Music and IQ

Hans-Georg Michna hans-georgNoEmailPlease at
Fri Sep 29 10:47:37 EST 2000

fields at (Dr.Matt) wrote:

>There is no mathematical concept of "small". The closest thing mathematics
>provides is "finite".

>>one below 20.

>19 works.


maybe no mathematical concept, but definitely a biological and
physical one. The steps between the tones have to be big enough
that the human ear can very easily and clearly distinguish
between them.

Given the choice between 12 and 19, we're probably not surprised
that nature and our biology preferred 12. 19 tones would be
unwieldy and unnecessarily complicated. I would guess that
nature simply chose the lowest number for which the mathematics
of hitting close to 3/2 and 4/3 happen to work.

Thank you for the good discussion! I've definitely learned
something, and we have collaboratively found an even better and
more comprehensive explanation why we use 12 tones.

No mail, please.

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