Physics in Music

I enjoy science. When I was in high school, I was seriously considering a career in biology or genetics and I was actually in a club that met after school where the especially nerdy (see also: awesome) students got together and did college-level bio labs to solve challenges and such. We watched Gattaca once. Fantastic movie.

However, that interest never really extended to Physics. This might have had something to do with the fact that my high school Physics teacher, hilarious as he was, spoke with a thick Romanian accent that took me about a semester to decode. I would blame my confusion on this, but even once I figured out what he was saying, I actually realized that it was Physics that I couldn’t understand.

So, here I am, in college and in need of a lab science. I’ve already taken (see also: failed) Neuropsychology and crawled my way through Neuroscience, but the psychology-related science class selection is pretty limited here. And that is why I was enrolled in How Things Work, a Physics class for people who don’t get science or math. Or in my case, a Physics class for people who don’t get Physics or Calculus, since I technically kick ass at most types of science and math.

Today, we began a unit on Physics in Music. I thought this would be pretty cool considering that I love music and the professor has already asked me to bring in my guitar on Tuesday. Unfortunately, this particular class period consisted entirely of a bad 1980’s educational film in which the voiceovers repeatedly mispronounce the word ‘timbre’ and proceed to simplify something as beautifully complex as music into, essentially, a picture of a wave and some numbers.

Way to make one of the most interesting concepts into a bland, impersonal, emotionless scribble, Physics.


Anonymous said...

It's like the distant chaos of an orchestra tuning up and then somebody waves a magic wand and all of those notes start to slide into place. That grotesque, screeching cacophony becomes a single melody.

It's perfection - that's what it's about. It's about those moments when you can feel the perfection of creation. The beauty of physics, the wonder of mathematics, the elation of action and reaction. And that is the kind of perfection that I want to be connected to.

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