The Physics of Music – Part 6

In the final installment of his series on the links between developments in physics and music, the late Ian Johnston, University of Sydney physicist, examines developments in the twentieth century. In physics, communication technology saw valves come and go, replaced by transistors and then silicon chips, leading to increased capacity and miniaturization. In music, the accepted conventions of harmony came under attack and composers experimented with greater freedom. Music styles developed using new electronic instruments that offer new sounds and possibilities. Ultimately, Ian Johnston says that the desires of music and physics are the same – both seek harmony.

This program was first broadcast in 1994.

Ian Johnston

Mary Mackel