Mathematics and Music : Composition, Perception, and Performance book cover
2nd Edition

Mathematics and Music
Composition, Perception, and Performance

  • Available for pre-order on December 19, 2022. Item will ship after January 9, 2023
ISBN 9781032161112
January 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Chapman & Hall
398 Pages 87 Color & 319 B/W Illustrations

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USD $54.95

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Book Description

Mathematics and Music: Composition, Perception, and Performance, Second Edition includes many new sections and more consistent expectations of a student’s experience. The new edition of this popular text is more accessible for students with limited musical backgrounds and only high school mathematics is required.

The new edition includes more illustrations than the previous one and the added sections deal with the XronoMorph rhythm generator, musical composition, and analyzing personal performance.

The text teaches the basics of reading music, explaining how various patterns in music can be described with mathematics, providing mathematical explanations for musical scales, harmony, and rhythm. The book gives students a deeper appreciation showing how music is informed by both its mathematical and aesthetic structures.

Highlights of the Second Edition:

  • Now updated for more consistent expectations of students’ backgrounds
  • More accessible for students with limited musical backgrounds
  • Full-color presentation
  • Includes more thorough coverage of spectrograms for analyzing recorded music
  • Provides a basic introduction to reading music
  • Features new coverage of building and evaluating rhythms

Table of Contents

Pitch, Frequency, and Musical Scales

Pitch and Frequency

Overtones, Pitch Equivalence, and Musical Scales

The 12-Tone Equal Tempered Scale

Musical Scales within the Chromatic Scale


Basic Musical NotationStaff Notation, Clefs, and Note Positions

Time Signatures and Tempo

Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths

Some Music Theory Interval and Chords

Diatonic Music

Diatonic Transformations – Scale Shifts

Diatonic Transformations – Inversions, Retrograde

Chromatic Transformation

Composing Your Own Music

Web Resources

Spectrograms and Musical TonesMusical Gestures in Spectrograms

Mathematical Model for Musical Tones

Modeling Instrumental Tones

Beating and Dissonance

Estimating Amplitude and Frequency

Windowing the Waveform: Spectrograms

A Deeper Study of Amplitude Estimation

Spectrograms and Music

Evaluating Personal Performance

Analyzing Pitch and Rhythm

Geometry of Pitch Organization and Transpositions

Geometry of Chromatic Inversions

Cyclic Rhythms

Rhythmic Inversion

A Case Study in Rhythm: Bruch’s Lok Nidrei

Construction of Scales and Cyclic Rhythms

Perfectly Balanced Rhythms, XronoMorph

XronoMoprh, Well-formed Rhythms
Comparing Musical Scales and Cyclic Rhythms


Composing Your Own Music II

A Geometry of Harmony

Riemann’s Chromatic Inversions

A Network of Triadic Chords

Embedding Pitch Classes with the Tonnetz

Other Chordal Transformations

Tonnetz Patterns in Music

Audio Synthesis in Music

Creating New Music from Spectrograms

Phase Vocoding

How Auto-Tune Works

Time Stretching and Time Shrinking

MIDI Synthesis

Software and Other Resources

Exercise Solutions

Amplitude and Frequency Results

Complex Numbers

Autocorrelation and Periodicity

Music Software


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James S. Walker holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago, advised by Louis L. Pennisi. He is a Professor and teaches in the Mathematics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He has published papers on topics in Fourier analysis, wavelet analysis, logic, image compression, image denoising, and mathematics & music.

Gary W. Don is a professor of music theory at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He teaches freshman and sophomore theory and aural skills, and upper-division theory courses. Additionally, he holds a doctorate in music theory from the University of Washington, and taught theory and aural skills at Skidmore College in New York before joining the UWEC faculty.