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Music and Mathematics

 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3079
Registered: Dec-06
Until recently, I've been aimless about most things.

However, years ago I lightly contemplated the significance of mathematics and its relationship to music.

http://www.spaceandmotion.com/mathematical-physics/mathematics-music-waves-vibra ting-space.htm

I've been trying to find a basis for a career path and I think that I want to do something that heavily integrates math and music. I created this thread hoping to see some discussion on the subject of music and mathematics, their relationship.

Alright then: Commence.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2021
Registered: Oct-10
Well Andre, I suggest you pour yourself a beverage and hunker down, because once people start seeing this thread, they're gonna answer your question in long form.

I don't have time to explain much now, but there is a lot to know. Time signatures, wave lengths and everything in between.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2894
Registered: Oct-07
Human beings are programmed to like music.

As an adjunct to your (coming) research, look up 'Schumann Resonance'.

I just LOVE certain types of free-form Jazz. Wife? not so much.
Same thing with painting and other graphic art. I love abstract art but she draws the line somewhere about point realism goes away......
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17437
Registered: May-04
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I'm not certain what you want from this thread, Andre. Any musician can easily explain that music is a language with a specific set of rules which it must follow. Those rules are (mostly) arranged by way of mathematics. Even the most free form style of composition is still a series of rules which are being followed according to what the math demands of it and us, the listener. While our mental construct of what we expect to occur next in music might be jarred by the insertion of an augmented 11th, the very concept of an augmented 11th could only exist if the mathematical rule was there to be exploited. And only then if the listener found the insertion of an augmented 11th to be, say, "unexpected" or "jarring".

You play an instrument, Andre, so you must understand how mathematics are the formal basis of musical composition along with the listener's expectations for what will come next. Play a I-IV-V progression and listen to the tension developed at the end of the progression by the V. Make the V a V7 and further increase the tension by manipulating the mathematics of the system. Resolve to the Major I and hear the tension released. Move instead to a I7 and the tension is not so resolved as before.

That a musician can speak to another musician, or someone schooled in music, in nothing other than numerals - and that they would understand the construct of a I-IV-V is not nearly the same as a I-iim-IV-V should be evidence of the link between music and math. That a I-IV-V does not imply an E-A-B progression but rather a floating equation for a specific musical passage is all you need to begin with when turning music into math. That a I-IV-V progression has a distinct and unique emotional imact on the listener when it is played in the key of E vs the key of Bb is far more interesting IMO.

What I find even more interesting, however, is the somewhat simplistic idea that music and math exist together in a vaccum only they share. To that I mean most musicians will tell you the math of a 4/4 timing with a dotted half note receiving, first, two beats of equal value and then one half of that composite value again. But remember that single dotted half note does not exist in a "time" which is fixed. The dotted half note's value is identical in time counted whether it is counted at 60 bpm or at 250 bpm. Yet the response of the listener to either amount of time, 60 or 250 bpm - though both are counted indentically by the performer and the listener - willl be immediately apparent and quite distinctly unlike the other. What is the mathematical value/relationship which dictates this occurence?

The issue, of course, is that "time" is not a mathematics problem - counting is, but not time itself - but rather a value which exists in many systems simultaneously. It is an experiential value which gives rise to the ability of a listener to accurately predict the "beat" of the music - even when they get the emphasis on the 1-3 vs the 2-4 wrong. And "time" is a physics value which exists only in our mind - we create time and time creates us. What does this imply for music played in "time"? (Pun intended.)

Music's mathematical relationship to the listener is largely a learned experience - though we are born with many of the needed values already installed on our mental hard drive. While most of the world now accepts a Western 12 note system, those people who listen to an 8 note system are hearing different mathematical relationships. Interestingly though, an octave's separation of, say, an A to another A (higher or lower in pitch) exists as an identical mathematical relationship across all music systems. That despite the fact the number of frequencies counted between a higher and a lower vs a lower and a lower yet A note would be dissimilar without logarithmic equations. (Not to confuse the issue too much, but what is the historical value of A=440 vs A=431? Is it based in math or in mysticism?) Further still, those who listen to music not as a series of pitch and timbre values (what makes a guitar a guitar and not a flute?) related to a melodic meter established through varying amplitude but instead as only "beats" - those types of music found in many ... "undeveloped" societies - hear nothing of the mathematics which are contained in either a Western or in a so called Eastern musical scale. Move the "beat" music into Western "folk" traditions and you have a new form of music. Introduce a "Devil's note" - a purely mathematical construction applied to a rigidly controlled belief system - to the form and you have a format which is neither accessible to Western traditional instruments nor related to any traditional mathematics of the music as a 'blue note" exists outside of the boundaries of Western language to adequately define it.

Therefore, music is more than "mathematics" alone, it is perception. Music does not exist without a listener or without a listener's perception. Think how strange a "blue note "field holler must have sounded to unaccustomed Western ears when first heard. The Western response was, of course, to ban all forms of music from the slaves. And while we can predict how many times the human ear drum will vibrate in compression/rarefaction response when a 1kHz note reaches its surface, we have little knowledge of what transpires along the path from the eardrum to the brain/mind where perception exists. We know some functions of music are shared experiences between humans and other animals and creatures of the earth. We also know many values in music are experienced only by way of human perception - or so we think since we have too little knowledge of animal perception. Taking "time" as a mental constuct only of the human mind and pairing it with perception existing - or being created? - only within the mind - "brain" and "mind" being distinctly different entities, we can largely remove music from mathematics and develop a new science of "cognition", or to some "Gestalt". If we are moved to an emotional response (in which our brain exerts certain chemicals) by music, does that imply we also can be moved equally by mathematcis? Even when we understand how neither is created?

