Department of Mathematics

Student GAUSS Seminar

  •  Joshua Ruiter, Michigan State University
  •  An algebraic approach to musical scales
  •  10/15/2020
  •  4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  •   (Virtual Meeting Link)
  •  Keshav Sutrave (

This talk is motivated by applications to music theory, especially the construction of musical scales. We'll describe how to think of "good" scales as a subgroups of S^1, then dip our toes into the theory of continued fractions to understand why some "good" scales are "better" than others. In particular, we can get a satisfying mathematical reason for the ubiquity of 12-tone equal temperament scale system.



Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science