How may mathematics be used to analyze music? How may it be used to compose music? What connections may be found between music and mathematics on the level of metaphor? This class will be not so much a survey as an exploration. The instructors and students will work together over the duration of the term to try to frame these questions, decide what we need to learn to answer them, and learn it. As the class progresses, students will choose particular aspects to work individually in more depth. We have no preconceived ideas about the topics for this class, beyond a general preference for new or surprising connections over those which have been well developed already. Part of the goal of the course will be to determine, together, what the most interesting questions are.
Any prior experience in either music or mathematics will be helpful, but there are no particular prerequisites. We do ask that students write a brief (1-2 paragraph) description of their backgrounds in both music and mathematics, and of their goals for what they would like to get out of the class. This should be submitted, by email, to both Kitty Brazelton (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Andrew McIntyre (email@example.com) by April 30, 2014.