So music is at its base, or at least appears to be, a human need and desire or, more specifically a mindful endeavour of humans. To my knowledge no human society exists in a void without music playing a part in the culture of the indigenous people. This despite the fact "higher math" is not existent in many of those societies. Yet we know other animals engage in what we humans would perceive as "music". (Would Pink Floyd make sense to a Venutian? What about to Free Willy? What about Schoenberg and a Martian?) Humans understand music largely as a series of mathematical clues; we expect 4/4 timing to have four equal beats - steps in time - per measure and we feel the discordant, incomplete, unsettling value of a I-IV-V progression stopped on a V7. A minor third make us "feel" one way while a major third makes us feel another way. Many of these same values exist in both Western and Eastern music and anyone can learn to "feel" the emotion of either set of mathematics - or of neither but rather of the beat only form. We all respond similarly to what would essentially be 2/2 "cut" time vs 6/8 time when it is played on a piano, a drum or a slap on our thigh. Unknowlingly perhaps, we all respond equally to a "music" signal which contains a larger content of high and odd order harmonics vs an identical fundamental frequency paired with mostly low value, even order additions. Screw with the expected mathematics of the sound by removing the trailing harmonics from each "musical" note and all instruments begin to sound alike, even the human voice. Yet our learned perceptual experience provides us the ability to differentiate our mother's voice from a thousand others like it. Scientists are still trying to unravel the "why?" and "how?" of the human capacity to hear their individual name spoken from the other side of a crowded, noisey room.



In closing here, I would suggest you spend some time, Andre, looking more deeply into "what is music?" Is it math? If so, what is the "music" we say we believe has been "created" by lower species? Can a whale understand Euclid or Pythagoris? How does music remove itself from math to become only time based? Is time a set of mathematics also? Or, only a series of experiences we use to understand mathematics? Can music exist without time? Can time exist without music? If time and music both only exist within the (human) mind, what are time and music in reality?

How does the mind's plasticity create music when the brain has been damaged in certain areas? We know certain parts of the human brain "light up" or are active both untangling and piecing together "music" when it is perceived. Why is that? And what mechanisms allow the human mind to differentiate between multiple and unrelated stimuli such as; the sound of traffic, the sound of a HVAC system running, the purring of a cat seated beside us, the clock ticking in the next room, conversation by other people and a Bach violin partita playing through the audio system all arriving at our eardrum simultaneously. What is the mechanism which allows the human mind to "categorize" the events and separate out only the Bach as the stimulus we wish to "hear"? So far we have been unable to develop an ultrafast computational system with such discrimination of events. That, of course, leads us to the question; if our minds work as computers firing a series of chemical 1's and 0's to other parts of the brain, what makes the human mind so unique and yet so pitifully slow in computational power when compared to even the slowest laptop?

I could go on and on because the questions are all out there and many questions still remain unasked. Without a clear idea of where you intend this thread to go, there's not much point in going forward until you become more specific in your desires. I would, however, suggest you begin with this; http://www.amazon.com/This-Your-Brain-Music-Obsession/dp/0452288525




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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2897
Registered: Oct-07
Jan, I'll read your long form post later, but I'd like to react to 'rules'.
You bet....rules are important, but Breaking them is also important and it may partly be the 'unexpected' which triggers a pleasure reaction.
 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25544
Registered: Jun-06
"Human beings are programmed to like music. "



Seeing as humans create the music it likes it poses a novel thought.


What do YOU look to take away from music? Is it to soothe common everyday stress or is it simply a satellite form of entertainment? I commonly find myself listening to Xmas music throughout the year because it brings me pleasant thoughts, by association of course.

I'm not a madman but I'll use my collection to serve me anyway I deem fit. Should I need some Buble one night or Sammy Davis Jr the next, whatever fits the bill for that day. Heck even the crickets chirping sometimes suffice.


Whatever pleases your soul. Run with it.


Music 101.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2025
Registered: Oct-10
"Jan, I'll read your long form post later, but I'd like to react to 'rules'.
You bet....rules are important, but Breaking them is also important and it may partly be the 'unexpected' which triggers a pleasure reaction."


Dave Brubeck Buddy!


"What do YOU look to take away from music? Is it to soothe common everyday stress or is it simply a satellite form of entertainment? I commonly find myself listening to Xmas music throughout the year because it brings me pleasant thoughts, by association of course."

Jazz facinates me. Ballads of any genre, soft rock and easy listening releave stress and help me unwind. Heavy Metal puts me in a good mood when I am angry and classical does more for me than I can explain.

 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25545
Registered: Jun-06
I've recently had the pleasure of introducing some very influential music from my time to my son, who is 12. In today's world that is like raising the Titantic lol.

You know what? He digs it. He actually listened to some of the tracks and likes them.

I know music is generation linked and I was facing an uphill battle exposing him to it anyway but I gave it a shot. I kinda won lol.



If anyone else has seen the movie "Mr Hollands Opus", knows what I speak of.


It's a great movie.
 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25546
Registered: Jun-06
I'm a fan of the people, and the "music" they produce in their lives. THAT"s what the movie is about. To me it means so much more.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2027
Registered: Oct-10
Oddly Paul, my 23 year old son listens mostly to music I grew up on. I encouraged him to explore his own generation's music, but most of it doesn't impress him.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2900
Registered: Oct-07
15 years ago.....maybe more.....the gearhead (motocross STAR) from across the street was visiting. His kid had NEVER been exposed to what I had on the stereo. Gary and I were in the back of the room talking while the 6 or 7 year old was sitting in the sweet spot.

He turned around and SHHHH'D us.

My 22yr old neice loves vintage 50s type rock and even owns a Poodle Skirt. Go Figger.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2028
Registered: Oct-10
Younguns enjoying old music is great! When my son got Ozzy's "Black Rain", first thing he wanted to do is listen to it with his Dad.
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3080
Registered: Dec-06
Not much to say at the moment, not in a good mood for writing.

Intro to Spatial Audio
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2031
Registered: Oct-10
Well Andre, I hope this post finds you in a better mood.

I am one of the bass voices in the choir at my church. Without consciously counting and/or calculating, I know instinctively when to start and stop singing, what note to sing when, how loud or soft, how long to hold a note, etc. calculations are being done by my brain on a subconscious level all the time. Sorta makes for less work than having to count measures and beats therein eh?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17441
Registered: May-04
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"You bet....rules are important, but Breaking them is also important ... "


There are no rules in music which can be broken, leo. The essentials of the Western Major scale has existed for over 2,000 years. All other scales which exist in Western music are derived - through math - from that one Major scale. The now commonly accepted method of using that scale to create melodies has been established for about 500-600 years.

There are no more rules to conceive and you cannot break one of the existing rules. Possibly this is why Stephen Hawkings never played a musical instrument.

