Posted by: Michael | 04/04/2008

BBC Essays: Music and Maths

These are a series of essays by Marcus du Sautoy on the relationship of music and maths that ran on BBC.
Warning for most of us each essay will take several listenings. BTW he is also a trumpter! [I studied trumpet through grade school and high school.] The summaries are from the BBC site:

31 March
Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy looks at rhythmic complexities in Steve Reich, Messiaen, Ewe music from Ghana and a piece lasting 1,000 years.

1 April
The Music of the Spheres
He examines Pythagoras’ theories about the harmonious world, the thorny issue of temperament and why so many cultures divide the scale into 12 notes.

2 April
Theme and Variations
He reveals the symmetry in Bach’s Goldberg Variations, the maths behind bell-ringing and Mozart’s obsession with numbers.

3 April
Composing with Numbers
He looks at Schoenberg’s rectangles, Xenakis’ cubes and Messiaen’s Mongean shuffle, and reveals that there is music in maths.


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