How has Music influenced Science, Mathematics, and Technology?

In summary, playing musical instruments and performing music helps young people learn and understand STEM subjects, and music education is beneficial for boosting test scores in these subjects.
  • #1
Klystron
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Music and the crafting and playing of musical instruments are among the earliest manifestations of science and technology in human culture not directly related to survival. Early drums used for communication also provided rhythm for dance and song. Simple reed flutes and pipes, bone whistles, hollow gourds with pebbles and other percussive instruments have been recovered and dated from cultures long before written language communication became common. [citations pending]

How does music relate to mathematics?

Is musical notation a form of coding and applied mathematics?

How does music education help young people learn and understand STEM subjects?

How does playing musical instruments and performing music relate to the practice of science, mathematics and technology?

[Edit: Added HOW to last two questions to explore mechanism. 06:50 PDT 30 Aug 2019]
 
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  • #2
Klystron said:
Music and the crafting and playing of musical instruments are among the earliest manifestations of science and technology in human culture not directly related to survival. Early drums used for communication also provided rhythm for dance and song. Simple reed flutes and pipes, bone whistles, hollow gourds with pebbles and other percussive instruments have been recovered and dated from cultures long before written language communication became common. [citations pending]
35,000 years.
https://www.badische-zeitung.de/tue...n-die-aelteste-floete-der-welt--16384935.html
How does music relate to mathematics?
G. Mazzola wrote several books about it.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=guerino+mazzola&ref=nb_sb_noss_1&tag=pfamazon01-20
I have one titled 'Groups And Categories In Music'. He analysis structures and translate them into mathematical terms.
Is musical notation a form of coding and applied mathematics?
Of course it is coding. But I think it is more applied physics, describable by mathematics.
Does music education help young people learn and understand STEM subjects?
A definitive 'Yes'. Music enhances the communication and activation of both parts of the brain, and creativity is an important part of research.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618809/https://www.ucf.edu/pegasus/your-brain-on-music/
Does playing musical instruments and performing music relate to the practice of science, mathematics and technology?
Same as above.

I use to say: "I'm not a Tibetan monk, so my abilities to influence my autonomous nervous system are very limited. Music allows me to do this." We can influence our mood with music in many ways. Also music and mathematics are the only true universal languages in my opinion.
 
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  • #3
Klystron said:
How does music relate to mathematics?

Is musical notation a form of coding and applied mathematics?

Music notation is analogous to written language, there are all sorts of cultural understandings assumed within the notation but not explicitly stated.

Does music education help young people learn and understand STEM subjects?

Of course, the sole purpose of music education for kids is to boost test scores in STEM subjects and get them into a top school
 
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fresh_42 said:
The second link contains Gardiner's opinion of Beethoven's 9th. I mean, what is it that this special piece works around the globe in apparently any culture? And why are there so many flash mobs with it on youtube?
By the time Beethoven wrote the 9th his level of expertise and deep mastery of music transcend his time and culture. Ludwig Van Beethoven speaks for us all. The orchestra then the choir reinforce and weave the early brassy threads into a homogenous persistent tapestry. The choir may be singing in German -- better not to recognize spoken language at all -- yet the audience hears carefully tuned instruments, human and mechanical, resonating contrapuntally then together; unified with a hint of dissonance.

If the flash mob, the horde, hoi polloi*, der Horde, die Menge; had one theme, one common sound; then Beethoven's 9th Symphony gives them their voice.

*common people
 
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  • #6
fresh_42 said:
Here are some more sources ... :
Music and art education can strenghten students academic performance
.. nice essay MUSIC, EMOTION AND HOPE as pre-conference paper by Martin Gardiner (Brown, RI).
An excerpt from the second source supports our thesis. From Gardiner
COGNITIVE COMPLEXITY: The cognitive complexity of ... music reminds us that our brains ...have evolved, have great potential for ...cognitive complexity. The issues we must address for human survival in a world that is changing so rapidly will call for the very best of our cognitive capabilities. ...have been publishing evidence that musical skill, to advance, must build increasingly upon the most advanced human cognitive capabilities. The importance of advanced cognitive skill to musical creation supports the hypothesis that when one builds skill at making and creating music this helps support learning ... of other applications of cognitive skill

[Ellipses indicate edits for brevity.]

