Simple A”rhythm”etic

“Listening to and making music form strong connections in the brain. These are the same connections that are used to solve math problems” -National Institute on Early Childhood Development and Education

Combining math and music may not be a new idea, but it sure is a fun one. Music is full of complex structures that are primarily due to mathematics. With such a close connection, there’s no surprise that the two can be used together to promote early childhood education.

Imagine learning fractions with drums instead of numbers. Using music as a tool for teaching math to elementary school students is a creative and innovated way of learning. Plus kids find it much more enjoyable!

Once kids are able to math this connection between music and math, it gets even better. What makes this so cool is that kids are then able to explore even further. Why stop at the basic mathematical fundamentals of music? Why not experiment with composition? I know, the idea of composing music sounds a bit frightening, especially for a kid. But anyone can do it. Just take any field of mathematics as a source of inspiration. For example, check out this kid named Michael Blake. He wrote an entire song based off of one number, pi! He uses the digits of pi as inspiration to tell him what notes to play and what chords to play in the background. The results are incredible.

See, music composition can be easy. One could say it’s as easy as pi! wordle_0

With all these mathematical elements present in music, it shouldn’t be a huge surprised to find out that there is a formula that can calculate the popularity of a song. It’s called the Hit Equation. The formula breaks down music into 23 variables (located in the image above) that can be calculated in each song. In order be able to predict a song’s success, there needs to be a control. This control is simply a song that has made the top 5 on the Top 40 list. Other songs are then compared to the control song. The closer the match, the more likely the hit will be. Of course, there are elements that the equation cannot calculate, such as social influences. But even with external influences that the equation cannot formulate, it still has a success rate of 60% at predicting if a song will make top 5 or fall beneath the top 30. It probably wouldn’t be too surprising if more celebrities start using this equation to help create songs that will practically be guaranteed hits. To find out more about the Hit Equation, click on the link below:


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