From Insights Weekly- Harmonic Waves: Mathematics of Music

The following was featured in the most recent issue of Insights Weekly and it is a great example of the interdisciplinary study that can occur at a university:

Harmonic Waves: Mathematics of Music (4/21)

The ability to create and perform music is a uniquely human trait. How do we distinguish melodies from noise? The mathematics of music reveals a graceful structure of periodic functions. Whether for a plucked string, the resonance of waves within a tube, the vibrations of human vocal cords or the modes of a drum membrane, the equations that describe music are as much a creation of beauty as the sounds those waveforms produce.

Join Catherine Asaro from the Department of Physics as she discusses the mathematics of music. The talk will include demonstrations with a computer program that shows real-time displays of the waveforms and frequency spectrum for the sounds produced by instruments and voice. She will be joined by three professional jazz musicians who will demonstrate and play.

The event will be Wednesday, April 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m., in the Fine Arts Building, Room 306. It is sponsored by MathCircle and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

For more information on Catherine Azaro, visit