The beauty of mathematics is not just captured within the pages of your mathematics books. It can be found in various art forms like music, dancing, sculpture, and painting. Patterns of mathematics inspire almost everything in the world, including human extensions of the natural world that surrounds us. Some mathematical patterns are expressed in various musical forms, while others are expressed in performance arts like the choreography of dance. Here, we will discuss how, knowingly or unknowingly, we use the magnificence of mathematics in music and dance.
Dancing and mathematics go hand in hand
We all have been to dance shows or have danced to our favorite songs at a friend’s place or a party. There are many kinds of dance forms from various parts of the world. Whether it is the peppy Latin dance performances or the soulful ballet shows, you can see that the dancers move with a certain style and beat. When a dancer is performing ballet, their movements are calculated and precise. Both beginners and professionals in dancing are skilled in looking out for patterns in choreography and use these patterns to remember the movements when needed. This is how mathematics and dance can be related:
- Music and rhythms – Dancers, need to keep a count of their steps to keep in time with the music. There will no longer be a good synchronization in case of a missed beat.
- Shapes – Dancers form all kinds of shapes with their arms, legs, and bodies, such as circles, triangles, and many other more difficult shapes. It is also crucial for the dancers to focus on the correct angles to make correct shapes. They also use their bodies to create curved or straight lines, as required by the choreography.
- Movements performed – Any dance form requires some signature movements to be performed, like in ballet, while performing pirouette and ronde jambe, the dancers need to create circles.
- Spatial organization – Various geometric formations are used in the choreography of a dance number. This helps maximize the usage of the available space and make all the dancers visible to the audience. The different geometrical patterns in dancing are – squares, parallel lines, and circles.
- Symmetry – Dancers use the symmetry of their bodies to balance during a performance. They move their bodies across the stage to reflect the same pattern.
Music and mathematics – A match you cannot deny!
Music and mathematics are related to each other in more ways than you can think of. The relationship between music and mathematics goes back centuries to the origins of both civilizations and music. From the complex sounds of Bach to the peppy songs of the Beatles, the amalgamation of music and mathematics is everywhere.
Now think about your favorite song! You might have listened to it a thousand times. But, have you ever thought of the rhythm patterns, choruses, or any other minute details that make it so melodious? Normally, we do not tend to think so much. Music is much more mathematical than you think. And it is not something new. Years back, the famous Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras recognized that various sounds can be created using different vibrations and weights. Today there are numerous varieties of music found worldwide. Each of the music has its distinctive sound, beat, rhythm, and measures – all of these are related to mathematics in some way or the other.
Let us find out how we can relate music with mathematics:
- Both music and mathematics use patterns – In mathematics, several patterns are used to predict and explain various equations and formulas. Similarly, in music, various patterns, rhythms, and choruses are used to produce various songs across different genres. According to research, some music pieces are more popular than others due to their mathematical structure. Pachelbel’s Canon in D, which has been played in weddings over the years, is said to be popular with people because of its repetitive mathematical structure.
- Reading music is mathematically related – Any kind of music is divided into measures, and each measure has an equal number of beats which can be directly related to the mathematical divisions of time. For musicians, both beginners and professionals, it is crucial to understand the value of the fractions and notes to count the music correctly.
- Mathematics is related to the frequency of any music – As mentioned above, Pythagoras played a crucial role in relating music with mathematics. Eventually, his research led to the discovery that the pitch of vibrating string instruments like guitar, violin, and others can be controlled by the length of the string. Hence, the longer the string, the lower the pitch, and the shorter the pitch, the higher the pitch.
- Music determines the way we study and think – According to research, children who learn through music can retain their knowledge better than the ones who just get verbal instructions. Showcasing patience with practice, paying attention to details, and having the discipline to learn an instrument are training for building strong math skills.
There is more to mathematics than just difficult formulas and equations.
Mathematics can be a challenging subject for many. It can be uninteresting and cumbersome to understand. But there is way more to mathematics than just the lessons of our textbooks. From ancient times, mathematics has been used in many creative ways like building monuments, painting frescos, formation of famous sculptures, and obviously in various forms of music and dance. The significance of mathematics cannot be denied in creativity, and it had a great hand at giving mankind some of its most famous art forms.
If you want to read more blogs on such topics, why not visit the BYJU’S FutureSchool website. Let us know your views about math in relation to dance and music.