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History of Mathematical Approaches to Western Music

History of Mathematical Approaches to Western Music

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Published by Stavros Girgenis

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Published by: Stavros Girgenis on Sep 08, 2012
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History of Mathematical Approaches to Western Music
Boris ReitmanFebruary 15, 2003
 
Abstract
Two simultaneous sounds are pleasing if the ratio of their frequencies is a rational number with small numeratorand denominator. The octave interval denotes two sounds with ratio 1
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2. It is impossible to perfectly subdivide1
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2 into a set of smaller intervals using only rational intervals. Various approximations (scales) are discussed.Also, an analytic theory for music composition is presented.
 
Contents
1 Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Psychology and philosophy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Ancient Greeks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33.1 Pythagoras: The Father of Music Theory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33.2 The Tetraktys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43.3 Consonance and Dissonance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43.4 The Diatonic Scale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53.5 Ancient Pythagorean Tuning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53.6 The Greek Modes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53.7 The Tetrachord. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53.8 Ptolemy’s Tuning of the Diatonic Scale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63.9 Archytas: Dividing the Consonant Intervals Further. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73.10 Problems with Just Intonation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73.11 Performed Music in Ancient Greece. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Medieval Theory and Practice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84.1 Sacred Chant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84.2 Secular Songs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84.3 Medieval Pythagorean Tuning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84.4 Guido of Arezza. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94.5 Note Names. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94.6 Guido’s Hexachord. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94.7 Gregorian Modes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94.8 Diatonic Major Tuning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94.9 Polyphony. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104.10 Consonance and Dissonance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Renaissance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115.1 The Rules of Counterpoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115.2 The Mean Tone Scale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115.3 Other Just Tunings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125.4 The Equal Tempered Scale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Twentieth Century Formalized Music Theory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136.1 Measuring Intervals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136.2 Interval content of a pc-set. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156.3 Twelve Tone Transformations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156.4 Prime Form Algorithm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166.5 Chains of SCs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166.6 More.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172

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