Colgate University

First-Year Course Offerings — Fall 2022

FSEM 131   The Science of Music
RestrictionsNo 2025 2024 2023
Core AreaScientific Perspectives

Faculty Profile for Professor Chase

What is music? How do natural raw sounds become a musical phenomenon? Why are some combinations of sounds more pleasant than others? The answers to these questions are tightly related to the concepts of matter, energy, time and space. Where there is music, there is sound; and where there is sound, there is physics. This course is an exploration of the underlying principles of musical phenomena, including acoustics of musical instruments, the engineering behind music technology, and the perception of sound. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 180S and satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement.

Ryan Chase is an Emmy-nominated composer whose work is regularly heard on PBS and NPR affiliates. Accolades for his work include the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship from Tanglewood, the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and multiple awards from ASCAP and BMI.