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Musical Mathematics

Musical Mathematics

On the Art and Science of Acoustic Instruments

By Cris Forster


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Musical Mathematics is the definitive tome for the adventurous musician. Integrating mathematics, music history, and hands-on experience, this volume serves as a comprehensive guide to the tunings and scales of acoustic instruments from around the world. Author, composer, and builder Cris Forster illuminates the mathematical principles of acoustic music, offering practical information and new discoveries about both traditional and innovative instruments.With this knowledge readers can improve, or begin to build, their own instruments inspired by Forster's creationsshown in 16 color plates. For those ready to step outside musical conventions and those whose curiosity about the science of sound is never satisfied, Musical Mathematics is the map to a new musical world.

More Details

Size: 8-1/2 x 11 in;
Pages: 944 pp;
16 color photographs
Format: Hardcover
Publication: July 2010
ISBN: 9780811874076
ISBN10: 811874079
Cris Forster is a musical instrument builder, composer, and scholar. He lives in San Francisco.

Media Reviews

Musical Mathematics

(2010-11-19 17:18:31)josh di

Musical Mathematics by Cris Forster is a 944-page, beautifully bound hardcover book complete with 16 color plates. This magnum opus is divided into two parts. The first part, Chapters 1ñ9, encompasses the acoustics and tuning of string, percussion, and wind instruments. The second part, Chapters 10 and 11, focuses on Western tuning theory, as well as tuning theories from six civilizations around the world. These chapters include translations of texts never seen before, as well as side-by-side comparisons of tunings from various cultures. Finally, Chapters 12 and 13 describe a unique set of acoustic instruments the author has constructed over his lifetime. This book is an amalgam of the traditional and the novel. The author carefully delineates original sources from the classical texts in mathematics, acoustics, tuning history and tuning theory. He carefully builds on this scholarly work in a clear, concise format that allows readers to expand their understanding. Then, based on his vast experience in the world of acoustic instrument construction, he introduces original information and innovative concepts found nowhere else. Musical Mathematics is a fantastic book to turn to, whether solidifying knowledge or researching new interests. Josh Di Chiacchio, D.M.A.