Monday, September 21, 2009

Equal Temperament: Music Meets Mathematics

Generalized continued fractions and equal temperament
It would be nice if we could divide an octave into equal notes and then be able to have an interval close to a perfect fifth (which raises the frequency by 3/2). That's how equal temperament works: it divides an octave into twelve equal notes and then it turns out that an interval of seven notes is close to a perfect fifth. That's actually why this particular scale was chosen and a reason it has been so successful.

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