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Real-World Problems Being Solved By Mathematicians


Real-World Problem

How does mathematics form the foundations of music?

Being Solved by Mathematicians

The frequency of a vibrating string or air pressure wave affects the sound that we hear. There are numerous physical factors that affect this vibration.

A scale is a foundational musical construct that runs from a base frequency to a note that is twice the frequency: an octave. These scales vary from region to region around the world. An early version of the current modern Western scale can be traced back to the Greeks.

These scales are built using fundamental mathematical concepts such as fractions and exponents!

Guitar strings

Try Your Hand...

Grade 7/8
Students will learn about the effect of different physical factors on the sound that we hear. Students will have the opportunity to make a simple musical instrument for themselves. They will also construct the first scale on the path to the modern Western scale.


Grade 9-12
Students will create and investigate numerous scales on the road through history towards our modern Western scale.

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