October 27, 2020

Music & Mathematics

Pythagoras was also known for saying, “There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres,”

Beyond the basic uses of mathematics in music theory and notation (such as chords, time signatures), it is said that music has also been the source of research in many areas of mathematics such as set theory and number theory.

The sound of each key on the piano is defined by its frequency in Hertz. A 88-key standard piano has as the 49th key (an A) tuned to 440 Hertz. It is up to you how to arrange those frequencies in a “meaningful” way to come up with a music piece. “Meaningful” in this case is defined by your ears.

In general you wouldn’t think about math as you compose. One of the examples where I used math by design in my compositions can be listened to at the first part of the song Thanks. It all started when I was questioning what would happen if my left hand and right hand go to opposite directions at the same intervals after starting at certain two keys. The result was meaningful for my ears. Maybe it is for your ears too. ☺

Music of the post: Mehmet U. Soyer – Thanks (MUS161105 / Ears to Eyes)

Mehmet U. Soyer © 2009-2020

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