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Music Theory from a Mathematical Perspective


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Hi, I'm new to these forums, so I apologize if this is the wrong section to post in. I'm an electrical engineering/physics major who's been playing music for quite a long time. I know some basic theory from my piano lessons (I passed my Grade 2 Theory from the Royal Conservatory of Music), but I'd like to learn some more. I'm curious if anyone here knows of any books on music theory that teach from the perspective of a scientist/engineer. I know there's a lot of mathematics involved in music, and there's quite a few books that talk about the science of music in general, but I haven't yet found one that's focused mostly on musical theory. (for example, the math of why a perfect fifth sounds more harmonious than a diminished fifth) Can anyone help me out?

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I can't, myself -- I'm the musical equivalent of a poke-and-hope typist -- but as the moderator of this forum, I am empowered to offer you a hale and hearty welcome -- and assure you that, yes, indeedy, discussions of music theory are most definitely welcome here. :)

 

 

I'm sure you have explored the various Wikipedia articles on harmony and harmonic theory, as well as articles and sub-articles on equal temperament, just intonation, and such, but if you haven't, they are pretty fascinating -- and it sounds like you'd have the advanced math skills, lack of which tends to make me skip over all those crazy polynomial/exponential/you-name-it formulae that pop up in them. ;)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_theory

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmony

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_temperament

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_temperament#Comparison_to_just_intonation

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_temperament

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