Jesse Berezovsky
Associate Professor, Physics, CWRU
Wednesdays, October 9-November 13
1:30PM to 3:30PM ET

Why do humans create and enjoy music? Every culture in the world arranges sounds in a particular way to create music. In those arrangements of sounds, people find meaning and experience profound emotions. Moreover, across cultures and throughout time, some fundamental patterns of music are virtually universal. This course will examine these patterns and how we can understand them by analogy to the physics of phase transitions. We will see that the way that notes are organized into rhythms or the way pitches are organized into harmonies can be understood using the same ideas that explain how disordered atoms in a gas spontaneously come together to form an ordered, distinctly symmetric crystal. These explorations will provide a window into how order emerges in the natural world, why music is the way it is, and how we can use these ideas to understand and create music in new ways. Previous knowledge of music and physics is not assumed, and mathematics will be kept to a bare minimum.

This course is part of the Senior Scholars Program.

Member of Lifelong Learning Cost
Members receive 15% discount
Nonmember Cost