Friday, April 25, 2008

Math and Music

When we were watching A Beautiful Mind I was thinking some about the connection between music and mathematics. I've heard a bunch of times that people who are good at one are often good at the other, or at least more disposed to it. I'm definitely a math person and I've also played piano since I was seven, and I definitely can understand the connection. Music is in many ways very mathematical, as far as rhythms and pitches are concerned and what not (especially classical). I can see the similarity between the creativity in a lot of high level math as far as proofs and general problem solving and the creativity of coming up with a musical composition which is also very structured according to certain rules. I think a lot of times if people aren't familiar with this side of mathematics, they consider this connection hard to understand. At least that's how all my relatives were when I was younger and they'd tell me about this (because they knew I was somewhat mathematical).

I thought of this at the point when Nash has started taking his medication and his friend comes to visit him on his porch. He's listening to Mozart, and you can tell it's supposed to kind of suggest his state of mind as a little insane.


kdl63 said...

There might be a connection there, but I will say that my mom and brother are very musical and they don't know crap about math.

Ellen M said...

I definitely think there's a connection between math and music. My dad and I are both very musical and interested in math, and my mom in neither musical nor good at math. There are definitely people who are interested in one, not the other,but I believe there is some sort of correlation between math and music.

jmartinez said...

math and music do have a lot of connections, a la ancient geometry. I did a post about it and I'm glad someone else noticed the connection too.