Math Vs Music

925 Words 4 Pages
For centuries two distinct subject, mathematics and music, have coexisted rather harmoniously but still separate. Often this two subjects find themselves on opposite ends of the academic and social spectrum. Mathematics seem to give the world a sense of order. Formulas, algorithms, logarithms, geometry, etc., all fit into daily life on earth with out much effort and with great appreciation. Music on the other hand gives the world an escape from order and allows expression and individuality to take place. Whether it is classical or contemporary, rap or rondo, every person on earth has a form of music they like that seems to define them socially (at least in a musical sense). But what if these two distant relatives could come together. Can mathematics …show more content…
Mathematician James J. Sylvester described Music “...as the Mathematic of Sense, Mathematics as the Music of Reason... The soul of each the same! Thus the musician feels Mathematic, the mathematician thinks Music,-Music the dream, Mathematics the working life, -each to receive its consummation from the other” (Fauvel). And famed composer Claude Debussy echoed “Music is the arithmeic of sounds as optics the geometry of light” (Fauvel). Both men, respected in their fields, had equal feelings about the relationship between mathematics and music. They not only live together, but feed each other, and complement each other. How many have not studied these relationships, but a few have and made it known that math and music can in fact be related and are related. Mario Livio in his work “The Golden Ratio” listed several instances where Fibonacci numbers are used in music. Livio looks at tuning styles, piano and violin building, and compositions that use mathematics. Most commonly associated with Fibonacci is the works Béla Bartók (1881-1945). A study of Bartok by musicologist Ernö Lendvai, concluded that “the chief feature of his chromatic technique is obedience to the laws of the Golden Section in every movement” (Livio

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