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Connections between Mathematics and Music

It is not very often that a person would look at two subjects like math and music and find connections. Music is associated with freewheeling creativity that allows people to express what is in their souls. Mathematics is considered a ridged science that provides a fixed method to reach the one and only solid conclusion available. It would seem that each of these areas would be far from connected. Yet many have looked into both math and music and found that there are a whole lot of similarities and the connections that exist are not only revealing how music has more rules than people believed but also that math can provide a manner of expression.

Numbers in Music

Numbers are often used in music. If you have ever learned how to keep time in a musical piece then you know that it is done by counting in a rhythmical manner. How the rhythm is counted determines how fast or slow a piece is going to be performed. It doesn’t end there either. When a person reads music it is much like they are looking at a math equation. Each note on the page has a value to the reader and it is going to be presented inside a fixed area called a measure. Each measure represents a value which is interpreted as time for the musician. So as they read the equation of the music, it reveals the answer of the song. We can hear each note being played exactly for the amount of time that the sheet music requires and when done correctly there is going to be a most melodious result that will be pleasing to the ear. The length of time that a note will be held is stated clearly as a fraction. A ¼ note, a ½ note are common in all music. The overall tempo is not only counted, but they are written in two integers so that each person knows how fast to play. 4-4 time is a basic pace of play and is counted as four beats per measure.

Ratios

There are also many connections between ratios and music. It was discovered that the actual length of a string on an instrument can lend itself to the level of the octave that it produces. So if you shorten the string then you can shorten the octave. It was Pythagoras who discovered this. Yes that Pythagoras who developed a famous math theorem. Because there are many connections between mathematics and music, it shows the connection between the creative heart and the analytical brain. They are all connected.

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