Apologies if this is not the right stackexchange for this question;

I've come across the term "topology" being used in some articles about music/sound. As someone coming from a mathematical background, the use of this word is confusing. It seems to have no relation with topology in the mathematical sense but i don't know how to find more information about this. Some places that use the word topology in this sense are: https://www.convexoptimization.com/wikimization/index.php/Dattorro_Convex_Optimization_of_a_Reverberator


What does topology mean here?

3 Answers 3


You are correct that this is not the right stack exchange for this question, as it is not strictly related to sound design.

In the context given it is an electronics engineering term which means "configuration". See "filter topology", "network topology", "circuit topology", etc.


From mathematical point of view, the term “topology”, used out of mathematics, means in most cases a structure which mathematicians know as a special case of a topological space - a graph.

Every graph G = (E, V) may be described as a topological space known as a graph topology. But out of mathematics – and maybe physics – the interest is only on vertices and edges, particularly on their representation as points (elements) and segments (connections) in a plane / space.

Maybe the word “layout” would be more appropriate.


From the perspective of someone with neither an engineering mathematics background, at the bottom of your linked page is a link to another paper.

That paper seems to use the word 'Topology' almost exclusively in connection with things that resemble logical flow diagrams but not like any that I've ever seen:

unusual flow diagram with the annotation: "Chamberlin topology, second-order all-pole filter"

I can only conclude that the word, in this instance, describes this type of diagram.

  • Not the type of diagram, the layout itself. Jun 13, 2022 at 18:39

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