Music has always been a huge part of my life and not only because of my love for listening to it. I have grew up a dance so I have, from a young age, had to learn to count music and hear it. I then had to learn to read music as I began playing violin, guitar and percussion. I then took music as a subject in school for my whole six years of being there in which I was allowed to discover and learn about musical theory. Though despite this being such a huge and influential thing in my life, I have never seen any connection between math and music as subjects.
“Rhythm depends on arithmetic, harmony draws from basic numerical relationships, and the development of musical themes reflects the world of symmetry and geometry. As Stravinsky once said: “The musician should find in mathematics a study as useful to him as the learning of another language is to a poet. Mathematics swims seductively just below the surface.”
Marcus du Sautoy (2011)
When reading this quote from Sautoy, it actually makes sense that math is used within music. There are many more examples on how music is used within math, those of which include; notevalues, tuning, scales, sequences and many more. Though it even goes back to basics such as counting and how it helps us in music.
In our lecture today we done an exercise in which we were split into groups and had to clap a different rhythm each whilst everyone else was doing theres. It took a few attempts for us to get correct and it wasn’t until everyone had their counting correct that it actually worked. I feel like was such a simple example that was used but is one I would love to use in the future within my classroom teaching.
We then looked at note values and how each note has a different length, for example a crotchet is one beat and a quaver is half a note. For someone to be able to read music, it is essential that they understand all of this and therefore have to have a basic knowledge on the math behind the notes.
Overall there are many examples of how music is used within math. It is something that is actually incredibly important and I feel should be taught more about in schools. It is possible that it may actually help increase children’s positivity towards math as children seem more than likely to enjoy studying music in school, especially at a young age as it is perceived as being fun.
Du Sautoy, M. (2011). ‘Listen by numbers: music and maths’ Guardian. Available