Music and Mathematics

Overview

Connections between music and mathematics have been recognised since the time of the ancient Greeks.

In this day school, Marcus du Sautoy, Roy Howat and Robert Laidlow will investigate the nature of those connections.

Please note: this event will close to enrolments at 23:59 BST on 20 March 2024.

Programme details

9.45am:          
Registration at Rewley House Reception (for in-person attendees)

10am:         
Music: the art of sounding mathematics

Marcus du Sautoy explores some of the fundamental connections between mathematics and music, taking as his starting point the famous remark by Bach’s student, Mizler, that Bach’s music was “the process of sounding mathematics”.

11.15am:                    
Tea/coffee break

11.45am:         
Music in proportion

Roy Howat discusses the ways in which composers use – consciously or unconsciously – mathematical proportions such as the Golden Section in their music.

1pm:           
Lunch break

2pm:           
Music and artificial intelligence

The composer and musicologist, Robert Laidlow, explores the artistic possibilities presented by technologies including virtual reality, video games and artificial intelligence in the context of classical music.

3.15pm:                     
Tea/coffee break

3.45pm:           
What of the future?

A Q&A session with all of today's speakers, chaired by Jonathan Darnborough

5pm:           
End of day

Fees

Description Costs
Course Fee - in-person attendance (includes tea/coffee) £99.00
Course Fee - virtual attendance £90.00
Baguette Lunch £6.50
Hot Lunch (3 courses) £17.60

Funding

If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses

Tutors

Prof Marcus du Sautoy

Speaker

Marcus du Sautoy is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a fellow of the Royal Society. He is the author of eight books and two plays and has presented numerous radio and TV series for the BBC. His latest book is Around the World in 80 Games.

Dr Roy Howat

Speaker

Dr Roy Howat is a concert pianist, author of two seminal books on French Music, and one of the co-founding editors of the New Complete Debussy Edition. He holds the posts of Keyboard Research Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music and Senior Research Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Dr Robert Laidlow

Speaker

Robert Laidlow is a composer and Career Development Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. His work is concerned with augmenting creative practice utilising advanced technology, including AI, VR and video game technologies. His music has been performed and broadcast around the world. 

Jonathan Darnborough

Chair

Jonathan Darnborough is Director of Studies in Music and Departmental Lecturer in Music at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. He is the author of Oxford University’s first three online Music courses.

Application

Please use the 'Book' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form. 

Accommodation

Accommodation is not included in the price, but if you wish to stay with us the night before the course, then please contact our Residential Centre.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email res-ctr@conted.ox.ac.uk for details of availability and discounted prices.

IT requirements

For those joining us online

We will be using Zoom for the livestreaming of this event. If you’re attending online, you’ll be able to see and hear the speakers, and to submit questions via the Zoom interface. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.