Music = Math x Science

Music study often falls into the category of an “art” but it is just as much a “science” !  Everything about music involves math and science… from the frequency of the Pitch to the durations of the Timing.

Let’s see what we find……

A single unit can be subdivided into smaller and smaller parts.

fractions even versus odd denominators

Fractions have a number on top called the Numerator and a number on the bottom called a Denominator.

fraction note breakdown

Whole note to half notes to quarter notes to eighth notes to sixteenth notes. 1 /2 /4 /8 /16


Music-Math worksheet (.pdf)
Fill in answers

Fraction timing chart
fraction timing chart

Music education is packed with math and science lessons.  Each key on the keyboard is set to a specific frequency.  That’s “tuning”.  The ratio of frequencies doubles at each repeat of the key.  C4 is Middle C,  C5 is C’, C6 is C”, C7 is C”’ and C8 is C””.

frequency chart rotated


Science Topics
There are many science lessons to be found in the field of music!

– How humans hear sound

– Physics of sound

– Wave lengths from the Electro Magnetic Spectrum

– Resonance patterns

– Resonance patterns 2

Math Resources for Common Core
Understand how your music program can be a “legitimate” math class!

Common Core State “Math” Standards (PDF).

Common Core topics explained through Kahn-Academy videos.
Students can watch these videos and apply the skills when using music notation.

– Adding (counting notes)

– Subtraction (counting notes)

– Integers (Interval distances from root note)

– Multiplication (longer note durations)

– Fractions (timing for shorter note lengths)

– Base Numbers (Counts Per measure)

– Exponents (power-of-two progression in note/rest durations)

– Logarithmic progression ( Frequencies doubling each 12 notes)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *