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MSCI-224C The Physics of Acoustic Music

3 Credits

Music enriches our lives and plays a major role in societies, cultures and economies around the globe. In this course, we will explore the underlying physics behind music. We will start with a general description of sound waves before delving into how sound is produced by musical instruments. We will cover how we perceive music, including the functioning of our ears, and will analyze notes, musical scales and chords in terms of the frequencies involved. We will also plug in and examine the electrification of instruments, including the operation principles of speakers and microphones, and the recording of music from wax to MP3s. The surrounding in which we listen to music affect the experience as well, so we will examine the acoustics of indoor and outdoor spaces.