The numerous connections between mathematics and music have long intrigued practitioners of both. Each is rich in intellectual and aesthetic content. Many of the great composers had a deep understanding of the mathematical principles underlying music, perhaps the most noteworthy being Johann Sebastian Bach, the grand master of structural innovation and invention in music.
Mathematics provides a framework for appreciating music. Of course, music has a profound emotional effect that no currently available variety of mathematics can explain. As Leonard Bernstein put it, music is not only a mysterious and metaphorical art, it is also born of science ... and any explication of music must combine mathematics with aesthetics.
Music is one of the essential forms of human expression. For centuries people have used maths to analyse it, and also to create new music. The interface between maths and music is rich and complex and may well have a fractal boundary. The last word on the link will never be written.
Peter Lynch is Emeritus Professor of Meteorology at University College Dublin and a maths fanatic. In his retirement Peter continues his research in dynamical meteorology and expounds the awesome wonders of maths in his blog, That's Maths, with a fortnightly column of the same name for The Irish Times.
Exclusive offer to RDS Members:
RDS Members who book for this talk and attend, will be entered in a free draw with a chance to win a signed copy of Peter’s book, 'That’s Maths: The Mathematical Magic in Everyday Life'. The draw will take place after the talk on March 14.
The above talk is admission free but prior booking is essential.
Voluntary donations by attendees to assist in covering costs are welcomed.