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Amazingly Mathematical Music

Originally posted at http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/23890.aspx

When he listens to music, math department chair David Wright hears connections to many branches of mathematics.

During the day, David L. Wright, PhD, is chairman of the mathematics department in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis; at night, he is assistant director of Ambassadors of Harmony, a men’s a cappella chorus that has won international competitions.

Math and music might seem a strange combination to some. Certainly many famous performers are able to bring audiences to their feet without once thinking about ratios or anything else overtly mathematical. But Wright always has been gifted with an unusual, even eerie, ability to hear both the music and the math simultaneously.

He recalls, as a child, being brought up short one day by an unusual chord. Continue reading…

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