Math. The Exterior Component of Music

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guitar close upIf I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician.
I often think in music.
I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

I have always been intrigued by the relationship between music and math. It’s well known that Albert Einstein loved playing his violin.  Musical structures are mathematical in nature. Music theory is numeric in nature and its vocabulary can be directly translated to the language of math.

Many musical concepts have mathematical counterparts. 1 & 3

1- Music notation is strictly ordered- The major scale is arranged with 5  full tones and 2 semitone intervals.

2- Rhythm requires a logic to count bars and longer phrases.

3- Strings vibrate at certain frequencies.

4-Sound waves can be described by mathematical equations.

5- Stringed music instruments require a certain shape in order to resonate with the strings in a mathematical fashion

6- Mathematics is the language that physicists utilize to describe the natural world and all of these things occur in the natural world.

7- Music theory supplies us with conceptual categories to organize and understand music.

8-To find a good way of hearing a musical piece means to comprehend the music in such a way as to make it tangible.

Hensley Pink visually shows how a children’s nursery rhyme, Mary had a little lamb, can be presented using numbers. ”


keyboard and math example

While it is unlikely anyone will discover a universal mathematical formula representing all music, it needs to be acknowledged that a well trained musician, by nature, must be able to think in abstractions, a sound way of thinking through math problems.

3- Hensley Pink,How to learn music using math.

Written by Jaimie Blackman

Jaimie Blackman

Jaimie Blackman — a former music educator & retailer— is a Certified Wealth Strategist & Succession Planner. Jaimie helps business owners maximize the value of their company through education & coaching. He is a frequent speaker at the National Association of Music Merchants, (NAMM) Idea Center and has spoken at Yamaha’s succession advantage.

As a financial literacy educator he has taught at New York University and has lectured at the 92nd Street Y, Marymount Manhattan College and CUNY.

His column is published in The Music & Sound Retailer and contributes to NAMM U online, as well as other industry trade magazines.

Jaimie is CEO of Jaimie Blackman & Company, President of BH Wealth Management, and Creator of MoneyCapsules® and the Sound of Money®.

To register for Jaimie’s live webinars, or to subscribe to his podcasts, visit

The purpose of this post is to educate. Our content should not be construed as advice. If legal, tax or other advice is required by the readers, professional advice should be sought.

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