The Geometry of Musical Rhythm

November 1, 2020
The Geometry of Musical Rhythm

The Geometry of Musical Rhythm: What Makes a "Good" Rhythm Good?is the first book to provide a systematic and accessiblecomputational geometric analysis of the musical rhythms of theworld. It explains how the study of the mathematical properties ofmusical rhythm generates common mathematical problems that arise ina variety of seemingly disparate fields. For the music community,the book also introduces the distance approach to phylogeneticanalysis and illustrates its application to the study of musicalrhythm. Accessible to both academics and musicians, the textrequires a minimal set of prerequisites.Emphasizing a visual geometric treatment of musical rhythm andits underlying structures, the author―an eminent computer scientistand music theory researcher―presents new symbolic geometricapproaches and often compares them to existing methods. He showshow distance geometry and phylogenetic analysis can be used incomparative musicology, ethnomusicology, and evolutionarymusicology research. The book also strengthens the bridge betweenthese disciplines and mathematical music theory. Many concepts areillustrated with examples using a group of six distinguishedrhythms that feature prominently in world music, including theclave son.Exploring the mathematical properties of good rhythms, this bookoffers an original computational geometric approach for analyzingmusical rhythm and its underlying structures. With numerous figuresto complement the explanations, it is suitable for a wide audience,from musicians, composers, and electronic music programmers tomusic theorists and psychologists to computer scientists andmathematicians. It can also be used in an undergraduate course onmusic technology, music and computers, or music andmathematics.