Guerino Mazzola

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Guerino Mazzola
Guerino Mazzola.jpg
At University of Zurich, 2002
Background information
Birth nameGuerino Mazzola
Born (1947-02-02) February 2, 1947 (age 72)
OriginDübendorf (Canton of Zürich), Switzerland
Occupation(s)mathematician, music theorist, and jazz pianist.

Guerino Mazzola (born 1947) is a Swiss mathematician, musicologist, jazz pianist as well as book writer.


Mazzola graduated at the University of Zürich in Mathematics, Theoretical Physics and Crystallography and completed his PhD in Mathematics in 1971. In 1980, he habilitated in Algebraic Geometry and Representation Theory. In 2000, he was awarded the medal of the Mexican Mathematical Society. In 2003, he habilitated in Computational Science at the University of Zürich.

Mazzola has recorded several free jazz CDs with musicians like Mat Maneri, Heinz Geisser, Sirone, Jeff Kaiser, Scott Fields, Matt Turner and Rob Brown.

Mazzola is well known for his application of sophisticated mathematical concepts such as topos theory to music theory, described in his book The Topos of Music. The result has been somewhat controversial, drawing praise from some mathematicians and music theorists, such as Alexander Grothendieck[citation needed], Yuri Manin[citation needed], Yves André[citation needed], François Nicolas and Thomas Noll, and dissent from others such as Dmitri Tymoczko, who said of Mazzola: "If you can't learn algebraic geometry, he sometimes seems to be saying, then you have no business trying to understand Mozart."[1]

Currently he is Professor at the School of Music at the University of Minnesota.[2] Since 2007 he is the president of the Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music.[3]


  • Gruppen und Kategorien in der Musik. Hermann (1985) ISBN 3-88538-210-5.
  • Rasterbild - Bildraster, CAD-gestützte Analyse von Raffaels "Schule von Athen". Springer (1987) ISBN 9783540172673.
  • Geometrie der Töne. Birkhäuser (1990) ISBN 3-7643-2353-1.
  • Ansichten eines Hirns. Birkhäuser (1990) ISBN 3-7643-2484-8.
  • The Topos of Music, Geometric Logic of Concepts, Theory, and Performance. Birkhäuser (2002) ISBN 3-7643-5731-2.
  • Perspectives in Mathematical Music Theory.. EpOs (2004). ISBN 978-3-923486-57-1.
  • Comprehensive Mathematics for Computer Scientists I & II here and Errata here
  • Elemente der Musikinformatik. Birkhäuser (2006) ISBN 3-7643-7745-3.
  • La vérité du beau dans la musique. Delatour/IRCAM (2007) ISBN 2-7521-0029-9.
  • Flow, Gesture, and Spaces in Free Jazz—Towards a Theory of Collaboration. Springer (2009) ISBN 978-3-540-92194-3.
  • Musical Performance. Springer (2011) ISBN 978-3-642-11837-1.
  • Musical Creativity—Strategies and Tools in Composition and Improvisation. Springer (2011) ISBN 978-3-642-24516-9.
  • Computational Musicology in Hindustani Music. Springer (2014) ISBN 978-3319114712.
  • Computational Counterpoint Worlds. Springer (2015) ISBN 978-3-319-11235-0.
  • Cool Math for Hot Music. Springer (2016) ISBN 978-3-319-42935-9.
  • All About Music. Springer (2016) ISBN 978-3-319-47334-5.
  • The Topos of Music, 2nd ed. Vol. I: Theory. Springer (2017) ISBN 978-3-319-64364-9.
  • The Topos of Music, 2nd ed. Vol. II: Performance. Springer (2017) ISBN 978-3-319-64444-8.
  • The Topos of Music, 2nd ed. Vol. III: Gestures. Springer (2017) ISBN 978-3-319-64481-3.
  • The Topos of Music, 2nd ed. Vol. IV: Roots. Springer (2017) ISBN 978-3-319-64495-0.
  • Basic Music Technology. Springer (2018) ISBN 978-3-030-00982-3.


  • Mazzola/Piano Solo Kelvin Null OMP Records 1001 LP
  • Mazzola/Piano Solo Akroasis Wergo SM 1024 LP
  • Mazzola/Moor/Sollberger Aus dem Hinterhalt OMP Records 1002 LP
  • Q4 Orchestra Lyons' Brood Creative Works CW 1018 CD
  • Guerino Mazzola Synthesis SToA music ST-71.1001 CD
  • Jan Beran Immaculate Concept SToA music ST-71.1002 CD
  • Q4 Orchestra Yavapai Creative Works CW 1028 CD
  • Rissi-Mazzola-Geisser Fuego Creative Works CW 1029 CD
  • Brown-Mazzola-Geisser Orbit Music & Arts CD-1015 CD
  • Mazzola-Geisser Toni's Delight Cadence Jazz Records 1090 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Fields/Turner Maze Quixotic Records 5002 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser /Fields/Maneri Heliopolis Cadence Jazz Records 1122 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser Folia Silkheart Records SHCD 153 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Rissi Tierra Cadence Jazz Records 1130 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Rissi Agua Cadence Jazz Records, 1150 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser Someday Silkheart Records 154 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Fields/Maneri Chronotomy BlackSaint 120173-2 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Kato/Saga Live at Airegin Ayler Records aylDL-056 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Rissi Herakleitos Ayler Records aylDL-069 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Rissi Aire Cadence Jazz Records 1130 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Kaiser/Sirone Liquid Bridges CD in Springer book Flow, Gesture, and Spaces
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Onuma Dancing the Body of Time Cadence Jazz Records 1239 CD
  • Mazzola/Park Passionate Message Silkheart Records 159 CD
  • Mazzola/Geisser/Kita Ma pfMentum PFMCD116
  • Mazzola/Lubet Deep State pfMentum PFMCD119
  • Mazzola/Geisser Live at Le Classique pfMentum PFMCD126


  1. ^ Dmitri Tymoczko. "Mazzola's Counterpoint Theory" (PDF). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Faculty". Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  3. ^ "SMCM: Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music". Retrieved May 17, 2018.

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