Math and Music: Leonardo of Pisa

Brief explanation of Leonardo of Pisa's finding of the Fibonacci Sequence and its relation to music.


Throughout the ages, mathematicians have found connections between mathematics and music. One of the first to do so was the famous mathematician Pythagoras (sixth century BC), who first noted the fractional pitch relationships in the lengths of strings; i.e., if one halves a string and plucks it, the pitch is an octave higher. Other mathematicians have noticed particular patterns in music that have mathematical properties.

Around the year 1200 BC, the famous mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, who was called Fibonacci, wrote a book that promoted the use of the number system that is used today. He also discovered an interesting number pattern: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610....
The pattern continues forever. It is generated by adding two preceding numbers to find the third. Through the centuries, mathematicians have noted that the Fibonacci pattern has many connections to science, art, literature, and music. In Harmony with Education Program: Bose's Teacher Guide.

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