An excerpt from post #2 source
Music and the brain: the neuroscience of music and musical appreciation
Two features of our world which are universal and arguably have been a feature of an earlier evolutionary development are our ability to create and respond to music, and to dance to the beat of time.

Somewhere along the evolutionary way, our ancestors, with very limited language but with considerable emotional expression, began to articulate and gesticulate feelings: denotation before connotation.
This thread, intended to explore the mechanical and electronic creation of music, its mathematical underpinning and importance to knowledge based reasoning and education cannot ignore the core human emotions that also make music, Art.
fresh_42 said:
Of course [musical notation] is coding. But I think it is more applied physics, describable by mathematics.

Some writers describe Physics as a result of the Enlightenment, an expression of a new cognitive ability, but music as applied physics denotes that the Renaissance enlightened our minds to recognize what we had already created thousands of years before. Musical notation codifies and records the organized sounds humans create much as written language records and preserves our spoken communication.
 
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  • #7
fresh_42 said:
Here are some more sources (I copied the mistake):
Music and art education can strenghten students academic performance
and I nice essay MUSIC, EMOTION AND HOPE as pre-conference paper by Martin Gardiner (Brown, RI).

The second link contains Gardiner's opinion of Beethoven's 9th. I mean, what is it that this special piece works around the globe in apparently any culture? And why are there so many flash mobs with it on youtube?
Thanks for the article in http://www.perfect-pitch-music.com/music_and_art.html . Helpful in telling us that music gives benefit to learning Mathematics and other things (academic) and in improving written-language reading. One would wish for a clear mechanism for HOW.
 
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  • #8
symbolipoint said:
Thanks for the article in http://www.perfect-pitch-music.com/music_and_art.html . Helpful in telling us that music gives benefit to learning Mathematics and other things (academic) and in improving written-language reading. One would wish for a clear mechanism for HOW.
The penultimate paragraphs in Gardiner point strongly at student exposure to organized structures, building upon repetition (stretching) and practice to gain proficiency. [bold added]
Gardiner, a biophysicist, and colleagues theorize that “learning arts skills forces mental ‘stretching’ useful to other areas of learning: the maths learning advantage [found in this study] could, for example, reflect the development of mental skills such as ordering, and other elements of thinking on which mathematical learning at this age also depends.”

The “test arts” program (called the “Start With Arts Program”), developed by music teacher Donna Jeffreys and colleagues, was designed to integrate the areas of art and music with classroom subjects such as reading and math, while maintaining the integrity of the arts curricula. The collaborative team believes that the keys to the improvements in math and reading are the sequential skill-building arts curricula and the integration with the rest of the curriculum.

The final paragraph cites sources published in 1996 Science. I imagine we could locate numerous local reports of financial cuts to music and art education programs during these periods. With this perspective -- music education and practice promotes STEM education -- cultural attacks on teaching the "Humanities" are also attacks on Science and Mathematics.

Gardiner; et al., also identify ability as a decisive factor. Music teachers are akin to talent scouts, not unlike physical education coaches, who recognize and cultivate children with innate ability and the physical attributes necessary to learn and perform music.

Thanks for your contributions to this discussion.
 
