Musemathematics

James Joyce (1882 - 1941)

“Numbers it is. All music when you come to think. Two multiplied by two divided by half is twice one. Vibrations: chords those are. One plus two plus six is seven. Do anything you like with figures juggling. Always find out this equal to that, symmetry under a cemetery wall. […] Musemathematics. And you think you’re listening to the ethereal. But suppose you said it like: Martha, seven times nine minus x is thirtyfive thousand. Fall quite flat. It’s on accound of the sounds it is.”

 From the novel “Ulysses” by James Joyce (1922)

An internal monologue of Leopold Bloom strays towards the connection between Mathematics and music, with references to the ancient Greek pythagorean theory of expressing musical scales using numerical ratios.



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