No matter how you try, no matter what you do, what you'll have accomplished is perfectly within the mathematics and the rules of the 12 note scale of Western music. That fact is at the heart of Charley Parker's and Miles Davis' contribution to music and has never been broken by anyone who has followed them. Nothing is new, all is ancient. It may be new to "your" ears or to "my" ears, but there are no rules which exist that are "broken" by contemporary players.

Even Cage's "4':33"" is not a new rule or even a broken or slightly bent rule; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E Watch as the conductor turns the pages of the score and strikes the downbeat for each section of the work. That in and of itself represents the musicians and the audience following the rules which the Greeks established for counting time in music - therefore, a rule exists even when no music as we know it exists. That is the message of the work's title; "4'33"'. Cage sought to shock with the very personal perception of the "music" as each listener experiences the "music of nothingness" which they will be required to perceive within the time required to perform the piece according to the rules of music. The audience will acknowledge the passing of musical "time" as the conductor marks each movement anddo so again at the finality of the alloted "time" as the musicians end their performance. To achieve that effect, Cage had to rely upon the well known and understood rules of music and math as they have existed for centuries. Even Barney Fife would leave the concert hall saying, "Nothing new to see here, folks, break it up, break it up."


I can't write a staff on this forum but, if I could, I would have you follow the idea of a simple "rule" which has been established by a simple melody of our creation. Let's start our melody on an E note. So the melody exists, according to widely accepted rules, in the key of "E" with that note as its tonic or root - what some might call its "tone center". We could argue the melody does not have to exist in the key of E just because that is our first note but that would be relying on other well established rules from which we would be making our argument.

From music theory we know that "E major is a (diatonic) major scale based on E, with the pitches E, F, G, A, B, C, and D. Its key signature has four sharps. Its relative minor is C-sharp minor, and its parallel minor is E minor."; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_major

We know this to be true because the rules of math which dictate a 12 note Western music scale tell us a diatonic Major scale in any key is established by counting a Whole-Whole-Half-Whole-Whole-Whole-Half progression or in semi-tone steps 2-2-1-2-2-2-1. We are not allowed to break that rule or the mathematics which coincide with that rule if we are to play any melody or scale in a Major key. We can alter the way we approach the rule but that deviation must still follow accepted rules and math what the Greeks termed "modes" of the same mathematical rules. (Sort of like division is just another mode of the ruled determining percentages.)

There are no exceptions allowed. We can take the pentatonic scale out of the E Major scale by extracting only the notes required to form the five note "penta"-tonic scale for example. The rule and the math for a pentatonic scale are to use only the Root -2-3-5-6 notes of the E Major scale. We can alter the Major pentatonic to a minor pentatonic by using only the Root -b3-4-5-b7 notes. We can take the minor pentatonic and add a flatted fifth which will give us what is known as the "blues scale". But no matter what we do to the arrangement of notes, steps or intervals within a scale, we must use the mathematics of the sacle which follow essential math rules (1 comes before 2 and 6 follows 5 and so on). Those same rules dictate that after we reach the 13th interval we have a scale which has folded back over onto itself and we are once again back at the original scale and we begin again to count from 1 - or the Root note which, in this case, would be E. Musicians are taught this when they are given "The Circle of Fifths"; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjH4SFqNKtk Interestingly - to some folks at least - the Circle of Fifths can also be referred to as the circle of Fourths because the same math applies whether you are counting forward or backward from any note. In other words, any note can become the Root - the first note or 1 note but the Major scale will always be constructed in the same Whole-Whole-Half-Whole-Whole-Whole-Half step progression or 2-2-1-2-2-2-1 progression.

So let's retun to our melody and begin again on E. If we simplify the melody to only include the steps found in the minor pentatonic of E we would have a melody which begins on E (any other beginning note will [in theory] now move us away from playing the E minor scale and put our melody into a "modal" scale). From E we will ascend to the next note in the minor pentatonic and follow upwards individually through the other notes in the scale. That would give us a pattern of E-G-A-B-D in ascending order. The rules of math and music say this is so. If we try to alter or to break this rule, we find we have simply flipped ourself over into another set of rules determined by identical math but not identical steps.

After we reach the highest note in the E minor pentatonic scale (D), we return to the original beginning note and once again play the low E. Following that note we once again ascend through the five note scale. We'll repeat this melody five times, each time returning to the lowest E in the pentatonic and ascending to the next highest D.

On the sixth run through of this melody we will move to playing the six note E minor blues scale rather than (only) the five note E minor pentatonic scale. So the melody will be in common time, which is 4/4, with four beats to be divided in each measure and one quarter note receiving one full beat. Start counting 1-2-3-4 for each note in our melody and after "4" start over again at "1". So, 1-2-3-4/ 1-2-3-4/ 1-2 ... with each "/" marking the beginning of the subsequent measure.

E-G-A-B/ D-E-G-A/ B-D-E-G/ A-B-D-E/ G-A-B-D/
E-G-A-Bb/ B-D-E-G

Imagine in your head what that would sound like, a constantly ascending five note scale repated five times in the same note order. On the sixth repetition of the melody the interval between the A and the B is now interrupted by the insertion of the "blue note" flatted fifth which is the Bb. Sort of as if you were singing Do-Re-Mi-Fa/ So-La-Ti-Do/ Do-Re-Mi-Fa/ Su-So-La-Ti/ ...

That is jazz.

That's what the rules say at least.


We could have inserted any note which is reachable on any particular instrument in place of the flatted fifth of the blues scale but it would have been a note which could be found by counting either forwards or backwards on the Circle of Fifths/Fourths. There are no exceptions to that rule - none!

There are no rules to break, leo, only expectations.

And how do we as listeners unfamiliar with the Circle of Fifths/Fourths reach our expectations? By the math and the rules we have never heard being broken because they cannot be broken. When our expectations are not met, we need to adjust our expectations to the new reality. This is a Platonic rule which states the audience member can accept anything will occur once the idea has been established that something might occur. In other words, if a playwright develops a plot line which gets a character in such trouble that only divine intervention can resolve the tension, then a deux ex-machina resolution must be established as a possible occurence before the intervention takes place. If that posibility has not been established prior to the intervention, the audience will feel the plot has remained unresolved. If, on the other hand, the audience has been informed of the potential for a divine intervention somewhere within the development of plot line, they can accept divine intervention as the sole logical device which could extricate the character from the mess the playwright put them in.

