Mathemusicality is back

It’s February 29 again, which means it’s time to announce that this blog is being resurrected. Stay tuned for a post on Schubert (and Schenker).

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2 Responses to Mathemusicality is back

  1. Antoine Beaudet says:

    Hi James, I’ve been reading your old posts lately, and I have to admit, even though I like Westergaard’s contrapuntal approach, I have a problem with it.

    Are there pieces of music which would be impossible to generate using his method? Or, is there a correlation between the perceived complexity of a piece of music and it theoretical complexity? which in this case could be defined as the number of operations performed on the basic structure, I suppose) Does Westergaardian theory take consonance into consideration?

    At that point, though, one wonders what the point of a theory of music would be. IMO, it should reflect the probability distribution of the music that is created and enjoyed. If all possible pieces of music are equally likely assuming Westergaardian theory, then it has no predictive power and I wouldn’t see it as a valid theory.

    By the way, I think that given your math background, you might be interested in contemporary microtonal tuning theory. I see it very much as a generalised music theory. For example, regular temperament theory can easily answer questions such as: given a set of pitches, how are the consonant chords structurally related to eachother? It is somewhat related to Neo-Riemannian theories.

    Oh, actually, that’s another thing that bothers me: does Westergaardian theory explain why the tonic chord is so important? Regular temperament theory, combined with Harmonic Entropy (which maps the continuous interval-space to a degree of consonance by asking how hard it is for your brain to relate all the pitches to a single harmonic series) totally does!

    Anyway, I do enjoy your posts and I hope your answer will clarify some things for me!

  2. […] isn’t the post I promised, but I didn’t want to let the month of May pass without sharing my thoughts on a rather timely […]

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