Magazine article International Musician

Music in Science & Health

Magazine article International Musician

Music in Science & Health

Article excerpt

Editor's Note: "Music in Science and Health" offers a brief look into current music research, and science or health-related news about the world of music and its many applications.

Math Rocks

Scholars have long been fascinated by the connection between mathematics and music. More than 2000 years ago, the mathematician Pythagoras discovered that musical intervals could be described using simple ratios, and during the Middle Ages, a theory developed that the sun, moon, and planets could be viewed as a form of inaudible, yet perfectly harmonious, music.

That research continues today. In the April 18 issue of the journal Science, a trio of researchers has outlined their method, called "geometrical music theory," for translating the language of music theory into that of contemporary geometry. Sequences of notes such as chords, rhythms, and scales, can be categorized into families. The families are then assigned mathematical structure, so that they can be represented by points in a complex geometrical space.

The researchers hope their work will help people gain a deeper understanding of how music works, and believe its applications could include the development of new musical toys, instruments, and visualization tools.

A Whale of a Duet

Humanities professor David Rothenberg of the New Jersey Institute of Technology has been fascinated by whales and the sounds they make for years. An avid clarinetist, Rothenberg has taken his fascination one step further, recording an album of duets with the extraordinary creatures. The album, Whale Music, can be heard at www. …

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