The Physics of the Blues -Razor Lecture Series
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For centuries scientists and engineers have worked within the limitations of the natural world to expand the palette on which musicians can create. This symbiotic relationship is not always widely appreciated, and is symptomatic of much more fundamental connections between science and art that extend into many arenas. Both science and art are driven by intuition and creativity, and both allow genius to express itself in the context of artificial or natural “rules”. Understanding the physical nature of music illuminates the beauty of this creative process. Music, science and engineering are connected at many levels. I will use live keyboard demonstrations to illuminate how the origin of some musical styles, particularly blues piano, can be found in fundamental properties of sound and music. In particular, I will focus on the evolution of the scale and its impact on harmony and melody in western music.Murray Gibson became the Dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in 2016. He grew up in the United Kingdom and holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge. He has a long career in industry and academia and has been Head of the Electronics and Photonics Materials Research Department at Bell Laboratories, Associate Director of the Argonne National Laboratory, Professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign, and Founding Dean of the College of Science at Northeastern University. Gibson's research has focused on the understanding of atomic structure in nanomaterials, and how it influences physical properties. He has published over 200 papers, holds several patents and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Microscopical Society and the American Physical Society. His hobbies include playing the piano.
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