  • #9
symbolipoint said:
One would wish for a clear mechanism for HOW.
Can Musical Training Influence Brain Connectivity? Evidence from Diffusion Tensor MRI
Abstract
In recent years, musicians have been increasingly recruited to investigate grey and white matter neuroplasticity induced by skill acquisition. The development of Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DT-MRI) has allowed more detailed investigation of white matter connections within the brain, addressing questions about the effect of musical training on connectivity between specific brain regions. Here, current DT-MRI analysis techniques are discussed and the available evidence from DT-MRI studies into differences in white matter architecture between musicians and non-musicians is reviewed. Collectively, the existing literature tends to support the hypothesis that musical training can induce changes in cross-hemispheric connections, with significant differences frequently reported in various regions of the corpus callosum of musicians compared with non-musicians. However, differences found in intra-hemispheric fibres have not always been replicated, while findings regarding the internal capsule and corticospinal tracts appear to be contradictory. There is also recent evidence to suggest that variances in white matter structure in non-musicians may correlate with their ability to learn musical skills, offering an alternative explanation for the structural differences observed between musicians and non-musicians. Considering the inconsistencies in the current literature, possible reasons for conflicting results are offered, along with suggestions for future research in this area.
It looks as if it is an exciting subject for neurologists and far from being settled in the sense of unique conclusions as of "why", whereas the "whether" seems to be indisputable.
 
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  • #10
BWV said:
Music notation is analogous to written language, there are all sorts of cultural understandings assumed within the notation but not explicitly stated.
Of course, the sole purpose of music education for kids is to boost test scores in STEM subjects and get them into a top school
first, einstein was a musician. while music is all about time and timing, visual art is about space and information. Connecting the dots means to experience them first hand.
 
  • #11
Klystron said:
Music and the crafting and playing of musical instruments are among the earliest manifestations of science and technology in human culture not directly related to survival. Early drums used for communication also provided rhythm for dance and song. Simple reed flutes and pipes, bone whistles, hollow gourds with pebbles and other percussive instruments have been recovered and dated from cultures long before written language communication became common. [citations pending]

How does music relate to mathematics?

Is musical notation a form of coding and applied mathematics?

How does music education help young people learn and understand STEM subjects?

How does playing musical instruments and performing music relate to the practice of science, mathematics and technology?

[Edit: Added HOW to last two questions to explore mechanism. 06:50 PDT 30 Aug 2019]
Music structure is all maths and physics
Scales, Intervals, chords, harmonics..
Lot of analogies with resonating notes/strings when describing quantum mechanics.
Why a perfect fifth sounds nice and why a flattened 5th sounds demonic is all about the numbers too

https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,,-1767,00.html
 
  • #12
fresh_42 said:
Here are some more sources (I copied the mistake):
Music and art education can strenghten students academic performance
and a nice essay MUSIC, EMOTION AND HOPE as pre-conference paper by Martin Gardiner (Brown, RI).

The second link contains Gardiner's opinion of Beethoven's 9th. I mean, what is it that this special piece works around the globe in apparently any culture? And why are there so many flash mobs with it on youtube?
I never like the 9th (I did like the Rainbow version)
This on the other hand is one of the most stunning pieces of music I have ever heard



If you notice some of the lines repeat but down a semi tone, Bach used the same thing (all the time)
Part of a scale or phrase often 2 or three parts together then exactly the same intervals but down a step, genius.
 
  • #13
pinball1970 said:
Why a perfect fifth sounds nice and why a flattened 5th sounds demonic is all about the numbers too
That is the stuff not being explained nor understood nor studied enough.
 
  • #14
The tritone devil stuff is a myth, there was never any blanket prohibition on the interval
 
  • #15
symbolipoint said:
That is the stuff not being explained nor understood nor studied enough.
Harmonics not explained?
 
  • #16
symbolipoint said:
That is the stuff not being explained nor understood nor studied enough.
I have a book from G. Mazzola (groups and categories in music), in which he phrases all music-theoretical terms by affine homomorphisms of ##\mathbb{Z}_{12}-##modules. Everything becomes automorphisms, orbits, conjugacy classes, etc. And Mazzola doesn't stop at quart circles. He considers entire compositions.

The book has 200 pages and a bibliography of 50 titles. Whether the technical parallels of music and mathematics as language can be said to be understood is probably debatable, but it is far more than "not explained" or "not studied enough".
 
