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Musica Mathematica

Traditions and Innovations in Contemporary Music


Rima Povilionienė

The concept of «musica mathematica» seeks to accurately examine the intersection of two seemingly radically different subject areas. From the perspective of a European perception, the definition of the science of music was a result of the Pythagorean concept of universal harmony. The Pythagoreans were the first in European culture to raise the issue of uniting music and mathematics, sound and number.

In the three parts of the monograph, versatile cases of the intersection of music and mathematics are displayed, moving from philosophical and aesthetic considerations about mathesis to practical studies, discussing the interaction between music and other kinds of art (architecture, painting, poetry and literature), and providing a practical research of contemporary music compositions.

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About the Author


Rima Povilionienė (born 1975), musicologist, PhD. She holds a senior researcher position at the International Semiotics Institute (ISI) at Kaunas University of Technology. Rima is an associate professor in the Department of Musicology of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, the assistant editor-in-chief of the scientific yearly Lietuvos muzikologija [Lithuanian Musicology] and an editor at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic. She was on internships at the Institute of Musicology at Leipzig University (2004) and IRCAM (2012). She has edited over 10 collections and published more than 150 critic reviews. Her monograph Musica Mathematica (in Lithuanian, 2013) was awarded the Vytautas Landsbergis prize for the best musicological work.

List of author’s scientific studies and publications on the subject of musica mathematica:

Prasminis ir konstruktyvinis skaičiaus principas baroko garsų mene [Numerical Semantics and Construction in Baroque Music], Bachelor’s thesis, Vilnius: Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, 2001.

Prasminis ir konstruktyvinis skaitmens principas baroko garsų mene [Semantic and Constructive Meaning of Number in Baroque Music], in Lietuvos muzikologija [Lithuanian Musicology Journal], No. 3, Vilnius, 2002, pp. 17–40. ISSN 1392–9313.

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