Welcome to the website for


The Physics of Music and Color!

You will find numerous pages that will enhance your appreciation of the book and the course,should you be taking the course in class. Most useful are PowerPoints for each chapter.




About the author

Leon Gunther has been on the Physics Department faculty at Tufts University since 1965. He got his PhD in Physics from MIT in 1964 and has published over 100 articles, the vast majority being in the field of Condensed Matter Theory. His early research on samples of material that are confined to a wire or a sheet (technically referred to as “one- or two- dimensional systems”,  respectively) were seminal in the development of what is now known as “nanoscopic physics”.  Another area of seminal research was his study of the flipping of north and south poles of a sub-microscopic magnetic particle via a process referred to as “quantum tunneling”. This process might ultimately become a limitation in the stability of a hard drive as their ever increasing capacity leads to ever smaller magnetic particles (used to store a bit of information) approach a diameter of about 100 Ångstroms.

In 1973, Gary Goldstein and the author introduced a course on the physics of music and color; the course became the basis for this book. Having begun studies of the violin at the age of seven, he has played in numerous Community Symphony Orchestras, most notably the Newton Symphony, where he was the principal second violinist for ten years, from 1974-1984. In 1994, he founded the community chorus of Temple Emunah in Lexington, MA, known as The Mak’haylah. Programs include music of a wide range of genres – folk, liturgical, and classical. His compositions and arrangements have included Hebrew renditions of three movements of the Brahms Requiem.


Purchase of book on Amazon.com



Waveform of a segment of Beethoven’s Pastorale Symphony
  The waveform, a mere graph that evolves in time, contains all the content, shall we say "information", associated with the sound that we hear. However, our rich audial/emotional experience is not entirely present in the sound wave entering our ears. Our complex brains, that have evolved over the millenia, are also responsible for processing the input so as to produce our rich experience.
Click on the highlighted file name to view the audio/video.
Amadeus ProScreenSnapz Pastorale 003


The Crab Canon of Johannes Sebastian Bach – a profound connect between music and the topology of a Mobius strip.

Beethoven’s Ode to Joy (9th Symphony) – flash mob in Sabadell, SPAIN

Power of Video to enthrall
<a href="http://sites.tufts.edu/pmclg/files/2012/07/
Sunrise-over-the-Dead-Sea-viewed-from-Masada-Israel.mov”>Sunrise over the Dead Sea viewed from Masada Israel

Time lapsed video of the Sunrise from YouTube

Author conducting the Mak’haylah (Chorus of Temple Emunah – Lexington MA)

Click on the title at the top of the Window to open on the YouTube site.

4th movement of Brahms Requiem (Hebrew rendition)