Music by the Numbers, From Pythagoras to Schoenberg
Music by the Numbers, From Pythagoras to Schoenberg|
Author: Eli Maor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 978-0-691-17690-1 (hbk); 978-1-400-88989-1 (ebk)
The First Chapter of this book is available as a pdf document, from: http://assets.press.princeton.edu/chapters/s11250.pdf
In this relatively short book, the author draws a parallel between the history of mathematics and the history of music theory. Besides the obvious and obligatory topics, and a personal selection of the historical periods, there are also a number of side tracks added as curious anecdotes.
Music by the Numbers should interest mathematicians who enjoy classical music (European) as well as musicians who are curious about the mathematics behind music.
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This remarkable book by Eli Maor presents a detailed report on
the connection between music and mathematics. Eli Maor argues that music has influenced maths, at least as much as
maths has influenced music. |
Maor gives a selection of historical parallels that can be drawn between the evolution of mathematics and music theory. He builds a bridge between Pythagoras, the creator of the mystical concept of Musica universalis, and the mysterious musical tradition of Schoenberg. His main message is that at some point mathematics and physics have abandoned an overall reference system and accepted local reference frames (think of relativity theory and geometry). At about the same time something similar happened in music theory when keys were no longer maintained over a long time but they became local which has resulted in atonality and Schoenberg's twelve-tone theory.
This is my second book from the same publisher. I now understand why Princeton is considered to be such a great University. Only the luckiest and blessed persons happen to visit this place.
I thank my nephew Suchethan, who gifted me this jewel, which I will treasure forever in my library.