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Mathematical Aspects of the Music of Bach

by

Victor Hill
Thomas T. Read Professor of Mathematics
Williams College

January 8, 1997
6:30 pm
Bailey Hall 207

Refreshments at 6:00
Math Department Common Room


Abstract:

Many people think that mathematics and music have some vague sort of affinity, but most often the supposed relationship between the two fields turns out to be in details that are not central to either. In contrast, Victor Hill explores in this lecture his own experience, as a professional in both fields, of how the mathematical concept of a four-dimensional cube relates to the structure of Bach's fugues. These ideas lead him to a characterization of "elegance" in mathematical proofs and in Bach's music. The talk includes a nin-minute computer-generated film, a painting by Salvador Dali, and musical examples. No technical background in either mathematics or music is assumed.


For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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