So, what would most musicologists supposedly argue? According to mathematician Scott Rickard in a TEDx Talk from 2011,
Most musicologists would argue that repetition is a key aspect of beauty. The idea that we take a musical idea, we repeat it, we set up the expectation for repetition and then we either realize it or break the repetition. If repetition and patterns are key to beauty, then what would the absence of patterns sound like—if we wrote a piece of music with no repetition in it?
Rickard claims that it would be the least beautiful, therefore The Ugliest Piece of Music. Tim Edwards of Classic FM ran with that idea when he reported on Rickard's talk in an article titled, "This is the most monumentally ugly piece of music ever composed, according to science."
Yes, this is another blog post about "science" and music, and once again it involves Classic FM. In my previous post, I looked at the ways in which Classic FM reports on scientific studies involving classical music in order to confirm their readers' cultural biases. This article reveals a different problem involving music in science: when the scientist (or mathematician) misrepresents musicology (or music theory).