the musical rules behind the universe

I must admit that the concept “computational geometry” almost made my brain go into freeze mode. How can anyone say anything understandable about Bach from the perspective of computational geometry & algorithms?

Well, to my SURPRISE: Bernard Chazelle can! “Discovering the Cosmology of Bach” is actually a fabulous interview. It is informative, engaging and also quite funny. To be honest, this interview has – despite my initial concern – turned out to be one of my all time favorite episodes of On Being.

Discovering the Cosmology of Bach

Bernard Chazelle, who is Eugene Higgins Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University, with a specialty in computational geometry, works with algorithms. He is not a traditional music historian, but he is a really good one! Chazelle is different, but not difficult. I highly recommend this podcast to everyone interested in the music of Bach.

One of the works discussed in the conversation between Tippett and Chazelle is the final part of Bach’s St John Passion, you can listen to it here:

Bach – St John Passion – Ruht wohl ihr heiligen Gebeine (chorus)


4 thoughts on “the musical rules behind the universe

  1. There’s a book called, “Gödel, Esher and Bach” that came out years ago. You can watch lectures on it from MIT. It’s pretty heady stuff.

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