Music and Maths

“Music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting,” said seventeenth century philosopher Gottfried Leibniz. There are a number of connections between music and maths including beats in a bar, musical intervals and tempo. Without these, it would be extremely hard to compose and perform music as there would be no sequence, or rhythm. Therefore, maths is essential to the making of music!


Tempo is the pace or speed at which a section of music is played. Timing is crucial to playing a piece of music. The speed at which music is played at can help create a desired atmosphere. For example the famous Jaws music starts slow and progressively gets faster. The timing makes the audience tense and aware that something is about to happen. Without this specific timing of music, the film just wouldn’t be what we all know it as today. This highlights the importance of maths in the making of music.

The Relationship between Music and Maths

When researching the relationship between music and maths further, I discovered the work of Beethoven. He is a famous composer, who in his career began to go death, however still managed to compose beautiful pieces of music. How did he do this? The answer is Maths!

This video explains the complexity of maths and music, however the main concepts are pretty simple. Beethoven used distance and patterns to help him compose music. This allowed him to see what notes and rhythms would sound nice together and which ones wouldn’t. The idea of this fascinates me, someone who is losing his hearing still capable of creating such famous pieces of music by the application of mathematics. This again just proves to me, how maths can be applied in numerous ways!

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