The Science of Music – NEW Lecture Series

July 23, 2015 at 4pm; Harmonics in Music and Science 

Alan Fletcher and Andrew Cohen, Professor of Physics at Boston University, introduced the science underlying music: how waves work and how waves forms determine the tone color of different instruments; the ‘harmonic series” and how it affects tuning; acoustics, and more.

July 30, 2015 at 6pm; Evaluating Musical Instruments

Alan Fletcher interviewed noted violinist Robert McDuffie, in a comparison of the instruments, including Guarneri, Stradivarius, and contemporary violins. Consideration was given to current studies analyzing the properties of great violins, both modern and historic. Violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn brought her renowned Stradivarius, known as “The Red Mendellsohn,” which inspired “The Red Violin,” as well as a copy of it made by a modern master. McDuffie and Pitcairn played the various instruments, and led the audience in an appreciation of their differeing sounds.

August 6, 2015 at 6pm; Neuroscience of Music

Music-lovers already know how music can affect the soul, but its impact on the brain may seem like murkier territory. Dr. Robert Zatorre of the Montreal Neurological Institute joined Alan Fletcher for a lecture that revealed the complex relationship between music and our cognitive functions. Zatorre’s research is in the forefront of insight into the mechanism by which music can produce neurological responses. The interview was illustrated with musical examples.

August 13, 2015 at 6pm; Pianos: How They Work

Perhaps no instrument is as universally beloved as the piano–but what, exactly, goes into creating this magnificent apparatus? Peter Sumner, the AMFS’s head piano technician and master technician for Steinway & Sons, explained the art of piano-making and explained how these instruments make their glorious sound.

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