Mississippi State University
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
This thesis addresses the question of mathematical involvement in music, a topic long discussed going all the way back to Plato. It details the mathematical construction of the three main tuning systems (Pythagorean, just intonation, and equal temperament), the methods by which they were built and the mathematics that drives them through the lens of a historical perspective. It also briefly touches on the philosophical aspects of the tuning systems and whether their differences affect listeners. It further details the invention of the Fourier Series and their relation to the sound wave to explain the concept of overtones within the tuning systems.
DuBose-Schmitt, Michaela, "The mathematical foundation of the musical scales and overtones" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 5428.