The same rules apply to our little melody. We have not previously established the existence of the flatted fifth in our repititious melody line as it develops across the first five meaures. The audience might know of the existence of the blues scale just as the Greeek audiences knew playwrights had previously used the deux ex-machina as a plot device. However, until our melody suggests the blues scale will be used, the audience goes along thinking our melody is not all that interesting and is certainly repititious. At the sixth measure they have no particular reason to expect anything other than another repitition of the five note pentatonic minor scale. When the six note blues scale is played in the sixth measure, their expectations are altered but within the rules of Western music scales. Once the expecation of another scale being played has been established, the audience is not so easily fooled the next time even if we don't play the blues scale that time through but rather move to the modal Dorian scale.

All of these alterations exist within the rules of Western music as established by the mathematics of Western music.

If you can think of a specific rule which has ever been broken in music, please let me know. The "Devil's Note" doesn't count as that was a rule established by the Church of the time and used only as a method of controlling the faithful. The flatted fifth already existed in music whether the Church liked it or not. Bach proved that.


To Andre's op, the question to ask about rules is, why does the Western listener's mind - not their brain - expect to hear the same five note minor scale played in the sixth measure? What would someone accustomed to an 8 note scale expect to happen in the same situation? One of the unique qualities of a pentatonic scale is it exists in virtually all forms of tonally based music through out the world. So would someone accustomed to an 8 note scale be taken aback in the same a Western music listener might be when the blues scale is inserted into the melody? If not, why?

What about the fact that, should we be monitoring the listener's brain activity at the time we play our melody, the brain's electrical/chemical activity will indicate the physical brain itself is "expecting" the five note minor pentatonic scale to be played in the sixth measure and "precipitating" activity will be shown in those regions which are responding to music? How does that separate the electrical/chemical brain activity from the expectations of the human mind? And, from perception? What is occurring within the mind that raises the expectations which are then altered by the playing of the blues scale? If the listener recognizes the possibility the blues scale might show up, why are they taken aback by its appearance? The answer, of course, would be the mathematical rules of Western music. They "know" it because the rules cannot be broken.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17442
Registered: May-04
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"Human beings are programmed to like music. "



That's not entirely true. Humanoids seem to be programmed to seek communication with others. Humans by nature tend to be communal creatures, this was a basic survival mechanism thousands and thousands of years ago. Lacking musical instruments 10k years ago, communication was not possible through the use of "music" as we know it today. What developed in our evolutionary past is more likely to be a response to the fight or flight requirements of a life in which a sabre toothed tiger might have you for dinner if you reached the wrong preceptual conclusion. Therefore, human perception of events existing deep in our ancestral history might - as one theory goes - have developed into a need to express the conditions of the time. That expression eventually grew into communication through the use of what was available to our ancestors at the time; a hollow tree stump, their hands and mouth, eventually a hollow reed, etc. These means of sharing ideas were then imprinted on our modern cognitive systems ages and ages ago.


One argument goes something along the line of a symphonic orchestra's seating arrangement having been established in our perceptual memory banks while humans still wore animal skins. The cognition of a sound emerging from right or left, front or rear was a mechanism exploited by ancient man when they needed to know where the tiger was when they heard the growl coming from the bushes. Obviously, a lot transpired between then and the time a symphony was first established. The point is that we have an imprint on our cognitive/perceptual skills which does not make music as important to our life as does basic survival. Music came along much later in evolution.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17443
Registered: May-04
.

OK, Andre, I've looked through your link to "intro to spatial audio". I still don't get what you want from this thread. That article(?) has nothing to do with mathematical relationships in music. It has everything to do with the math of "audio" and of computers.

Where are you heading with this, Andre?



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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2903
Registered: Oct-07
I see what you mean, Jan. Humans today are still limited and conditioned by what had 'survival value'. Things like color vision and why men almost all have color blindness of one sort or another while women seem.....less effected, are probably survival / need driven.



As a total aside, Humans are on the verge of finding out if Intelligence has Survival Value.
The 'overlay' of music takes advantage of pre existing programming and makes new use. The roots of course, go way back. Imagine a bunch of cave guys hanging around and somebody makes a noise. Somebody else reacts to the echo and you have the start of vocalization to communicate something beyond....danger...there! Later, somebody hit a couple sticks together and you had the start of the rhythm section. Even Stonehenge has Acoustic properties which effect people.
I think evolving in the Schuman Field made it almost inevitable.

Whenever you trace the origin of a skill or practices which played a crucial role in the ascent of man, we usually reach the realm of play.
Eric Hoffer
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2032
Registered: Oct-10
"Humans are on the verge of finding out if Intelligence has Survival Value."

Survival depends on instinct, not intelligence and not to be overly theological, but the will of God is first and formost in our survival or failure to survive. He gave us a spirit of survival which can not be broken. People who survive dissasters, famine, disease, etc. Don't survive because they have higher IQs than those who don't. Some of the people who survived 9/11 were not especially bright, but they reacted the right way at the right time. Others survived because someone else reacted the right way at the right time, often giving up their own lives for others. Out of those who did not survive, some were very intelligent and some were not. Some simply had no chance. Some of them were on or above the floor where the plane hit or on the plane. Others were below it, but not able to get out quick enough. What I've posted so far doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of all of the variables present to determine who'll live and who'll die in a given situation. Some people have survived polio without permanent injury. Most survivors have life long disabilities as a result and most cases of polio are fatal.

We humans invent machines which are dangerous to use, like the car. We then have to invent safety devices; seatbelts, air bags, anti-lock brakes, etc in order to survive using them. Circular saws need guards over the blades and trigger safeties. How many deaths and injuries result before safety devices were required by law? How smart is a company being when it makes an unsafe product and waits for laws and law suits before making them safe? Not very.

We use a bunch of technology like nuclear power and nuclear weapons which have a great potential for harm. We use cell phones which are rumored to cause brain cancer and many people text and get online while driving and do lots of other things which are just plain stupidly dangerous. If anything, our "smarts" are more likely to kill us than do us as much good as we percieve. However, by the grace of God, we're still here after 6600 years and in much greater number.

So, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the notion that intelligence has much survival value.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2904
Registered: Oct-07
Human beings have, for the first time ever, the ability to take themselves OUT of the cosmic gene pool.
If 'WE' take outsevles out, will that prove intelligence has NO survival value or we are not (were not) intelligent?
IF we survive the current shunt, will that prove we are intelligent or just lucky?....if you call this luck.....

One thing which is common to this discussion from beginning to end is that people are Very Very good at pattern recognition. In fact, people will observe patterns (hear, see, feel) even when none exist. I find it interesting that people have been seeing patterns in the night sky for multiple millenia. My 'Stellarium' program....a terrific freebie, BTW, shows 11 different schemes of constellations. Our western system bears a close resemblence to the Egyptian system. In Dendera a room has a Zodiac on the ceiling. This Zodiac? 12 divisions and familiar patterns.

http://www.stellarium.org/
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2905
Registered: Oct-07
Also for your consideration::

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musica_universalis
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2034
Registered: Oct-10
"Human beings have, for the first time ever, the ability to take themselves OUT of the cosmic gene pool.
If 'WE' take outsevles out, will that prove intelligence has NO survival value or we are not (were not) intelligent?
IF we survive the current shunt, will that prove we are intelligent or just lucky?....if you call this luck....."


I don't think it's quite that simple Leo. We have the ability to mess with genetics, but that's a long way from being able to control the results. What we'll prove if we take ourselves out is that we did not use our intelligence wisely. Knowledge is knowing that the tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put one into fruit salad. Knowledge is knowing things, widom is knowing the best way to apply knowledge Scientists in every field have been learning a great many things for years. However, they have used their knowledge foolishly, IMO, in more cases than not. Ever hear where the "killer bee" came from? Some biologysts thought it would be a good idea to mix an African honey bee (similar in most respects to the American honey bee) with a very agressive carnivorus bee (I forget the breed). For some reason, they thought that the aggressive nature of the meat eating scavenger would result in an increase in honey production. The result: A very aggressive bee that is easily provoked, stings its victim to death and produces very little honey. We humans have always been our own worst enemy, but at the same time, we've been fruitful and multiplied. That has been our saving grace and will continue to be so. The day I stop seeing 16 to 45 year old females with babies everywhere I go, I'll start worrying about the survival of the human race.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2908
Registered: Oct-07
Man will of course mess with himself without regard for consequences. I'm sure that when certain defects are contained....some of the good will go with 'em.

But, Here we are. The same creature as we were say.....20,000 years ago. Territorial, mean spirited and not all even thinking about 'the high road'. Half the world would simply kill the other half without a second thought....and for what really amounts to a disagreement over which end of the egg to start from.

No, I'll stick to what I said. Are humans actually intelligent? An active experiment is being run right now. The result is a little more important that what color some liquid in a test tube turns, but here we go anyway.

Learning something is not the same as intelligence.

The Bees escaped from a Lab in Brazil. Is that the right story? It took 'em YEARS to make it to the US and nobody even asked for a passport. They are visually indistinguisable from the 'standard' European Honey Bee......

You need to do some research on 'The Limits to Growth' which are fast approaching or perhaps even 'The Georgia Guidestones' which should scare the crapola out of 'ya.

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/17-05/ff_guidestones?currentPa ge=all
One of several sites devoted to the stones.....this one is perhaps the fairest of the bunch.....

or

http://limits-to-growth.org/

I recently found my original '73 paperback and I'm glad I did. The cost of a replacement is running 30$+ so don't ask to borrow it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2037
Registered: Oct-10
I think we are talking about the same story with the bees. It was a foolish experiment from the start IMO. Those bees are in the U.S. now and most people don't realize what they're dealing with till it's too late.

Once you take man's existance beyond the 6600 to 7000 year range, you lose me. I simply don't buy evolution. Never did, never will. I agree that we are mean spirited, mess with ourselves and other species w/o thought to consequences, et. I just don't buy the notion that our survival is about being intelligent.

That's where I stand and I stand by it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17447
Registered: May-04
.

I learned a new word; "eschatology"; http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eschatology


"Among them is an activist named Mark Dice, author of a book called The Resistance Manifesto. In 2005, Dice (who was using a pseudonym of his own "John Conner" appropriated from the Terminator franchise's main character) ... "




Ya gotta love it. "John Conner"! lol!


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17448
Registered: May-04
.


ANNNDRRREEE, oh, Andreeeeee


Come rescue your thread, Andre.




.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2038
Registered: Oct-10
Yes, we are off topic...again!

John Conner, eh? Sounds like someone takes the Terminator too seriously. Lol!
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3081
Registered: Dec-06
I have been reading the thread, but have lacked the words to give any input. Even though I'm not in the proper mood now either, I'll post anyway.

When I seed a thread, the post tends to be vague. This leads to a wider set of responses that don't benefit me personally. They may benefit others though. I'm worried if I get too specific with the original post, the thread won't develop properly or at all.

I'll take a step back and say I'm interested in the connection between art and science in general.

In terms of music and mathematics, the patterns in music itself and the relationships between the notes are interesting, but that's not what I meant so much. However, all of your posts are a good backdrop to my intentions.

I'm interested in representing the interactions between vibrations that make up music, especially in a recording sense. That includes a mathematical representation of the regular vibration of a string, for example, transferring itself through air, into a microphone, *through all of the electrical manipulations*, through to a transferrence back to a sound wave. Then, I'm especially interested in a mathematical representation of psychoacoustics in the ear-brain-mind complex.

My previous links are just food for thought, not directly related to my intention. Well, the the link in the first post is closely related. I'll re-post it since it seems to have broken.

Mathematical Physics, Truth, and Reality
Mathematics and Music

The idea of music as I think of it is a sort of resonance within a system (resonance in neural pathways or something like that?) that could be explained mathematically with an equation that shows the points of resonance (idk how to say this), their transferrence across to the next medium or stage of the equation, etc.

To describe such a system mathematically, I'm guessing I'd need to use a sort of transcendental differential equation.

That's my best guess about that, for now... If someone knows what I'm trying to say, feel free to paraphrase to help others get my meaning.

...

