Music, Math, and Motion
Last Updated: 05/06/2008
Fall and Winter quarters
Academic web site: academic.evergreen.edu/curricular/mmm
Major areas of study include music theory, fundamentals of digital audio, acoustics, physics and mathematics.
Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
Prerequisites: Basic music theory and algebra proficiency.
Mathematics and physics give us languages to describe existing worlds; music and the arts give us languages to describe not-yet-existing worlds. We need both: without knowing what is, we could not ask for what is not. Since Pythagoras' time, people have explored patterns of connections between music and mathematics. If you are drawn to mathematics or physics because of your love of music, or vice versa, this program is for you.
The composition of music and the analysis of sound, using scientific methodology, creative insight, and contemporary technology, will be the intertwined pathways of our program. We will address subjects such as music and sound, rhythms and pulses, harmonics and resonances, the physical, geometrical, and psycho-physical bases of sound, acoustics and vibrating systems.
A composer/musician and a mathematical physicist will collaborate to offer a common sense, accessible and deeply engaging introduction to these subjects for interested non-specialists. Our math and physics will be at a pre-calculus level, though students may do research projects at a more advanced level if they choose. Interdisciplinary projects could include electronically creating music from physical formulae, analyzing the behavior of sound in different environments, or other ideas. This program is designed for those who find their art increasingly mediated by technology, for those who seek artistic outlets for their science, or for anyone who desires to understand the interweaving of art and science.
Student work will be evaluated through assignments such as homework, workshops, exams, performances, compositions, general participation, written and oral reports, and seminar essays.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Special Expenses: $100 for field trips and/or concerts.
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in music, computers, natural science, and education.