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# The Mathematics of Music

• happy?
• unsure/tense?

## • How can you put swing into a rhythm?

• scales
• intervals
• consonance and dissonance
• key signatures - circle of fifths
• major and minor chords
• dissonant chords
• tension and resolution
• musical notation – a binary system
• time signatures - 4/4, 3/4 and others
• mathematics in structure – 12 bar blues
• trigonometry in music – the Theremin
frequency of a tensioned string
musical scales
intervals (1)
intervals (2) - consonance and dissonance

## note interval fundamental 2nd harmonic 3rd harmonic 4th harmonic

(Hz) (Hz) (Hz) (Hz)

(consonant)

(consonant)

## E flat diminshed fifth 618.1 1236.1 1854.2 2472.2

(dissonant –
“tritone”)
intervals (3) - cents

The log of a number, to a base, is the power to which the base must be raised to give the number.
e.g. log2(8)= 3, because 23 = 8.
the early system - Pythagorean
the modern system – equal temperament (ET)
comparison: ET vs. Pythagorean
b/a

## frequency ratio b/a = 2(n/1200)

circle of fifths
increasing flats increasing sharps
(progressing in fourths) (progressing in fifths)
consonant chords – major and minor

## major third (M3) minor third (m3)

C to E, C to E flat,
with minor third (m3) with major third (M3)
E to G, E flat to G,
stacked on top, stacked on top,
total perfect fifth (P5), total perfect fifth (P5),
C to G C to G
dissonant chords – two examples
dominant seventh diminished seventh

## root (tonic) root (tonic)

major third minor third
perfect fifth dimished fifth (tritone)
minor seventh diminished seventh

## tension and resolution - examples:

Toccata And Fugue In D Minor – J. S. Bach
Don Giovanni (Commendatore Scene) – W. A. Mozart
Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd
musical notation – a binary system
large (octuple note) semibreve (whole note)
demisemiquaver
= 32 crotchets = 4 crotchets
= 0.125 crotchet
= bit 4 (MSB) = 10000

## long (quadruple note) minim (half note)

= 16 crotchets = 2 crotchets
hemidemisemiquaver
= bit 3 = 01000
= 0.0625 crotchet

## breve (double note) crotchet (quarter note)

= 8 crotchets = 1 crotchet
semihemidemisemiquaver
= bit 2 = 00100
= 0.03125 crotchet

## quaver (eighth note)

= 0.5 crotchet
demisemihemidemisemiquaver
= bit 1 = 00010 = 0.015625 crotchet

## semiquaver (sixteenth note)

= 0.25 crotchet
= bit 0 (LSB) = 00001
coarse frequency setting
dotted notes – further variation treble clef (G)
one dot = note value x 1.5
two dots = note value x 1.75 dotted crotchet alto or tenor clef (C)
etc. = 1.5 crotchet
bass clef (F)
time signatures

## unusual time signatures - examples:

Take Five – Dave Brubeck – 5/4 time
Money (first and last sections) – Pink Floyd – 7/4 time
rhythm – swing quavers
written as straight quavers (1:1)

## played as swing quavers (2:1)

swing - examples:
My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone
Walk Between The Raindrops – Donald Fagen
mathematics in structure – 12 bar blues
simplest version:
IIII IIII IIII IIII
IV IV IV IV IV IV IV IV IIII IIII
VVVV IV IV IV IV IIII VVVV
I = chord 1 = root/tonic, eg A major
IV = chord 4 = subdominant, eg D major
V = chord 5 = dominant (or dominant seventh) eg E major/E7

## 12 bar blues - example

Robben Ford – Worried Life Blues
trigonometry in music – the Theremin (1)
rotating vector

Φ
sin Φ, cos Φ

## angle = angular velocity x time

Φ = ωt (ω = 2π x frequency = 2πf)
Φ = 2πft

a trigonometric identity:
cosΦ1 cosΦ2 = ½ [cos(Φ1 + Φ2) + cos(Φ1 - Φ2)]

substituting Φ = 2πft:
cos 2πf1t cos 2πf2t = ½ [ cos 2π(f1 + f2)t + cos 2π(f1 - f2)t ]

## difference frequency term

trigonometry in music – the Theremin (2)
1929 (RCA)

f1 f1 + f2
f1 - f2 f1 - f2
today
f2
(Moog Etherwave)

## Dr. Robert Moog

Theremin - example
Pamelia Kurstin – Autumn Leaves
• scales
• intervals
• consonance and dissonance
• key signatures - circle of fifths
• major and minor chords
• dissonant chords
• tension and resolution
• musical notation – a binary system
• time signatures - 4/4, 3/4 and others
• mathematics in structure – 12 bar blues
• trigonometry in music – the Theremin
thank you – any questions?