The Physics of Music


  • Date: Jan 21, 2020
  • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Prof. Rui César Vilão (University of Coimbra)
  • Location: MPI-CPfS, Dresden
The Physics of Music
In this talk of the Curiositas series, we will learn how physical laws determine fundamental aspects of music such as musical scales.

As a researcher, Prof. Rui César Vilão from the University of Coimbra in Portugal focuses on muon spectroscopy of semiconductors. One of his other interests is music, in particular its physical aspects. In this talk, he will demonstrate that musical language itself is bound in essential aspects by the physics and psychophysics of sound. Similarly to linguistics, where the anatomy of speech imposes characteristics common to all human languages (as the quality and quantity of vowels and consonants), the laws of physical acoustics also impose patterns that determine basic aspects of musical speech, such as musical scales.
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