From: John Soward Bayne
Newsgroups: sci.math
Subject: Re: Music and Mathematics
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 09:18:21 -0500
The elder Birkhoff did some mathematical analysis of
what constituted "pretty" music in his work on aesthetics.
He treated rhythm, melody and harmony, and used his
"rules" to produce a song.
This is worthwhile studying. He also went after poetry
and the visual arts. Re: this last topic he produced a
set of plates with a hundred or so polygons ranked from
prettiest to ugliest based on the aesthetic criteria
and metrics he developed.
JSBayne
Dave Rusin wrote:
>
> In article <58l9kk$hrg@agate.berkeley.edu>,
> Mark Rajesh Das wrote:
>
> >I'm just curious as to exactly how math(s) and music are related? Is
> >there a distinct mathematical pattern for each composer's piece
> >or a distinct pattern for a type of music or period? What is analyzed,
> >the notes, or phrases or rests?
>
> Well, one can analyze all sorts of things.
(deletion)
> on a larger scale, there is clearly a structure to musical
> compositions. Whether mathematics has anything useful to say about
> this structure is not clear, but one can certainly see similarities with
> the structure of mathematical objects.
(another deletion)
>
> There is abundant literature on connections between math and music (mostly
> between music and sound). I've saved a few such items from the net at
> http://www.math.niu.edu/~rusin/uses-math/music/
> dave