The point of all of this, the end goal, is to get a grasp on how I could expand or improve on the current process for sound production and reproduction. Ranging from the melodies, progressions of the music, the actual vibrational patterns involved physically, ways to represent these ideas in a stored format (right now, it's most common to do it with a digital representation, PCM or a derivative like MP3), converting from a form of energy to another without loss (right now, electromechanical interfaces like speakers do this), then the psychoacoustics side, which is equally important (hence the word equation) and a part I'm lacking info on.
...

Ways to say this in a less cryptic format:

Current speaker tech. Although the radiation patterns vary continuously between the three, speakers tend toward point-source, line-source, or plane-source designs. With the recent advances in information tech, it is becoming more plausible to implement reproduction through a large number of channels (delta information) that can represent a full soundfield and wavefield of resonance created by a large number of transducers receiving different signals.

I'd add more, but I can't save this where I am and I am out of time. Sorry about the mess and lack of simple/specific explanations. Anyone please help me out in explaining what I mean.
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3082
Registered: Dec-06
I've got a moment to add a bit to the above.

If you haven't read this yet, it does a good job of explaining one aspect of what I'm trying to say. Approaching it with mathematical thinking might give a glimpse of where I'm trying to go with this. As an aside, the term mathematical thinking as I intend means focusing on the relations between ideas and how they interact with each other. Although numbers and math symbols do represent this type of thinking, things can be understood in the same conceptual manner without using them.

Cognitive Neuroscience of Music

Also, I believe some of the grounding behind the idea of music preferences being based on generation is in the plasticity of the young brain. The brain processes and adapts, resonating in certain ways throughout the neurons to create pathways that correspond to stimuli, changing how the person views and understands the world as an adult.

Or so scientific theory suggests...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17452
Registered: May-04
.

Andre, you're all over the place with this. The way I read your posts, you say your desire is to begin with the harmonic/timbral structure of possibly all known musical instruments, investigate music theory's mathematics, tie that into how music is recorded - the music "transfering itself through air"?, investigate what occurs as music goes "through all of the electrical manipulations" - of what? the studio, the mastering process, the playback process, all of that?, the transduction of electrical impulses (representing music's energy) back into mechanical motion by some sort of new(?) loudspeaker system, the spatial characteristics of known and possibly unknown loudspeaker systems, the acoustics of all environments in which that speaker - or speakers - systems might exist, then express that entire process in a single mathematical equation which would represent the whole of the psycho-acoustic values of perception beginning with the harmonic/timbral complexity of any and all known and possibly unknown acoustic and non-acoustic instrument?

In which listener? A left handed listener? Or, a right handed listener?



"To describe such a system mathematically, I'm guessing I'd need to use a sort of transcendental differential equation."


Possibly you meant this but I believe "tanscendental equations" and "differential equations" are distinct from one another. Either way, now we're into computer science?

That doesn't sound like a bit much, especially for a teenager, to take on?


Andre, when I first proposed my MFA thesis, the biggest problem many of my fellow students encountered was narrowing down their topic to chewable, digestible bite-sized chunks of information which could be covered within a few hundred pages at the most. The secondary requirement was the topic and the discussion had to be of the sort that someone schooled in such topics would be able to understand and criticize the thesis. Finally, the topic needed to be something which had not already been discussed to death. In the end, the thesis had to be something someone else would want to read. What new ground are you expecting to break by investigating the harmonic/timbral structure of a musical instrument? Or, of the acoustics of the loudspeaker/environment relationship?

What you've proposed is an entire supermarket of ideas, not a digestible portion. Not a portion any one person could investigate thoroughly in an entire lifetime.


And you have links which will lead you to further links regarding all of the topics you've mentioned, plus those related fields you have not, filled with peer reviewed papers from PhD's working in their respective fields. Those alone should keep you reading for months if not years.






What exactly do you expect us to contribute to a discussion of any one of those topics that a 100 PhD's before us have not already said?



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17453
Registered: May-04
.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/science/skulls-engineered-to-take-hard-knocks. html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2910
Registered: Oct-07
Isn't transcendental a kind of meditation? Or eating without teeth?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17454
Registered: May-04
.

Socrates dialectical Procedure: For an overall view what is now necessary is the movement of consciousness from knowledge of particular objects to an understanding of general concepts."

Socrates (469-399) BCE



http://www.math.odu.edu/~jhh/chs2.pdf


I feel Andre may have taken the word "general" far too much to heart for the purposes of this thread.


I also feel Andre is under the mistaken impression any of us remember enough high school algebra to be conversant in the subject.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?pagewanted=all


At my age, I'm barely ahead of the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell who can't figure out correct change from a $7.56 charge when I hand him a $10 bill and six pennies.




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Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3083
Registered: Dec-06
Yes, my viewpoint is very broad right now. I'm trying to step back and observe all of the conceptual relationships within the mathematics-music connection (which could be represented visually by an equation or a map), then take it from there to a tighter focus.

As for involving mathematics in my posts, that could attract a new breed of eCoustics forum participants (and adding related links to the discussion, as I understand it, increases the PageRank value of this URL) and readers, but is ineffective for a lot of existing posters. Explaining what I mean purely conceptually sounds annoying as compared to math.

Step-by-step to your first-paragraph rhetoric: Actually creating such an equation might require some multi-dimensional physics formula to integrate the parts together, but all of those parts fit together fairly well logically. The transcendental differential equation thing simply means an equation that includes differentials (which represent a rate of change of one concept with respect to the rate of change to another concept, such as time) and transcendentals (concepts like regular/simple vibration can be represented with composites of sine and cosine, and then there are situations where exponents themselves are variable, common when modelling real/natural phenomena). Dimensional analysis would be a huge factor in creating an equation to represent all those parts.
By electrical manipulations, I mean anything the electrical signal goes through between sound capture at a diaphragm (assuming current tech again) and conversion back to sound waves, including the wires, possible A/D, digital manipulation of the samples, transfer to a consumer's medium (CD, manipulation to become a lossy compression file), all the way through anything else to transduction into sound.
The air vibration (or instrument vibration) probably relies on some physics equation that would just be added as a variable (likely the form P(t,x,y,z...) depending on the phase of the equation).
A psycho-acoustic model makes the most sense to me if it uses (genetics)(experience) as a function of time, and might require a higher-order integral (or differential?) to capture all facets of complexity involved within it.
Depending on the units used in various parts of the equation, its appearance would change drastically. As units get less precise (i.e. assuming certain things are constant to make it easier, even though they vary), information is lost. Find the balance. Example: In calculating the center of gravity for a laminar plate, a person may assume constant density, ignore the effects of forces surrounding the objects (functions of time), among another things so that they can treat it like a (no dimension) point-mass.

