Playing Mathematics and Doing Music

John Belcher
Renaissance Banff: Mathematics, Music, Art, Culture (2005)
Pages 529–530


Generally, the art and science of pattern making and pattern discernment are at the core of mathematics and music. The forms and shapes of music, the ways in which music is used to structure time “space” can be viewed as rich mathematics structures. For example, the musical features of pulse, subpulse, cycle, and harmonic rhythm can serve as aural representations of key mathematical ideas, potentially providing a context for a deepened understanding of and “feel” for these ideas. Conversely, the act of translating mathematics structures into music forms can lead to powerful music insights. Exploring these domains in concert leads to possibilities for exciting synergies that address both conceptual and affective considerations about what it means to do-make music and mathematics.