Articles of music theory

What is Octave Equivalence?

This is an updated copy of a question I asked on Physics Stack Exchange not too long ago. Since I work primarily in mathematics, I thought it would be a good idea to ask it here as well (especially after being inspired by the popularity of this question). As part of some work I’ve been […]

Possible Playable Chords on a Guitar

Fingerstyle Guitar Chord Diversity Check Considering a $20$-fret $6$-string acoustic guitar and supposing that the fretting range (inclusive of the fingered notes) for an average hand is $4$ frets in the first $8$ frets, $5$ frets in the $9-14$ fret region and $6$ frets on the remaining of the fretboard, how many combinations of at […]

What is Mazzola's “Topos of Music” about?

Disclaimers: I am neither a musician, nor I want to discredit Mazzola’s work. Corollary of the first point: please use a plain style, without technical terms in the area of Music Theory. Corollary of the second: don’t take my disbelief in Mazzola’s work as an offense. 😉 So, the question is: what is Mazzola’s “Topos […]

Mathematical difference between white and black notes in a piano

The division of the chromatic scale in $7$ natural notes (white keys in a piano) and $5$ accidental ones (black) seems a bit arbitrary to me. Apparently, adjacent notes in a piano (including white or black) are always separated by a semitone. Why the distinction, then? Why not just have scales with $12$ notes? (apparently […]

Mathematics and Music

I have heard that, in recent years, many mathematicians as well as music theorists have applied different branches of mathematics to music. I would like to know about some books/resources relating to this topic.

Math and Music theory books

Are there any good books on musical theory from a mathematical standpoint? Is “Music theory and mathematics : chords, collections, and transformations”, edited by Jack Douthett, Martha M. Hyde, and Charles J. Smith, one on them?