Music and Math

The basis of the article looks at many abstract ideas such as development and intelligence in regards to components such as mathematics and music. When exploring how the brain develops as far as a person’s intelligence, researchers of this journal did research which equated music as a form of mathematical intelligence by defining the ability to differentiate music tones as certain processes in the brain that fire impulses the same way that is required to solve abstract math equations. As a result of this, researchers wanted to look and see if there was a correlation between mathematics, music, and problem solving ability. They looked at pattern development in all of the above as a method of looking at how these effect intelligence and problem solving

Methods and Results

The research was interview based research involving fourteen mathematicians at the University of California, Irvine. The operational definition of mathematician was defined as, “a mathematics professor at a research university.” They used a opportunistic selection method based on professors that were available and could devote time to the interviewing process. The interviews involved four questions that lasted between fifteen and sixty minutes by Hahn in the mathematics office.

Since the questions were open-ended questions, there was a lot of variation among the answers given in response to the interview questions. It also left the mathematicians to interpret the question in their own way, which also produced variability. Most of the mathematicians believed that there was a significant connection between mathematics and music under the guidelines of pattern recognition. This was due to the fact that solving mathematic problems involves an underlying ability to see patterns with numbers and in music pattern recognition tone and rhythm production. Based on the research and interviews, it was determined that a large part of the cortex and neurons are intricately intertwined. This density of neurons is responsible for pattern recognition that can go into mathematics, music, and problem solving such as that in chess.


Due to the fact that there is a relationship between math and music, this might encourage schools to invest in musical education programs. In addition, it might bring about different ways as far as society defines intelligence. Modern IQ tests involve looking at mathematical and verbal reasoning. Due to the connection among music, this might lead to a re-defining and testing of how music becomes intertwined with it.

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