Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Physics and Psychophysics of Music

Do books for school count? This is the sort of book I'd probably pick up to browse through at the library, but I don't think I'd check it out. So it's good to have to read it for a class I'm taking on acoustics. I love acoustics and psychoacoustics and neuropsychology, so the book is very intriguing. I guess it's considered a seminal book on the subject. It's written by a physicist but there's very little physics or math. I don't understand all the formulas and charts, but the verbal descriptions are easy to comprehend. I'm only on the second chapter, though, so maybe it will get tougher as I continue reading.


Tobi Vail said...

hi sharon
can you recommend any EXTREMELY BASIC books about the mechanics of sound? I am really intimidated by science and not very mechanistically inclined, but i always here arty and or musician-y dudes referencing things i don't understand at all. ditto for electronics/electronic music; computers; recording; music theory.
whoa i just envisioned a whole other academic life for myself. well i don't have time, as gertrude stein once said 'all knowledge is not my province'. still i would like to have some kind of manual to this kind of stuff. help?!!!!

decomposition said...

Hi Tobi, I can't think of a really basic book, unfortunately. I don't know if there are any! I usually get my extremely basic info from the web. I searched around a bit for you and found some good introductions to the mechanics of sound.

2. Basics of Physics: Introduction to Sound Waves (cool short video)

3. Science of Sound

4. Pythagoras: Music and Space

Also, this book might be good once you've already gotten down some of the basics:
Music, Cognition, and Computerized Sound: An Introduction to Psychoacoustics, edited By Perry R. Cook

decomposition said...

oops, the Pythagoras link was missing one letter. Try this:

Pythagoras: Music and Space