At least for now, I'm not planning on actually compiling this theoretical equation, but instead use a concept map (or a formula) to look at all of the relationships for personal benefit and move into a tighter focus (but keep effects of other components in mind when pursuing it). For the record, I'm recently 20+ y/o. I should update my profile.

More response to your rhetoric: Investigating the frequency composition of a sound (including the amplitude variations, frequency variations with time, etc) and what it means mentally when perceived (an important purpose of above-explained equation) could be useful at most (if not all) points in the sound-chain. It affects how you might play an instrument to get a sound, the instrument itself (possible whole new breeds that could be "solutions" to the earlier equation solving for certain psycho-acoustic properties), synthesis of sounds digitally (or in an electronic analog circuit) to get a sound (this time solving the electrical part of the equation as a sound origin for the same properties), and so many, many other possibilities. The loudspeaker-environment part of the equation fits into that.

With all of that, my expectation is to gravitate towards a certain aspect, but formulating my ideas and divergent thoughts from a comprehensive view with the intention of pushing the frontier of knowledge (or however you wish to define it) and looking back at it (assuming I don't die unexpectedly at some point, very possible) later, feeling content about having done what I ended up doing.


@Leo Funneh. In case you really want an answer, it's used to symbolize going outside of typical barriers. Mathematically, it's used to define a group of concepts that follow special rules. As a side note, I enjoy meditation. :P

The intention of my discussion is probably more appropriate for a different forum. However, therein lies the problem of combining art and science. I don't know where that would be, plus I like your perspectives more than other forums for some reason. If I have to bring up math again, I'll try not to define it that way and just use the concepts, leaving out any explicit algebra, trig, analytic geo, or calculus.

--------------

In other news, I was reading around and thought this fit my post well.

Organic Transistor with Different Properties from Today's Common Semiconductor

I think stuff like this with new properties could be very beneficial towards the means for increased enjoyment of music and better music in general in terms of electronics or human-computer interaction.

Steppin' stone... (Not your steppin' stone!)
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17457
Registered: May-04
.

Where are you going to school now, Andre? What are you taking? Have you chosen a major?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17459
Registered: May-04
.

I hate to be the presistent nay-sayer here, Andre, but you are still vastly over extended in your scope.

"I'm trying to step back and observe all of the conceptual relationships within the mathematics-music connection (which could be represented visually by an equation or a map), then take it from there to a tighter focus."

I believe this is called a "composition major" in the Music Department. A basic BA in composition would be about a four year course of study. You could, if you so choose and truly wish to (partially) master the field, then devote another four years plus to achieving a PhD in composition. At that point you would be writing your thesis on a topic culled from the "mathematics-music connection (which could be represented visually by an equation or a map)". That's eight years of intense classwork/performance just to cover the first sentence of your prospective studies.

No problem, you'll be about 30 when you finish that. If you've combined your composition education with a minor, or even a double major in, say, cognitive psychology or advanced physics, if you don't get distracted along the way, you can get a teaching job at a high quality college and there you could team up with other inquisitve instructors in various fields - electrical engineering or computer sciences maybe - and further your research into the combination of events you've laid out above. That should take you up to about 40-45 when you begin to co-author an article to be published on a subject within the boundaries of your combined fields. From there, and by the time you hit 50, it's all gravy as you hit the lecture circuit and make a name for yourself recalling to amused audiences the first walk in closet sized subwoofer you constructed in your bedroom.



Adding value to the forum is a fine idea but a forum this size requires additional daily hits in the several hundreds to make a small dent in the rates which can be charged to the advertisers. Just my opinion, but I think your original title to the thread might be a little vague to attract such numbers of visitors. Think about what search topic would be required to find this thread. Then consider the number of people who find it who would be conversant in any of the topics.

One problem being, you still have not addressed any subject. You have not proposed a single starting point for the discussion to begin from. Your links are all over the place and just saying, "Alright then: Commence", doesn't exactly cover any topic in sufficient detail to make for a conversation you say should span the cosmos of all things musical/mathematical/psychological/etc, etc, etc.




I would say the few posts I've made dealing just with the math of music are rather long and complicated and yet they barely scratch the surface of the topic. Musical life exists beyond a I-IV-V progression. But even those discussions needed to be started by a somewhat specific question. You really haven't done that yet. What then do you expect from someone who simply stumbles across this thread by accident? Where are they supposed to start? Assuming someone does fit the bill and engages you in a conversation, are you prepared to share any intellectual properties with a stranger for anything which might come of this?


"
The intention of my discussion is probably more appropriate for a different forum. However, therein lies the problem of combining art and science. I don't know where that would be ... "



The real issue here is it would not exist on a single forum. Individuals do not exist who have such a broad prespective across the many fields covered by your approach to "art" and "science" co-mingled.



Here's my advice, Andre, assuming you are attending or intend to go to a college at this time. Take your last post as an abstract prospectus for what you wish to accomplish in your education. Think about what fields would need to be covered by the whole and then break that down into its component parts; music, mathematics, psychology, etc. I would guess this should mean you would have made at least six copies of this abstract, one to cover each field of study required. Take one copy each and give it to the chairman of each department and one to your guidance counselor. Ask them to read the abstract and then set up an appointment with each of them to discuss what they have to offer which would lead you to a comprehensive education covering all aspects of the topics you've discussed.

Rather than deal with us, I think you might find it more interesting to have the perspective of someone more familiar with the individual aspects of each field as your starting point.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17460
Registered: May-04
.

You might also contact a group such as this; http://www.utdallas.edu/news/2011/1/13-8021_Findings-Show-Promise-in-Battle-Agai nst-Tinnitus_article.html

This is an ongoing research program that covers many of the topics you've mentioned. The thing about this group is, they are a "group". No one individual has the overall perspective on all fields and so they require many specialized individuals to fill out the group's requirements. I think this is what you are going to find, to truly know a topic means you cannot be a jack of all trades and master of none. And no one individual can be a master of all the fields you wish to explore. But a research group like this might be able to provide better guidance for a direction in which you should head.

