The Math of Music

I never learned the language of math
It was music I learned instead
Seems like a symphony is better
To rattle around in my head


  1. Yes. Music theory is math and physics (time, space, and distance) in disguise.
    Only the disguise never fooled me, because I have the exact same difficulty with music theory that I have with math. I sang with the opera for years, and it was always much easier for me to learn everything by sound. Just looking at sheet music hurts my mind! I especially don’t like notes with dots behind them. A few times, I saw notes with 2 dots behind them. And once or twice, I came across a note with 3 dots behind it. What? How long do I sing an 8th or 16th note with double or triple dots? I had big trouble with fractions in math class, so how could I figure out how to sing musical fractions within time signatures?
    All of my problems are immediately solved if I can just hear the music. Once I hear it, I immediately understand where the music wants to go and what it is supposed to sound like. Easy fix. Problem solved! Learning music by listening is a sublime pleasure, but being forced to try and accurately count my way through pages of sheet music is pure torture. Not everyone learns the same way.


    • Thanks for the laugh. Don’t think I ever saw a triple doted note. :-0 but if I am working on syncopation, give me the music every day. I like the challenge of working out the math of music, though, just not when I am trying to play. And it’s true that we all learn differently…and some don’t learn at all, or not much. 🙂 hugs, pat


    • Your husband is correct. I actually enjoy math and figured out that if I took the sequence pf the pathway of a seven cycle labyrinth, both going to the center and coming out, it made a beautiful melody. I added chords and accompaniment and had a wonderful piece. Interesting, when I play it repeatedly, it soothes just as actually walking the labyrinth does. Music is very mathematical and fascinating in its formulas and rhythms. Add sacred geometry to the whole thing, and it really gets interesting. Oops…back to poetry…which can also be very mathematical, i.e., a four by four poem is one made of four line, each with four words. Actually, it is hard to get away from numbers, but that is another idea. hugs, pat


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