2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Mathemusiks: An Original Musical Composition Based on Mathematical Principles
Benjamin E. Listhartke
Dr. Warren Gooch, Faculty Mentor

Many of the intensely theoretical concepts which are found in mathematics also exist as composition tools within the field of music. For example, twelve-tone composition and set theory have a basis in mathematics and geometric visualization can play a role in music. This project involved research into the cross-disciplinary connections between mathematics and music, and culminated in an original musical composition entitled Mathemusiks. This three-movement work involves musical interpretations of elements drawn from three separate branches of mathematics. The movement to be discussed in this presentation, entitled “Geometry in Music,” explores geometric visualization as first demonstrated in Olivier Messiaen’s piano piece Modes de valeurs et íntensities. In “Geometry in Music,” the standard three dimensions of the natural world correspond to three axes of music. These axes form the foundation for the rest of the piece as the music is visualized.

Keywords: composition, geometry

Topic(s):Music
Mathematics

Presentation Type: Performance Art

Session: 1-3
Location: OP Performance Hall
Time: 10:00

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