La La Lab – The Mathematics of Music

Interactive Exhibition Laboratory

The connection between music and mathematics has fascinated people since ancient times. The innovative exhibition laboratory "La La Lab" demonstrates how much the two fields have in common and made its first stop at the MAINS in Heidelberg from May 17, 2019 until January 31, 2021. During the 7th Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), a selection of exhibits from "La La Lab" were shown in the Senate Hall of the Old University of Heidelberg from September 22 to 26, 2019.

Listening to mathematics and visualizing sounds – visitors can experience how this works at interactive stations where they can try hands-on experiments. Through drumming, singing, composing or conducting, impressive animations as well as sophisticated programs combined the visible with the musical, making the mathematics behind them tangible. What role does artificial intelligence play in composing? How can scales be explained mathematically? And how does the human voice, the oldest and probably most complicated musical instrument, actually work? "La La Lab" took all curious minds, 10 years old and up, on an exciting voyage of discovery from the basics of music theory, art and entertainment to the latest research results and artificial intelligence.

For German speakers who want to learn even more about the exciting combination of mathematics and music, the MAINS YouTube channel offers a virtual tour of "La La Lab" as well as informative and entertaining videos on selected stations of the exhibition.

The exhibits were developed by IMAGINARY in cooperation with renowned scientists from more than ten different countries. The creation and the realization of the exhibition were made possible by the Klaus Tschira Foundation and by the Technical University of Munich.

Perhaps most exciting: replication is encouraged! All content is available under open licenses and can be taken home or to school in digital form or can be implemented in other exhibitions.

"La La Lab – The Mathematics of Music”, May 17, 2019 to January 31, 2021, Heidelberg MAINS, and September 22–26, 2019, Old University of Heidelberg (Senate Hall). An exhibition by IMAGINARY, made possible by the Klaus Tschira Foundation and supported by the Technical University of Munich.

Digital exhibition content

Interview with the co-curator Prof. Jürgen Richter-Gebert, TU Munich