Suggested reading



The math in A Geometry of Music is really fairly simple, using 3D geometry to demonstrate the relationships between pitches in harmony. I’d say it’s more music than math for the most part. Useful for composition, including algorithmic composition

Musimathics, Volume I and II puts more emphasis on signal math. Useful for DSP.

I also have a couple of books waiting in the wings when I’m done with those three. These books are about analyzing musical styles and using them to generate new works.

And there is a section titled Evolutionary Music in Creative Evolutionary Systems that I hope will be useful for generative composition as well.

I wish I read much faster than I do!


Thanks, I’ve nearly finished Musimathics I, a bit too much on the physics for my own interests. I really enjoyed the intonation chapter, it made me appreciate the freedom equal temperament gives us.

I’d really like to find a general purpose tour of algorithmic composition…

There is this:

But it’s not cheap… and the reviews are a bit mixed, if it were cheaper I’d give it a punt.


That looks like a nice survey, but it’s very broad. You could probably find multiple books covering the topics in each chapter (similar story with Creative Evolutionary Systems, which is even broader, goes beyond music into all areas of “creativity”). Probably a great way to narrow down your interests?

If I’m unsure about an expensive book, it’s usually not too hard to find a PDF with a bit of googling. I’ll buy the printed book if it seems interesting enough (much easier to read dense subject matter with proper typesetting and the ability to quickly turn pages back and forth, in my opinion). That being said, my initial attempt at finding a PDF of Nierhaus’s book came up empty.

More interesting stuff:

On the subject of intonation, early in my exploration of (for lack of a better term) non-traditional music I discovered Harry Partch, which sent me on an obsession with alternative systems of consonance for a while. Took me a long time to warm up to equal temperament as a result, but I finally have. A Geometry of Music is quite helpful in this regard as well. Equal temperament isn’t a perfect system, but the benefits definitely seem to significantly outweigh the drawbacks.


Thanks for bringing this to my attention. It’s available at my local campus’s library. I will give it a look


geometry of music looks like an excellent read! In a slightly similar vein I would really reccomend modalogy by Jeff Brent. To me modalogy made a lot more sense than famous ‘lydian chromatic concept’ book though they both purport to cover similar ground.

In particular lydian chromatic concept lost me trying to relate lydian scale to harmonics of the fundamental. Modalogy relates ‘regular’ consonance back to concentric fifths, which naturally & inevitably leads to a special mathematical importance for pentatonic scales, amongst many other aha moments.



generate a television compatible signal from raw electronics

i’d love to be able to do this with gear already on hand…


Thank you @infovore for the Richard Powers recommendation. Just spent a large chunk of the last three days reading “Orfeo” - I couldn’t put it down! :slight_smile:


Oh, so glad you enjoyed! I had a lot of fun with it.


This little bit of wisdom from Martha Graham just came up on my screen. Thought all you restless souls would relate, and appreciate the sentiment.


So pertinent to thoughts on my mind
Thanks for sharing


i needed that

merci .


Looks great! Picked it up from the library I work at and will delve into it soon.


have i shared this before?

the @Angela posts on saturday made me flip this open looking for a quote


Very interesting. I’ve done a small amount of Guinean and Egyptian drumming. Quite mind expanding to ears that grew up with rock n’ roll. Something I love about west African drumming is the polyrhythmic complexity of the ensemble, relative to the absolute simplicity of each individual’s part.


This is new to me. Not a proper drummer myself but deeply interested in rhythm and woefully ignorant in this domain. Ordered a copy, thanks for the tip.


almost makes me wanna write again


I don’t know why I didn’t track it down sooner, but I picked this up and I’m finding it a nice spark, reminder, recontextualization of some things I ponder and processes I unconsciously explore anyway. Been a Bailey fan for years, loved the Watson bio, but now I feel the urge to re-read that and dig back into some of his stuff. It’s weird when you’re so busy exploring new stuff you don’t go back to classics often enough.


a conversation w. florian hecker. recommended.


I often wonder how I end up in these corners of the internet

did this lead me there?
In any case, I wanna apply something similar to TT or aleph scene creation


Showed up!