Mathematics and Music, Math 307      UWEC Summer Session  

Instructor:  James S. Walker        email:  walkerjs (at) uwec (dot) edu

Mathematics and Music is a 3-credit online course, taught during the summer at UWEC. It provides either 3 upper-level GE-V (University wide) credits OR both LE Integration and Creativity Outcomes. It also provides 3 mathematics elective credits for all Liberal Arts math emphases, for math teaching majors, and for comprehensive math/physics teaching emphasis, and all math minors. Exams can be taken either on-campus, or off-campus with a proctor approved by the Math Dept. You can work at your own pace, even finishing early. Please email me if you have any questions about the course.

The course covers a variety of music, including classical, popular, jazz, rock, and world music. Like everyone else I have my preferences, but my goal is to teach methods that you can use to analyze your own favorites in music. There will be plenty of time for students to present analyses of their own using the methods we describe in the course. We will use a variety of free musical software, with lots of hands-on audio processing of music.  

Do you need to be able to read music or play an instrument to do well in this class?   The answer is No. We will go over some basics of musical notation, just enough to read some basic scores. There is a lot more to math and music than reading music. The course will include several other techniques, such as computer diagrams of pitch changes in time, that everyone can learn and correspond well with the music that we hear. To get a better idea of what we do, please look at the syllabus and examples below.  



  What do Ludwig Van Beethoven, Benny Goodman, and Jimi Hendrix have in common?

  Who is a better singer, Luciano Pavarotti or Alicia Keys?

  Patterns in Musical Scores











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