Written by Vyomini Kapse October 21th 2021
Music is both an art and a science, and music and science are closely related. Both use mathematical principles and logic, blended with creative thinking and inspiration to arrive at conclusions that are both enlightening and inspirational. Let us explore a few traditional disciplines which are closely intertwined with the field of Music-
1. The interrelationship of Music and Math:
Music composition is basically a mathematical exercise. From a basic source of sounds, rhythms, and tempos, an infinite variety of musical expressions and emotions can be produced. It is the interaction of sounds, tempo, and pitch that creates music, just as the interaction of known facts and knowledge coupled with imagination, conjecture, and inspiration produces new scientific discoveries. Some have postulated that music is the father of mathematics. To make music, you must know how to break “sound” into elements of pitch, rhythm, and tempo. Music is based on mathematics. And mathematicians view mathematics as “music for the intellect”. Their joy in a perfect mathematical solution or theorem is as inspiring to them as a Bach Cantata.
2. The interrelationship of Music and Science:
Both Science and Music use “formulas” and “theories” to solve problems and to explore the intangible mysteries of life. There are a number of scientific theories that try to explain music. This is a clear indication that music is as complex and varied as any scientific principle or theory. As mathematics is both a science and an art, Music is both an art and a science. In this way, the art of music and the science of mathematics are related. Science teaches us that sound is vibration, and the frequency of vibration is what makes different sounds. Music then is the study of the sound created by those vibrations and puts them into patterns that elicit emotion.
3. The interrelationship of Music and Law:
To improvise over a tune, it helps to know the notes in the tune, the chords underneath it, and the structure of the song. Artists can break these rules, and perhaps the best music comes when the rules are broken. But to break the rules, the cardinal idea of music—it has to sound good—cannot be lost. In other words, an artist has to implicitly justify her departure from the structure of the tune with the most convincing reasoning of all—the fact that the music, nonetheless, still sounds good. The analogy between music and law is imperfect, in part because different musical styles ask different things of performers. A classical musician is likely to be closer to a composer’s wishes than a jazz musician is, and this is in part defined by the rules of the particular style. Nonetheless, the relationship between composers and performers does track legislative activity. And it shows us how, in many aspects of life outside of law, rules are important even if imperfect.
4. The interrelationship of Music and Politics:
Although music influences political movements and rituals, it is not clear how or to what extent general audiences relate to music on a political level. Songs can be used to portray a specific political message. However, there may be barriers to the transmission of such messages; even overtly political songs are often shaped by and reference their contemporary political context, making an understanding of the history and events that inspired the music necessary in order to fully comprehend the message. Recent research has also suggested that in many schools around the world, including in modern democratic nations, music education has sometimes been used for the ideological purpose of instilling patriotism in children, and that particularly during wartime patriotic singing can escalate to inspire destructive jingoism.
Plato wrote: "Musical innovation is full of danger to the whole state, and ought to be prohibited. When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them;" thus, it could be said that Science is the music of the intellect, and Music is the science of the heart.
Wikipedia contributors. “Music and Politics.” Wikipedia, 21 Aug. 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_and_politics.
Mancini, View All Posts By Mark. “On Law and Music.” Double Aspect, 17 Sept. 2021, doubleaspect.blog/2021/09/16/on-law-and-music.
Lessons, B&Amp;B Music. “The Relationship between Music and Science.” B&B Music Lessons, 24 Dec. 2017, www.bnbmusiclessons.com/blog/the-relationship-between-music-and-science.