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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the role of mathematical music theory in musical composition. Mathematical studies of music go far back in history. Some of the earliest documented come from the Pythagorean school in ancient Greece. Leibniz called music the ‘arithmetic of the soul’. The mathematical foundations of music have become an immensely active area of research in the last few decades. In conjunction with modern computer technology, mathematical tools are accessible to composers at an intuitive level. In this chapter, the usefulness of mathematical ideas for musical composition is illustrated by selected examples related to algebra and the theory of symmetries.

Keywords: mathematical music theory, group, ring, module, affine transformation, symmetry

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