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current students > seminars > fall 2011 schedule > seminar: Music and Science of Sound


Honors Seminars Fall 2011

Music and Science of Sound

HON 321 Sec:001  
3 hours  
GER Cat:
Natural Sciences  
Riddick Hall 00319  
Dr. Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli
Associate Professor

This seminar investigates music using the science of sound, from the earliest experiments on vibrating strings to digital recording and MP3s, and the parallel development of music and scientific thought in western cultures. Using the principles of standard scientific method we will address such questions as: What differentiates music from other combination of sounds? How are musical sounds produced, controlled, added together all in search of making music? How did instruments evolve and how do they work? What are scales and temperaments? Why are sounds musical to one person and not another? Concepts will be explained in simple mathematical and non-mathematical terms and will be introduced and developed in an historical perspective. There will be abundant hands-on study of different musical instruments and demonstrations of the ramifications of acoustical principles. As part of the course you will have a chance of building simple instruments based on what you have learned in the class. This course is aimed for all students.