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How Music and Mathematics Relate

Narrated by: David Kung
Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Great minds have long sought to understand the relationship between music and mathematics. Both involve patterns, structures, and relationships. Both generate ideas of great beauty and elegance. Music is a fertile testing ground for mathematical principles, while mathematics explains the sounds instruments make and how composers put those sounds together. 

Understanding the connections between music and mathematics helps you appreciate both, even if you have no special ability in either field - from knowing the mathematics behind tuning an instrument to understanding the features that define your favorite pieces. By exploring the mathematics of music, you also learn why non-Western music sounds so different, gain insight into the technology of modern sound reproduction, and start to hear the world around you in exciting new ways. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2013 The Great Courses (P)2013 The Teaching Company, LLC

What members say

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  • Daniel Patrick
  • 2019-04-29

Outstanding job of relating Music & Math. A+

If the title is appealing to you, then you will enjoy this course. Insightful, entertaining and just wonderful.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • JFH
  • 2019-06-30

You would do better with the video version

The Great Courses offer many courses in both audio and video. Sometimes the video portions of a lecture are of minor importance and the audio serves perfectly well. In this course, there are many instances where I wish I could have seen what Professor Kung was doing, including graphic representations of tones and overtones.
Professor Kung states at the beginning that a large part of the course will be devoted to understanding the mathematical formulas that can be used to described various aspects of music, especially the use of sines, cosines, and various sophisticated mathematical formulas. These are very hard to follow in the audio, although they can be seen in the course book. I really wasn't much interested in the math, but that's my own choice. Others might really enjoy it.
All that being said, I still give the course a 3. Kung has lots of interesting and understandable information and I am glad I waded through it. If I had a better knowledge of math and had seen it on video, I am sure it would have rated a 5.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-26

missing pdf

I WILL AMEND THIS RATING ONCE THE FOLLOWING IS ADDRESSED. where is the PDF That is supposed to accompany it? I have had this problem with other audio books as well... but some of the content of this audio book seems to lend itself to the visuals.