Math & Music

Hi. I'm posting this because I want to know which are the reasons that cause people to say "math is music". Personally, I play the guitar and I find that the patterns of the distances between notes can be described mathematically. Well, something I also need is someone from the oriental side (India, Singapore...) to recommend me classical songs or studies famous from the oriental side. If anyone could add something for me to get familiarized with the specific application of math in music, ill be thankful. I hope no one gets mad for a post not 100% related to math...

Note by Diego E. Nazario Ojeda
4 years, 3 months ago

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Music and math are more closely related than you could think. I know a little music theory and I can tell you that fractions are crucial for understanding and reproducing rhythms, you have to be somewhat good at arithmetics for recognizing note ranges, and that certain symphony movements have patterns that may be interpreted in a mathematical way. I think I also heard something about Rachmaninoff's music being related to the golden ratio in some way, but I'm not completely positive about that. :)

José Marín Guzmán - 4 years, 3 months ago

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Hey Diego,

Brilliant is a perfectly fine place to talk about music. My understanding of music theory is wayy weaker than my math so I am not much help to you in talking about the mathematics of music. Much to my misfortune, I am also entirely illiterate in the classical music of Asia.

But for what it is worth, Right now I am listening to:

New Order

For cultural comparison, I am from Portland Oregon where we make and listen to a whole lot of indie, softish, angsty rock&roll. This is what a band from Portland sounds like.

Peter Taylor Staff - 4 years, 3 months ago

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Luckily, my dad has 2 Ph.D's in music theory and a masters in choral composition, and is teniored teaching music theory at William and Mary. I play the piano, and I would love to chat about the amazing-ness of the math behind the music, and what makes chords and harmony actually sound good. ;)

Finn Hulse - 4 years, 3 months ago

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