Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by plexibass, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. plexibass


    Jun 30, 2005
    ok guys here is a question for all. do you guys really see a corolation between math and music? i suck at math yet i always excelled at music. when i was in grammar school, i played trombone, baritone and tuba. i was always playing with the highschool kids in all-state jazz bands. yet i always sucked at math and science. i'm 36 now and obviously a bassist. my father who is 78 is a retired engineer from lockheed. when he retired he started teaching in high schools in the math and science depts. he does everything from remedial to ap [advanced placement] classes. he is also on the advisory boards for fulton county math and science curriculum for the school system. the man couldnt carry a tune in a bucket. i always thought it was interesting that we are exact opposites. any comments?
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Whatever math there is to be found in music can be boiled down to very simple arithmetics, with fractions as the most advanced topic. Math is so much more than that. So is music, but in a completely different way.

    Mathematical talent and musical talent are in my eyes totally unrelated.
  3. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I think one helps inform. There's a good deal of math in musical theory and a lot of modern composers used mathematical formulas to create music (avant garde music, that is). Though I agree with Oysterman that you don't need to be good at one in order to be good at the other, nor that excelling in one means you will excel at the other (though studies show that musical kids do better in school).
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Anyone should be able to cope with such basic math whether or not they have talent for it. It's not Fermat's Last Theorem or anything. I doubt the little math involved is enough to prevent anyone from learning music. I also doubt that knowing math gives you some kind of head start.
    That's different. I could choose notes with a 12-sided die to make music. Does that make it statistics? Or a deck of cards. Does that make it poker?
  5. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Can you count to 4? or maybe 6 for those trickies 3/6s
  6. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    to really understand something, i have to comprehend the theory behind it, so in that sense my musical understanding (which i stopped a few years ago) and mathematical understanding are similar.

    but what i consider "real math" (high math, the stuff beyond the calcs and other computational courses) has little in common with music and more in common with puzzles.

    and, ironically, i kind of suck at puzzles but am pretty dang good at high math.
  7. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI

    I suck at math, can't read music, know very little theory. But I can feel music, hear music, I want to play a note...I move my finger to the fret and play it. Sure I know where notes, octives, some scales stuff like that. But I rely on my feel when I play. Granted I am no vertuoso, and can't improvise very well or play jazz. But in the pocket to a rock or blues tune I'm all groove.
  8. groovit


    Oct 12, 2004
    New Hampsha
    I'm a bit of a hybrid. Good at math and math-based sciences, and also a musician. I can't say that I've ever really connected the two, but I don't find them to be mutually exclusive.
  9. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca

    that'd be really funny if you also "felt" math that way. :p

    actually, in seriousness, lots of math does seem like you are "feeling" the solution, when you suddenly know what to do.

    anyway, stay in school, drink your milk, etc. etc. :eyebrow:
  10. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Plenty of math in accoustic physics.

    Other than that I can count to thirteen....
  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI

    I played drums for years before bass..If I just picked up the bass without my drumming background I couldn't do it. I learned bassakwards and am still trying to learn the right way more and more..but I love jamming and having fun, and i am ok for playing by ear and off tab. I have been only playing for 4 years..I tell some people that and they don't believe me.
  12. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    All the good players in my music class happened to be in the enriched math class as well. I think it's just that the people who work hard in one thing are the same people who work hard at something else. This only works for school and maybe work, I don't think it works for skill and talent in music.
  13. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    Yes. I think it's a fallacy that music helps kids learn. Music students perform well in other subjects because they're smarter than average to begin with. If they weren't, they'd be wasting their time doing other things, like posting on internet forums.
  14. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Math + Music = Mathmetal. Whoop.
  15. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
  16. It's all about patterns. For example, consider a Slinky, then consider Charlie Parker. :hyper:
  17. Dream Works

    Dream Works

    Dec 5, 2003
    Well here's a troublesome thing, I'm recognized by all of the computer teachers in my school as being able to code beyond grade 12 level. However, I'm barely getting 70's in Math. To make matters even worse, you have to who knows how many math credits to be able to pursure a career in Computers. I've also been told I have that the left side of my brain is the stronger one, the one that's responsible for math and logic, yet, as I said before, am horrible in math. I think all these people are lying to me.
  18. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    There's a grade 12 level for coding now?

    I happened to spend waaaaaaaay too much time with the comp sci department while I was in university (not necessarily by choice), and I was always shocked (coming from an advanced tech background) at how little math the comp sci kids actually knew. Only the basic stuff was required for their program, and many of them had to try a few times to get a passing grade. That being said, if I had a dollar for every person with an engineering degree who failed at least one math course, I wouldn't be workin' for the guv'mint right now.

    Just a warning, things might get convoluted at this point. I'm sure I had some neat things to say, but who knows how they'll work out.

    I spent my university years taking (and working with) very high level academics. One of the most surprizing things I found was that the group I spent my time with (a fairly dense population of incredibly high IQs with a few slackers like me thrown in to keep people on their toes) had very few of the classic nerd characteristics. Many of these kids excelled at music and sports as well as all kinds of academics. The ones who would be called nerds by the rest of the world tended to be the middle of the road students, while the ones on top tended to be good at everything they did.

    Interestingly enough, a psychology class I took once mentioned the same trend in society at large. If you break people down into groups by IQ, you find some interesting things (disclaimer, the numbers come from a memory blurred by any number of abuses (mostly substance based), so use them a guide, not the hard truth). The average group (around 100) tend to be just that, average. They have specific skills, and can be really good at some things, but if you take everything across the board they'll come out to about the middle of the pack (by everything I'm referring to academics, social interaction, and athletics). The next group would be considered to have well above average IQs (say 130-180). These tend to be your classic nerds, amazing at analytical thinking, academics, and what have you. On the other hand, they also tend to struggle with social situations and athletics. When you go beyond this group (IQs of 180 and up) you find that people tend to be successful at just about everything. Top marks in academics, high level athletes, and excellent at social interactions.

    Of course there are exceptions in every group, this is just a basic "trend" that my psychology text mentioned (and I've never been much good at trusting "trends" in psychology). I wonder, though, if this might have something to do with the connection between maths and music. Maybe the kids who excel at both of these things just tend to excel at everything? Or maybe they're like me and they can get by in an advanced tech program and muddle their way through music with nothing more than a healthy dose of luck and a laid back attitude.