Canadian Mathematical Society
Canadian Mathematical Society

A Hard Day's Math with Jason Brown

This year’s CMS Summer Meeting in Fredericton, NB opened on a high note with Professor Jason Brown’s public lecture entitled “A Hard Day’s Math – The Connections between Mathematics and Music.”

A Million Whys

Jason used "mathematical tricks" he learned from analyzing songs by The Beatles and wrote this original song of his own. This recording is from the CMS meeting in Fredricton. See also the video from the Wall Street Journal.

Jason’s lecture demonstrated the many ways mathematics can interact with music, including understanding the physics and physiology of sound and music, the role of patterns, transformations and ambiguity in music, and the inherent constraints and assumptions of music composition.

Jason is well-known for using math to solve the mystery of the famous opening note of A Hard Day’s Night 1, and the presentation gave an inside look at Jason’s research on this and other Beatles songs. Blues, country and pop music also featured in the presentation, proving that mathematics apply no matter what your taste in music.

Jason and his band stuck around to perform during the welcome reception, making it the first CMS meeting ever to see mathematicians dancing up a storm. The CMS would like to thank Jason and his band members for a wonderful evening of music and math!

Songs in the Key of Pi is an album of mathematically-flavoured music from Jason. You can hear studio samples of many songs on Amazon.

1For referreed research, please see J. Brown, CMS Notes, October 2004 (pp. 4-8).

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