The Mysteries of Music

Can maths explain song?

Since the Pythagoreans first investigated the relationship between mathematics and harmony, we have developed theories to explain away the power of music. Is this an error? Should we relish the ineffability of music, or is this a capitulation to mindless romanticism?

Composer Joanna Bailie, Cambridge systems physicist Michael McIntyre, and author of The Music Instinct Philip Ball ask whether it is possible to explain music's power.

Click on the image to watch the debate!


Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation

rusian lisa 22 September 2022

Wow, this is the best article I've ever read. An article that many people need to search hard still can't find and I am proud to be the lucky one to find it.