The only other direction I can think to give you would be to contact Nelson Pass. He is a somewhat legendary electronics designer who is very willing to assist others, if, that is, they have sufficient curiousity and drive. He might also have a different bit of thinking on what you are trying to accomplish; http://www.passdiy.com/



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Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3084
Registered: Dec-06
School? I'm at the local community college and currently have a variety of general credits. I'll probably end up with enough credits in math to major in it, but it looks like I'm headed toward electrical engineering.

I'm not sure if I even want my life's work to center around music. Maybe audio. I like the idea of object-oriented production. Future headphone devices could include HRTF calibration for proper 3D playback, which is akin to soundfields generated from object-oriented audio in multi-speaker systems.

~Keeping the rest in mind
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17467
Registered: May-04
.

"I'm not sure if I even want my life's work to center around music. Maybe audio."


Just as an observation; the best audio designers I know of were, first and foremost, music lovers to their core. If you do not design audio with the intention of reproducing music as you perceive it, then you are only creating a box. Lots of people can design boxes. It takes a very special designer to capture what is in their head when they experience music and to do so consistently over several decades of design work.

I would encourage you to take a look at the history of McIntosh Laboratories as a lesson in designing to a set of perceived musical values. Frank McIntosh and Gordon Gow, along with all of the engineers present at the beginning of the company back in the late 1940's, were engineers of the highest calibre. Back then audio was a numbers game and not a subjective impression business. No one discussed how a speaker "imaged" or "staged" and what was left to the designers was reproducing music which was inviting and exciting.

Design the gear to meet the numbers and that was all any audio company had to do to be successful was a common philosophy back then. The problem confronting any audio company thinking in that simplistic manner existed in the large and looming name of Avery Fischer. This was a man who had had a very good symphony hall designed to meet his personal concepts of how music should be perceived by the rest of the world. Fischer then set out to build audio components which reflected that same philosophy. Therefore, any component bearing the Fischer Audio label had to first reproduce music to meet the subjective impressions of a single listener - Avery Fischer.

This made it impossible for any other company claiming high end status to not replicate the ideals of a subjective listening test before passing it on to the public. McIntosh was soon to be, along with Saul Marantz's original company, the audio company against which all others would be compared. The values that McIntosh and Gow directed their design efforts to meet; first, the engineering goals of good electrical audio design and, only then, to also meet the design goals of acheiving the preceived music reproduction ideals of the highest quality possible were those same values which established McIntosh as a company to be dealt with back then and now for the last 60 plus years. There are more than a few "Golden Age" designers worth studying, even more who came before the second world war who are legendary in establishing the very rules all designers must follow today. And they did so with not much more than an unquenchable curiousity and an old fashioned slide rule.

If you are going to work in audio today, you could certainly do worse than to know everything you can about Bell Labs and designers/philosophers such as Nyquist and Voight.

Unless you design with music as your ultimate goal, IMO, you're going to be just another worker bee in a very large hive where unproductive members are devoured by the rest. That's called "working for Sony". They turn out MP3 players.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17468
Registered: May-04
.

Should you have never required - nor desired - inspiration from an individual before, give Nikola Tesla a shot. I know many people; designers, engineers, avid hobbyists, who feel there has never been a mind like Tesla's at work in the modern world. The story could be a film script - or several film scripts - as it ultimately deals with the conflicts and rivalries between Tesla and Edison with fortunes riding on the outcome. One became a household name while the other has largely been forgotten in the dustbins - and serious geekdom - of history controlled by the most powerful


Highly recommended.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17469
Registered: May-04
.

Since you are interested in such a broad range of topics in a very broad range of fields, you might want to investigate a search site such as this; http://library.dialog.com/bluesheets/html/bl0035.html and this; http://grad.usask.ca/gateway/thesisabstractsindexpage.html

These links will provide you with abstracts for any dissertation or thesis which has been submitted by multiple universities to the cooperating services originating the web site. With this you can cover numerous unviersity works at one simplified, composite site rather than bouncing around without knowing exactly what you're looking for. This should also provide you with the most up to date and current thinking on any particular subject as many of these works will be the result of participation in on going research programs.

If you get into any of the sites listed from your search, you should be able to further narrow your search by doing a general topic search on that individual site. Such services were popluar when I was writing my thesis but, at that time, they were in book form which would cover numerous volumes and require replacement every few years. Today the information has been digitized and is accessible through the web. These sites, however, should provide a more focussed search than just doing a generic search engine where a dissertation/thesis might be several pages into the results.

If you know a specific university has been doing research in a specific field you are interested in, begin with their home site and then go to their library page. Place "dissertation abstracts" and "thesis abstracts" in their library's search system. Universities such as Stanford, the Universitiy of Oregon and SUNY Stony Brook all have active programs in the neuro-sciences and the cognitive sciences (with music as a focus) which would be a starting point IMO for much of what you wish to know regarding perception.

If you'll pick up a copy of the book I linked to in my first post, This is Your Brain on Music,and read it, I think you'll find the very wide diversity of topics and the very broad diversity of specializations covering the fields you seem to find interesting. This might help you understand more completely the scope of your desires and might also allow you a bit more insight into narrowing down your studies into more workable bites. Simply performing a search on its author, Daniel J Levitin, should provide a wealth of information and many, many links to other topics.



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Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3085
Registered: Dec-06
Now that I've moved forward a bit, it looks like signal processing should be my field of study, which entails electrical engineering. It does not appear "at first blush" that mathematics will be necessary as a major also, but I will find that out soon. Materials science and acoustics too, so a second major in physics will handle those.

There's a third major, but I won't say what. Graduate study is yet to be decided for certain, but it will entail a bit wider of a scope. Considering taking electrical engineering up another level as a grad student.

I figured since we spent so much time writing up a storm in this thread, I'd come back to update it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17563
Registered: May-04
.

Andre, I thought you might find this article interesting; http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/nyregion/jamming-about-the-mind-at-qualia-fest .html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121210
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