[Squeakland] music and math

subbukk subbukk at gmail.com
Sat Dec 1 07:20:02 PST 2007

On Thursday 29 November 2007 2:33 am, mmille10 at comcast.net wrote:
> I took a couple music theory courses in college years ago. One of my
> professors mentioned that he noticed a correlation between those who were
> good at math and those who tended to grasp music theory readily. He had no
> explanation for this though.
The underlying connections are still a topic of research. We do have a name 
for it, though - synesthesia. Wikipedia has interesting links on the topic. 
Both math and music share many conceptual bases - magnitude, multiples, 
fractions, proportion, symmetry, cycles, permutations, combinations and so 
on. A person with deep understanding of these concepts could express them in 
various ways - dancing (body), music appreciation (ears), 
sculpting/painting/drawing (hand, eye), singing (vocal organs). What we 
call "math" is symbolic math - done with marks on paper. Understanding 
symbolic math is easy once the conceptual math is in place, but building 
conceptual understanding through symbols is a hard problem; as many teachers 
will attest.


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