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Emblems of the Mind

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Emblems of Mind is a beautifully written, marvelous and entertaining book. Rothstein manages to merge the topics of math and music with depth and clarity.
Paperback, 263 pages
Published August 1st 1996 by Harper Perennial (first published 1995)
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booklady
Jun 08, 2008 booklady marked it as backburner
Recommended to booklady by: The Common Reader
Shelves: education, philosophy
One of my favorite former book catalogs was The Common Reader. When they went out of business, I went into mourning! This was one of the books I bought on their recommendation. I am not mathematically, nor musically, inclined, yet their write-up of this book (which I wish I still had!) was so good I bought it anyway. The book is about the mysterious connections between music and mathematics. I'm not sure how much someone as unmusical and poor-at-math as I am will be able to understand, but God w ...more
Jenae
Overall impression: insightful, enjoyable, and fairly easy to digest for amateurs and intermediates in math and music. The author used a lot of examples to clarify points made in the text which were always helpful, but made for some long reading. The structure or path of the book was periodically revisited, to remind the readers where they have been and where they are going, which also added heft. It also made the final conclusions perhaps the smallest bit anticlimactic but it didn't ruin the bo ...more
Vi
Feb 20, 2008 Vi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vi by: George
Very good introduction to Math and Music. Won't be interesting to people not interested in thoroughly analyzing both. Includes much on the philosophical side, tackling the meaning of truth and beauty.

The last few chapters are worth getting through the analyses. I found the chapter on Math more interesting than the chapter on Music, but that is probably due to the fact that I knew everything in it.
Anne
I had so looked forward to reading this book. I picked it up from the campus library on Friday of Labor Day weekend but found it hard to get through.

It goes deep into mathematics.

Then deep into music in the next chapter.

I suppose I was looking for light reading. Maybe there is another book about music and math out there that doesn't go so deep.
Marc
Jul 31, 2007 Marc rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: musicians, mathematicians, and all those in between
Lots of interesting stuff about the connections between music and math. Much of the core of this book may be familiar (or intuitive) to any thoughtful musician, but there's also some cool math stuff, and Rothstein does a very nice fleshing out the interrelations between the fields on a number of levels (e.g., neuro-biological, music-theoretical).
Lana Klipfel
Sep 27, 2009 Lana Klipfel is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far this book is good....it is very tough though... understanding the words sometimes. But it is very well written.
John
liked this one more than "this is your brain on music", even though the writing is drier.
Claire
I don't remember many of the details, but it was interesting. Worth a reread.
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