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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 14 Dec. 2004
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William J. Bale "WJB" (South Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Science and Music (Dover Books on Music) (Paperback)
Finding this book was like finding a rare gem. Suitable for anyone with a strong interest in the science behind music. It is advantageous (though not imperitive) for readers of this book to have a basic knowledge of maths and/or science, otherwise some may find it daunting.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very technical look at sound and musicality., 27 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Science and Music (Dover Books on Music) (Paperback)
Not recommended for the faint hearted! This book gives very technical explanations (including mathematical equations) of sound, the creation of sound, harmonics, tuning systems and accoustics. I would guess his background is as an organist and this colours much of his work. However, as a singer, I still found it very interesting as it enhanced my understanding of vocal harmonics and how we hear sound and determine subjectively whether it is "musical".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 8 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Science and Music (Dover Books on Music) (Paperback)
Sir James Jeans displays his consistently high standard of lucidity. This is an exceptional and gifted account which manages to explain the whole range of relevant topics - from the fundamental basics of sound and harmony to the workings of the ear and room acoustics with astonishing simplicity and clarity. He never condescends and he often amuses. But however complex the topic, Jeans always makes it relatively easy to understand with apt examples, metaphors, and diagrams. If you really want to understand, for example, the physical basis of harmony; or the factors that affect piano and other instrumental sound; or the contributions to our experience of music made by room acoustics and the sound physics of the ear, read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book, 24 Mar. 2012
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ReviewMan "Large" (London) - See all my reviews
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The book which I have recently purchased is a reprint of the original edition - 1937, I believe. I am far short of being a maths genius and therefore I can say that I am surprised that one reviewer intimated that the book contains some high level mathematics. It certainly does not seem that way to me; in fact, I would say that the great skill of the author is that he has combined related topics in a easily digestible form - and without anything more than the very basics of maths; and he has made it a riveting read in doing so. I certainly learned a lot about music, how we perceive sound, the effects of the built environment upon the sounds which we hear. I truly wish that I had known of this book many years ago when I was involved in the servicing of air conditioning in large buildings; had that been the case then the knowledge gained from the book would have added a string to my bow, so to speak. I should add that my relatively recent knowledge of air conditioning - and the time spent at college learning the academic side of such - proves that the section on acoustics is still very relevant. If what one reads in newspapers is correct, then it is true to say that interest in science based topics has waned over the years and I therefore feel that it is shame that the title includes the word 'science' as that might give the potential reader the impression that the book is suitable only for those who are interested in 'serious' subjects - there is nothing serious about this book - buy and let it become one of your most favorite books - as indeed it has now become one of my most loved books.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars start here, 14 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Science and Music (Dover Books on Music) (Paperback)
An especially well-written and entertaining introduction to musical acoustics. I keep a copy among my musical reference books.
Also recommended: PENTATONIC SCALES FOR THE JAZZ-ROCK KEYBOARDIST by Jeff Burns.
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Science and Music (Dover Books on Music)
Science and Music (Dover Books on Music) by Sir James Jeans (Paperback - 1 Jan. 1969)
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