  • #17
fresh_42 said:
I have a book from G. Mazzola (groups and categories in music), in which he phrases all music-theoretical terms by affine homomorphisms of ##\mathbb{Z}_{12}-##modules. Everything becomes automorphisms, orbits, conjugacy classes, etc. And Mazzola doesn't stop at quart circles. He considers entire compositions.

The book has 200 pages and a bibliography of 50 titles. Whether the technical parallels of music and mathematics as language can be said to be understood is probably debatable, but it is far more than "not explained" or "not studied enough".
Good! Tell us what musics mean! Once the Mathematics is checked and reviewed, what IS the music? Must the music alone MEAN the same thing to everybody who listens to it?
 
  • #18
symbolipoint said:
Good! Tell us what musics mean! Once the Mathematics is checked and reviewed, what IS the music? Must the music alone MEAN the same thing to everybody who listens to it?
I was talking about structure rather than composition of a tune/piece.
I could put a tune together with notes underneath and you could like it, someone else may not.
What I was talking about is if I get a cello string length X fix it over a box secured at both ends and play a note and that note happens to be C, then I know that X/2 is also going to be C without playing it. I also know that I can get a pinch harmonic at the mid point. The frequencies, harmonics distances between the notes all rely on physics described by mathematics.
Why a major 7th chord sounds a bit pretty and sad at the same time and a major 9th sounds ethereal (to me) is another question.
It will in part be explained by resonance and dissonance which is explained by maths/physics
 
  • #19
pinball1970 said:
Why a major 7th chord sounds a bit pretty and sad at the same time and a major 9th sounds ethereal (to me) is another question.
It will in part be explained by resonance and dissonance which is explained by maths/physics
But this is the stuff I ask about. I am often interested in WHAT THE MUSIC BY ITSELF IS SAYING, WITHOUT REGARD TO "LYRICS" (which is the poetry component which some songs have).
 
  • #20
symbolipoint said:
But this is the stuff I ask about. I am often interested in WHAT THE MUSIC BY ITSELF IS SAYING, WITHOUT REGARD TO "LYRICS" (which is the poetry component which some songs have).
Music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling, an attitude of mind, a psychological mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc. Expression has never been an inherent property of music.
 
  • #21
symbolipoint said:
But this is the stuff I ask about. I am often interested in WHAT THE MUSIC BY ITSELF IS SAYING, WITHOUT REGARD TO "LYRICS" (which is the poetry component which some songs have).
Shoulda quotified "saying", not "lyrics".
Yes, music (Western) has dictionaries. But - music being a liberal art - they're pretty vaguely written, and mostly tend towards temporal fashion.
 
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1. How has music influenced scientific discoveries?

Music has been shown to improve cognitive function and creativity, which are essential for making scientific breakthroughs. Additionally, many scientists use music as a way to relax and reduce stress, allowing them to approach problems with a clear mind.

2. In what ways has music impacted mathematical thinking?

Music involves patterns, sequences, and ratios, all of which are fundamental concepts in mathematics. Learning and practicing music can improve mathematical skills such as counting, rhythm, and spatial reasoning. Some scientists even believe that studying music can enhance overall mathematical ability.

3. How has music influenced technological advancements?

Music has played a significant role in the development of technology, especially in the field of audio engineering. The need for better sound quality in music recordings and performances has driven innovations in audio technology, including microphones, amplifiers, and speakers. Additionally, music has been used in the development of new technologies, such as music therapy for mental health and artificial intelligence for composing music.

4. What is the relationship between music and the scientific method?

The scientific method involves making observations, forming hypotheses, and conducting experiments to test those hypotheses. Similarly, musicians often experiment with different melodies, rhythms, and instruments to create new music. Both processes require creativity, critical thinking, and a willingness to try new things.

5. How has music influenced the study of the brain and human behavior?

Music has been used in numerous studies to understand how the brain processes information and how it affects human behavior. For example, research has shown that listening to music can activate the reward centers in the brain, leading to feelings of pleasure and motivation. Music has also been used in therapy to improve mood, reduce anxiety and stress, and aid in memory and learning.

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