The Mathematics of Music Interest Group seeks to promote scholarship involving mathematical approaches to music theory and analysis.
This group plans and presents special sessions and convenes discussion groups and roundtables at the annual meetings of the SMT. It also maintains an e-discussion list to discuss topics of interest and coordinate presentations and research activities. Past activities are listed below.
Online presence and discussion
The online discussion list may be accessed be found on Google Groups: SMT Math Google group.
How to join
There are no requirements for membership; simply attend our meetings at annual SMT meetings to participate.
The Mathematics of Music Analysis Interest Group hosted a discussion of Mathematics in Music Theory Pedagogy/Music in Mathematics Pedagogy at our Friday evening meeting, 5:30–7:30 PM. The discussion featured three scholars in the field of mathematical music theory who have brought their interdisciplinary expertise to their teaching: Timothy Johnson (Ithaca College), Jonathan Kochavi (Swarthmore College), and Mariana Montiel (Georgia State University). We discussed experiences with and ideas for incorporating mathematics into music theory teaching and vice versa, as well as future goals for expanding the role of mathematical music theory in the classroom.
The group sponsored a special session on Methodology in Mathematical Music Theory, with presentations by Rachel Wells Hall, Guerino Mazzola, Steven Rings, and Dmitri Tymoczko. The group also sponsored a noontime meeting featuring a discussion with Richard Cohn of his recently published Audacious Euphony. The discussion focused on Chapters 6 and 8 of the book.
The group hosted a workshop on Computational Approaches to Music Theory and Analysis with workshop leaders Christopher Ariza, Michael Cuthbert, Morwaread Farbood, Panayotis Mavromatis, Richard Plotkin, and Kris Shaffer; and also hosted as session with papers read by Marek Žabka ("Hierarchy and Maximal Evenness in Two Dimensions"), Jonathan Wild ("Commensurability of Tone-System Generators"), and Norman Carey ("Rich Words and Musical Palindrome").
The group discussed the history of mathematics in music theory with Catherine Nolan.
We joined with the Music and Philosophy Interest Group to discuss Aspect Perception, Quine, Wittgenstein, and mathematics in music theory with position statements by Dmitri Tymoczko.
We heard papers from Guerino Mazzola, Emmanuel Amiot, David Clampitt, and Rachel Hall on emerging topics in music theory and analysis that draw on modern mathematics.
- The group hosted a symposium on David Lewin’s contribution to mathematics and music analysis, with speakers Stephen Soderberg, Steven Rings, Robert Cook, and Dmitri Tymoczko.