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the correlation between math and music |

“Is there really a connection between mathematics and music?” asks Kate Schweitzer in Popular Mechanics: Read more

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“Fringe’s Music to Math Connection Contains as Much Fact as Fiction” says Kate Schweitzer in Popular Mechanics

mathematics and music |

At first sight, music and mathematics are two completely different disciplines. Many mathematicians feel, however, that there are some close relations between the two subjects. Music often has mathematical structures and characteristics and, even more importantly, there are also many artistic aspects in mathematics. Bringing music and mathematics together could therefore increase the understanding of both disciplines.

At the end of my ten week English for Academic Purposes course from August to October 1998 at East Coast College of English in Brisbane (Australia), I wrote an essay with the title `How do mathematics and music relate to each other?’. It provides a short overview of the interesting connections between these two topics.

The article was slightly reworked in summer 2005 for a publication in Mathematical Spectrum (vol. 41, no. 1), a magazine for students and teachers of mathematics in universities, colleges and schools worldwide.


Self-archived copy of the article “Mathematics and Music: Relating Science to Arts?” published in Mathematical Spectrum (vol. 41, no. 1)
mathandmusic.pdf [104 kB, 17875 downloads]

Please cite this article as:
Beer, M., 2008. Mathematics and Music: Relating Science to Arts? Mathematical Spectrum, 41(1):36-42. (BibTeX entry)

Comments |

Posted by Lucas Huang on 16 April 2010, 04:41 #

Thanks for this, Mr. Beer! I used pieces of this paper in a presentation I made at the Queen’s University Faculty of Education. Fascinating stuff.

Posted by Mario Muller on 11 May 2012, 19:07 #

I enjoyed reading your paper on mathematics and music. Most impressive and yet informative. I will use some of the information in my own thesis. Mario Muller – PhD Researcher – University of Pretoria, South Africa

Posted by Duk-Hyung Lee on 28 July 2016, 15:57 #

Dr. Beer,

I really enjoyed your article on math and music written in 1998. More and more I study about relationship between them, I find it fascinating and yet very challenging to clearly articulate. Especially, artistic aspects of mathematics in relation to why mathematicians love music.

I give a talk on music and math of Recuerdos de la Alhambra at MathFest 2106, and your excellent paper has provided good insights.

Look forward to reading your revised article.


Duk Lee

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