by Leon Harkleroad
Harkleroad, L. (2006). The math behind the music.
New York: Cambridge University Press.
Reviewed by Jennifer S. McDonel
State University of New York at Buffalo
The Math Behind the Music provides an interesting and informative look at the factual connections between mathematics and music. Harkleroad begins with the physical properties of music as sound in terms of physics and mathematics. He then takes a look at several historical examples, from the ancient Greeks to modern compositional devices that use mathematical formulae. He concludes the book with words of caution against inappropriate attempts to define music in terms of mathematics.
The author first presents the case for viewing both music and mathematics in terms of the intellectual and the aesthetic. I found the author’s use of quotations enlightening, and even humorous! (Mathematicians…