Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Math in Music

Clef, Music, Lines, Notenblatt  We often hear that music and math are related but did you ever wonder how?  I always have that one student who is so into music that their lives revolve around it.  So I went and found information on this topic so I can snare one more student into the "Math is all around us" group.

Math Central out of Canada has a lovely article that talks about fractions used in music as time signatures.  Rather than being "part of the whole"  it tells how many notes per bar and the value of each note. It also explains where the Fibonacci sequence fits in. I learned something new today.

Plus Maths explores frequencies and pitches which are extremely important in music.  It even explains why certain notes work together while others do not.  This article is great for the mathematics involved in the notes.

Arts Edge from the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts has a short piece on ratios, fractions, counting and patterns found in music, all of which are math.  This is a great introduction to the topic and the pieces are short.

The Math Forum goes into detail about frequencies, ratios, etc and includes a connection to geometry in one part of the piece.

Finally, the American Mathematical Association has several videos that deal with this topic.  The videos range from "Music + Math: Symmetry" to "Geometry in Music" to "Symphonic Waves".  In addition there are lots of links and reference materials to help students learn how music uses math.