Friday, March 11, 2016

Mathematical music


Recent research from the University of Tokyo (1) that proposes a deeper dive into the structure of music by analyzing - "the recurrence plot of recurrence plot," in an effort to understand the emotive power of music, could be misplaced. Mathematical probing into the structure of creative work often failed to understand the substance of emotions that aid such phenomenon. Mathematics has been an important language in the history of human development. However, humans have been less perfect compared to constructs math could reasonably model and they often exhibit irrationality and creativity at random. It is the lack of "structure," that defines creativity and the effort expended by educational institutions in an effort to define such irrational phenomenon in a language that mathematicians can understand could be wasted.

Human emotions have been enigmatic - they escaped mathematical modeling thus far. Evolution seems to have been flexible enough to allow human behavior that has little value in hunting and survival. However, such work perpetuated the human psyche in a world of stress and tribulation, and lifted it into a realm that is mathematically undefinable. The visions of Einstein and Bach, unconstrained by mathematics, propelled humanity forward. As the engineers attempt to prove "gravity waves,' exist a century after it was proposed by sheer creative thought, one has to wonder if humanity is being sterilized of such a notion.

Mathematics, an idealistic concept, is inept at the analysis of human emotions.

(1) http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/chaos/26/2/10.1063/1.4941371