This series is one part of UC Irvine's Musicianship 15 ABC sequence for music majors. An understanding of music notation and basic musical terms is helpful but not required for these presentations. The math involved is basic. Pitch systems use mathematics to organize audible phenomenon for creative expression. The cognitive processes we develop through exposure to music comprise a kind of applied mathematics; our emotional responses to musical nuance grow out of a largely unconscious mastery of the patterns and structures in music. This series of presentations covers the basic mathematics and cognitive phenomenon found in the tonal system used in Western music and much of the music of the world. Over the course of several presentations we will explore basic concepts of pitch and frequency, the organizing rules of tonal systems, and the mathematical construction of basic scales and chords. The reasoning and purpose of equal temperament, the standard tuning system for tonal music, will be explored in this context. Presentations will include graphics and computer applications designed specifically to illustrate these concepts. UC Irvine’s OCW is a Web-based publication of the courses and course materials that support higher education. Educators are encouraged to use the materials for curriculum development, while students can augment their current learning by making use of the materials offered, and self-learners are encouraged to draw upon the material for self-study or supplementary use. Course materials offered on the UC Irvine Web site typically may be used, copied, distributed, translated and modified, but only for non-commercial educational purposes that are made freely available to other users. Each course shows its own license provisions, so please check carefully. In the openly licensed format, UCI contributes to global education at no marginal cost to itself beyond the already completed filming. Our own students also benefit by being able to review presentations and because it is available on YouTube, we don’t have to worry about maintaining it on course pages behind password protection. By making it open, another institution or professor can use some or all of the video presentations without even having to contact us for permission. So we are fulfilling the mission of a land-grant, public university effectively and efficiently.
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