MTAT.03.210 The Mathematics of Sound and Music

  • Course id: MTAT.03.210
  • Credits: 2AP
  • Seminars: Thursdays 16:15, Liivi 2-315
  • Mailing-list:
  • Questions: kt at ut dot ee

Sound is one of the most important information carriers in our world - human life is a lot about speaking and listening. It is of no surprise, thus, that the phenomenon of sound has received a fair share of study during the preceding centuries. Today we are living in a world where we understand this phenomenon so well that we can teach machines to process, perceive and generate all kinds of audible things. Moreover, we can even explain some logic behind the aesthetics of sound perception - music.

Of course, despite all of this progress, there are wide future perspectives - problems like speech recognition, signal separation, sound compression, musical classification and synthesis are still on the list of hot research topics and will certainly stay there for some time.

The seminar intends to explore the very basics of this wide subject of sound and music from a perspective of a mathematician or a computer scientist. What is sound? How is it perceived? How do we acquire, represent, store and process it? What is music and harmony? Is it possible to "appreciate" or generate melody automatically?

The seminar will be largely based on the book Music: A Mathematical Offering by Dave Benson. In order to pass, each student will be required to prepare a 1.5-hour-long oral presentation on one of the topics (and do it well!) as well as write up a summary. An implementation of a practical project is another way to get credit.

The seminar will be held in Estonian, as no foreign students attend.

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