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TOK presentation on music and math

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by

Vivian Stolt

on 17 December 2013

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Transcript of TOK presentation on music and math

WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MUSIC AND MATHEMATICS?
2
2
REAL LIFE SITUATION
TO WHAT EXTENT CAN MATHEMATICS BE USED TO UNDERSTAND MUSIC?
CONCLUSION
Bach's music has often been claimed to be very mathematical

Can also be seen in other pieces of music

OWN REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE: Bach's first Solo Violin Partita is all about rhythms and is just a mess without a huge amount of counting
Music can be claimed to be closer to the pure truth than other "clearer" arts such as paintings and literature

So is math's - it is a simple, but pure truth that might seem complicated sometimes
Without mathematics music would be just a bunch of tones without any organization and therefore most probably wouldn't exist
Mathematics is one of the main building parts of music

Basically the theory of music is based on mathematics

By mathematical methods we can define rhythm, intervals (=the difference between different tones), tempo and key

It is an important tool in the job of all kinds of musical artists: composers, musicians, conductors...
YES: it can help us understand:
rythm
tones
greater wholes and phrases

NO: it can't help us (completely) understand
the deeper emotions and meanings of a musical piece
LIMITATIONS OF MATHEMATICS WHEN UNDERSTANDING MUSIC
WOK'S CONNECTED
Emotion, sense perception and reasoning
Mathematics = clear, precise

Music is NOT always clear, precise

Music should always have a deeper meaning, mathematics can not help with this
REASONING
SENSE PERCEPTION
EMOTION
BACK TO THE REAL LIFE
Mathematics is basically based on reasoning

Music have links to reasoning
Human awareness of things through our five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell).

Consists of sensation (sense organs) and interpretation (the brain; our mind)
One of the main aims of music is to provoke feelings and emotions

INTUITION: ability to sense or know immediately without conscious processing
a huge part of music is connected to mathematics

BUT it is not everything

it can not create emotions
Music is an art form that can be presented in numerous, possibly uncountable ways, but the logic and basis of theory (intervals, harmonies, rhythm, structure) can be explained mathematically.
THE ADVANTAGES OF MATHEMATICS WHEN UNDERSTANDING MUSIC
Perfection is often viewed as beauty

Mathematics is one of the many ways that allows to create musical perfection
Full transcript