Tiling problems in music theory
Harald Fripertinger
Abstract
In mathematical music theory we often come across various constructionson
Z
n
, the set of residues modulo
n
for
n
≥
2
. Different objects constructedon
Z
n
are considered to be equivalent if there exists a symmetry motivated bymusic which transforms one object into the other one. Usually we are dealingwith cyclic, dihedral, or afﬁne symmetry groups on
Z
n
. Here we will comparepartitions of
Z
n
, sometimes also called mosaics, and rhythmic tiling canons on
Z
n
. Especially we will investigate regular complementary canons of maximalcategory in more details.
1 Introduction
In the present paper we compare two tiling problems of
Z
n
=
{
0
,
1
,...,n
−
1
}
,
the set of all residues modulo
n
for
n
≥
2
. We discuss how to partition theset
Z
n
in essentially different ways, and we describe a special class of canonswhich also partition
Z
n
. When speaking about partitioning of a set
X
, here
X
=
Z
n
, we assume that there exist an integer
k
≥
1
and nonempty subsets
P
1
,...,P
k
of
X
such that
X
=
P
1
∪
...
∪
P
k
, and the intersection
P
i
∩
P
j
isthe empty set for all
i
=
j
. Two partitions are called ’essentially different’ if there is no symmetry operation of
Z
n
which transforms one partition into theother one. Of course this notion heavily depends on what is assumed to bea symmetry of
Z
n
. If the temporal shift
T
, retrograde inversion
R
and afﬁnemappings
A
a,b
are determined by
T
:
Z
n
→
Z
n
i
→
T
(
i
) :=
i
+ 1
R
:
Z
n
→
Z
n
i
→
R
(
i
) :=
−
iA
a,b
:
Z
n
→
Z
n
i
→
A
a,b
(
i
) :=
ai
+
b a,b
∈
Z
n
,
then usually the cyclic group
C
n
:=
T
, the dihedral group
D
n
:=
T,R
, orthe group
Aﬀ
1
(
Z
n
) :=
{
A
a,b

a,b
∈
Z
n
,
gcd(
a,n
) = 1
}
of all afﬁne mappingson
Z
n
are symmetry groups on
Z
n
which can be motivated by music theory.(Cf. Mazzola (1990, 2002).)Such constructions on
Z
n
we are interested in can be best described in thenotion of discrete structures. The mathematical tool for working with symmetry operations are group actions, which will be introduced later.In general
discrete structures
are objects constructed as– subsets, unions, products of ﬁnite sets,