Skip navigation

Experts in maths and music unite for conference

4th May 2022

A Northumbria University academic will chair a prestigious conference exploring the historic relationship between mathematics and music, hosted by the Royal College of Music in London.

Dr Matteo Sommacal, a Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Northumbria, is preparing to lead the three-day event which will be the first conference on the topic of Maths in Music, organised by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) – the accrediting body for university programmes in Mathematics across the country.  

The event, which will take place at the Royal College of Music in London between Wednesday 13th July and Friday 15th July, has received sponsorship and support from the Royal Musical Association (RMA) – one of the oldest scholarly societies in the world dedicated to the study of music.

Caption: Dr Matteo SommacalDr Sommacal, who is also a composer and artistic director of the Italian contemporary classical music ensemble Piccola Accademia degli Specchi, said many elements of music lead to an immediate connection with maths. From the theory of tuning systems to physical acoustics, or the structures of rhythms to the continuous stretching of the laws of harmony and the exploration of the musical forms carried out by contemporary composers.

“This event will be the first one organised by the IMA and one of the first of its kind in Britain, so it is important that Northumbria is involved in such a prestigious conference,” he added. “The conference, whose organising committee I was invited to chair in 2020 by the IMA, is featured on the calendar of the European Mathematical Society and the International Musicological Society.”

The IMA Maths in Music conference is expected to attract mathematicians, musicologists and composers working and carrying out research in areas where the two subjects meet. The event will include four invited plenary lectures from world-renowned researchers in the field:  

  • Prof Emily Howard, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
  • Prof Guerino Mazzola, University of Minnesota
  • Prof Geraint Wiggins, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, and Queen Mary University of London
  • Prof Moreno Andreatta, Director of Research at Institut de Recherche Mathematique Avancee (IRMA), University of Strasburg and the Institute for Research and Coordination of Acoustics/Music (IRCAM), Paris

The organising committee of the event includes Dr Michelle Phillips from the Royal Northern College of Music, Dr Dimitri Scarlato from the Royal College of Music and Dr Rob Sturman from Leeds University.

Maya Everson, from the IMA Conference Department, said: “Dr Sommacal has been involved with the IMA on many aspects around conferences, including as a valued member of the Conferences Committee.  This is the first time we have worked with him on organising a conference on this subject.

“He is doing a fantastic job, as always, and has a passion for both subjects.  It is a pleasure working with him.”

Full details for the conference and registration information can be found online at www.ima.org.uk

comments powered by Disqus

Department of Arts

Northumbria’s Arts Department Offers A Stimulating And Dynamic Learning Environment In Which To Study Flexible, Student-Orientated Courses. Staff Are Globally-Renowned, Research-Active Experts In Fine Art, Performance And Visual Cultures.

a sign in front of a crowd
+

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria
+

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

a person sitting at a table
+

Order your prospectus

If you would like to know more about our courses, or life in general as a student at Northumbria, then we can help you.

Latest News and Features

a large city landscape
Justine Greening with Northumbria University Economic Development Manager Sue Graham at the white paper launch event in London
Professor Matthew Johnson pictured giving a keynote address, standing in front of a lecturn with a large screen beghind him
An image of the Lindisfarne Gospels
Tanya Wyatt - ADSS - SS - Criminology and Criminal Justice Criminology and Sociology
Laura McClorey's Belfast Stories, central atrium

Back to top