissected from a bunch of different angles. Highlights - the history of tuning (and its parallels with science) and alternate tunings/microtunings - quantifications of human perception - we identify the direction of sound by the way our ear EQs things - a lot of how an instrument makes sound is the way it transfers energy - open pipes have different nodes than closed pipes, because of the energy reflection/refraction - experimental music is not science, since there is no hypothesis to prove

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    If you want to program (or build) synthesizers from scratch, but have massive gaps in your physics, the chapters "Physical Basis of Sound", "Geometrical Basis of Sound", "Introduction to Acoustics" and "Vibrating Systems" could be particularly handy. Porting parts of chapter 9, "Composition and Methodology" to Ruby and Max/MSP was fun. There are Suggested Reading sections are the end of most chapters, too! If you want to program (or build) synthesizers from scratch, but have massive gaps in your physics, the chapters "Physical Basis of Sound", "Geometrical Basis of Sound", "Introduction to Acoustics" and "Vibrating Systems" could be particularly handy. Porting parts of chapter 9, "Composition and Methodology" to Ruby and Max/MSP was fun. There are Suggested Reading sections are the end of most chapters, too!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danny Huang

    overall pretty good. would give 4 or 4.5/5.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rolf William

    The first volume of this book is a survey of cherry picked topics in music and math as it relates to music. There were a lot of errors in the musical notation, which makes me wonder how much of the math and physics have errors. I was not paying close attention to any of the equations. The second volume looks more practical for actually implementing audio algorithms. The author spends too long on his algorithmic composition chapter at the end. It's like 1/3 of the entire book. Problems aside, this b The first volume of this book is a survey of cherry picked topics in music and math as it relates to music. There were a lot of errors in the musical notation, which makes me wonder how much of the math and physics have errors. I was not paying close attention to any of the equations. The second volume looks more practical for actually implementing audio algorithms. The author spends too long on his algorithmic composition chapter at the end. It's like 1/3 of the entire book. Problems aside, this book is cool because there isn't another book that compiles all this info into one volume.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Doni

    This book was awesome. Topically, it was exactly what I was looking for, but the math was a little beyond me. But at least it gave me a better sense of what it means when someone says, "Music is so mathematical." I'd love to take a class on this. This book was awesome. Topically, it was exactly what I was looking for, but the math was a little beyond me. But at least it gave me a better sense of what it means when someone says, "Music is so mathematical." I'd love to take a class on this.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Al Matthews

    yo.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Haluk Özgen

    the big source

  11. 4 out of 5

    dave dominey

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mats Oldin

  13. 4 out of 5

    Clinton LeFort

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Longo

  15. 5 out of 5

    unknown

  16. 4 out of 5

    Judah Cliff Bayawon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maladie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Oriol

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark Burge

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mike Gonzales

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  23. 4 out of 5

    J Aslan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ben Sorohan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  26. 4 out of 5

    Selena Peoples

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tlnc

  28. 4 out of 5

    Francisco Vallarino

  29. 4 out of 5

    John Schroeder

  30. 5 out of 5

    MichaPau

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