Ask Dr. Math Music and Mathematics

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 Music and Mathematics, a selection of answers from the Dr. Math archives. Math and Music I need information on how math is involved in music. Why There are 12 Tones in a Scale Why are there 12 tones in an octave? Can you explain the significance or the equation r^n = 2^m? What's special about a fifth? Why should the scale be based on the fraction 3/2? The Math Behind Music: Pitches, Scales, Geometry Connections between music, physics, and math. Math and the Piano How is math is related to the piano? What about tempo, pitch, and tuning? Trigonometry and Music How is trigonometry used in music? Math and Musical Scales What is the space between half steps? Where did they come up with octaves and why did they choose eighth notes? Math and Music: Harmonic Series Could you supply me with information on how math relates to music? Bach and Mathematics What are some of the connections between music and math? And see the Music entries in the Math Forum's Internet Mathematics Library.