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Measured Tones: The Interplay of Physics and Music
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Measured Tones: The Interplay of Physics and Music

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  18 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Most books concerned with physics and music take an approach that puts physical theory before application. Consequently, these works tend to dampen aesthetic fascination with preludes burdened by an overabundance of algebraic formulae. In Measured Tones: The Interplay of Physics and Music Third Edition, Ian Johnston a professor of astrophysics and a connoisseur of music, o ...more
Hardcover, Third Edition, 436 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by CRC Press (first published 1989)
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I have a solid science education but am semi-illiterate musically. This book explains the science behind music (and sometimes the music behind science), told as a history of the co-evolution of the two disciplines. Not only does it build a solid intuition for the how and why of musical physics, but it creates a fascination with the subject.

A few things that I learned from the book:
* How an opera singer can be heard over a whole orchestra
* How the acoustics of a theater work, and how a live aud
This guy did a really good job of mixing history, physics, and music theory. It was very readable, and he warns you when he is going to explain more difficult physics concepts that you can skip if you want. And he did a better job at explaining vacuum tubes than my circuits teacher did :) I played in orchestra in high school. Now I understand band instruments much better. I don't know much about music theory, but I really enjoyed learning about it with the historical context provided.
Answered a few technical questions I've had about music but overall was mostly too simplistic or on occasion too complex.
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This vibrant new translation comes from the prolific pen of Ian Johnston. Born in Chile in 1938, educated in England and Canada, Johnston graduated from McGill with a BSc in Chemistry and Geology, from Bristol with a BA in English and Greek, and from Toronto with an MA in
More about Ian Johnston...
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