Special Colloquium

Thursday, April 21, 2016 4:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT


Dmitri Tymoczko Princeton University

“The Geometry of Music”

In this talk I explain in detail how to translate basic concepts of music theory into the language of contemporary geometry. Musicians commonly abstract away from five kinds of musical information – including the order, octave, and specific pitch level of groups of notes. This process produces a family of quotient spaces or orbifolds: for example, two-note chords live on a Mobius strip, while three-note chord-types live on a cone, with vectors corresponding to what musicians call ”voice leadings.” These spaces provides a general geometrical framework for understanding and interpreting music. Related constructions also appear naturally in other applied-math contexts, for instance in economics.

MC 5501

Refreshments will be served in MC 5403 at 3:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.