Logic and Music

Workshop at UNILOG'2018 organized by

Ingolf Max
(University of Leipzig,

This workshop shall represent a privileged platform to make an important step forward to new universal approaches to logic(s) of music. The story goes back at least to the ancient Greeks: Aristotle invented his logic as a formal theory of syllogisms of categorical sentences. Pythagoreans brought mathematics and music into a very general and close contact (harmony of spheres). It depends from our understanding of the relation between logic and mathematics whether there is a direct connection between them with respect to music. In the 16th century we find an intensive use of several aspects of syllogistic forms in the context of cantus (composition). Leibniz looked on logic as “ars inviendi” on the basis of his new understanding of syllogistic forms. But he also develops his “algebra of thought”. Algebraic investigations of different aspects of music can be seen as purely mathematical or as autonomously logical (model-theoretical) paradigms.

The Workshop focuses on the relatively autonomous approaches to logic(s) of music and musical logic, i.e. logic in pieces of musical compositions. We invite composers, conductors, musicians and musicologists interested in the interplay between logic and music to submit a paper or just active participation. Another objective is to bring together researchers from all over the world into closer contact. The organizer of this workshop plans to edit a special issue of a journal (e.g. Logica Universalis).


Keynote Speaker

Thomas Noll
Departament de Teoria, Composició i Direcció Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, Spain
„An Intuitionistic Approach to Musical Harmony“

Call for papers

Topics may include:
  • syllogistic forms in musical patterns
  • Leibniz’s logic of music
  • axiomatic and model-theoretic music theory (Langer 1929 etc.)
  • music in the context of non-classical logics like intuitionistic logic, many-valued logic, modal-tense logic etc.
  • logical vs. mathematical approaches to music
  • rules and syntax in logic and music
  • recursiveness and compositionality in logic and music
  • logic of melodies
  • logic of scales, intervals and chords
  • chord operators
  • logic of musical harmony
  • logic of cadence
  • logic of rhythm
  • logical spaces of music
  • logic of music vs. musical logic
  • logic of (violation of) musical expectation
  • applications of a logic of music: analysis of pieces of composition, (automatic) pattern recognition, creation of new pieces of music

    Contributed talks should not exceed a duration of 30 minutes including discussion. Abstracts (500 words maximum) should be sent via e-mail before October 5, 2017 to: logic.music2018@gmx.de 

    Notification of acceptance: November 15th 2017
    Intended days for our workshop: June 24th/25th 2018
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